Daily Bible Reading, Sunday, June 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 34

Prayer Point.  This psalm was written after God saved David from a dangerous situation, but ultimately this is a psalm about Jesus, “A righteous man man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all [even death]; he protects his bones, not one of them will be broken.”  If God raised Jesus, God will surely raise you from the dead.  Offer God your thanks for this hope.

Matthew 18:1-14

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Jesus values little children. This was at odds with what the Jews of his day believed about social order. Children were considered the lowest rung on the social ladder.

Pay close attention to …

  • The disciples’ question that prompts Jesus’ object lesson.
  • The model Jesus’ uses for one who will enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Most people in the ancient world believed the gods identified with the rich and powerful. Who does Jesus identify with? (verse 5) What does Jesus threaten to those who would harm those he identifies with?
  • The seriousness of sin (verses 7-9).
  • How our Father in heaven feels about those who are lost and separated from himself (verses 10-14).

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Revelation 15:1-18

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following “Background” and “Pay close attention to …”  sections to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. The book of Revelation is quite a difficult book to interpret with wildly divergent opinions within the church as to what it means. Despite this there are some things we can know. Revelation was written by the Apostle John, exiled for his faith on the island of Patmos. While he was there he received a vision which he wrote down and sent to the seven churches in Asia (Western Turkey).

John writes to encourage these churches, who like himself, are suffering for their faith in Christ at the hands of a seemingly invincible Roman Empire. The message is simple at its core: hang on! Rome may seem all-powerful today, but Christ is on his throne and he will bring all things completely under his authority. This suffering will not last. God will come, destroy evil, restore creation and create a home for his people to live with Him forever.

One of stories that John draws on is the story of Exodus. Like the persecuted Christians in Asia, God’s people in the Exodus story were also dominated and persecuted by a seemingly all-powerful empire (Egypt – see Exodus 1-15 for the whole story). God rescues his people by sending plagues on their captors, leading them by his servant Moses (see verse 3) through the Red Sea and allowing the sea to crash in on the pursuing Egyptian army. There by the shores of the sea, the newly freed Israelites sang praise to the God who had saved them.

Pay close attention to …

  • How John uses the imagery of the Exodus story in chapter 15. (See Exodus 7-11, 14-15)
  • The message of hope this chapter would have given the persecuted Christians who received the book of Revelation.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Samuel 4:12-22

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? Use the “Background” below to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background.  Judgment has fallen on Eli’s two sons. The righteous have been lifted up and the wicked are being brought down. How does God’s judgment come to Eli? How does it affect the rest of his family? What is the significance of the name “Icahbod”?

We are left with this question hanging: Will God abandon his people or will he rescue them and raise up a faithful priest? Read next week to find out.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

 

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