Daily Bible Readings, Monday, June 17, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 79

Prayer Point.  Asaph stood among the ruins of what was Jerusalem, the capitol of Israel, and cried out, “How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?” You probably know someone, who, like Asaph, is mourning the ruins of their life and wondering if God has abandoned them.  Pray this psalm on their behalf.

Luke 20:9-19

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. This parable, while spoken to the people (vv. 1, 9), is directed to Jesus’ opponents (19:47; 20:1, 19) and is intended as an analogy (with many referents) to show that God (the “owner,” v. 13) is taking away the kingdom from Israel (ESV Study Bible Notes).

Who is the beloved son in this passage referring to? Look to Luke 3:22 and Matthew 3:17. Who are the tenants? What does this passage say about Jesus as the cornerstone? How will the hearers respond to the cornerstone? How will the cornerstone judge them?

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.

Acts 1:1-14

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.  The book of Acts is the sequel to the Gospel of Luke.  It’s author is Luke the Doctor, a respected member of the church in Antioch and a member of Paul’s church-planting team (look for them in the second half of the book of Acts).

The lynchpin between the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts is Jesus’ ascension into heaven.  The Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus beginning with his birth and ending with the ascension.  The book of Acts (short for “the Acts of the Apostles”) tells the story of the church beginning with the ascension and ending with the church taking Jesus ‘ message to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8 provides a helpful outline to the book of Acts:

“You will be receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses:

  • In Jerusalem (Acts 2 – 7:60)
  • In Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1-25)
  • And to the ends of the earth (Acts 8:26-22:30)

What does Jesus do with the forty days between his resurrection and his ascension into heaven?  What does he teach them?  What instructions does he give them?  What mission does he leave with them?  What power does he promise them?  

The Apostles had a dream that God would restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).  In what way is Jesus’ dream bigger than the apostles?  

What do the apostles do while they wait for the promised Holy Spirit?

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 1:1-20

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.  Elkanah (meaning: acquired by God, i.e. perhaps in exchange for firstborn [Num. 3:15; 45] a son of Korah – The Companion Bible p. 367) was a well-to-do man from “the hill country of Ephraim” (v.1) who had two wives: Hannah (meaning Grace) and Peninnah (meaning Pearl). He was of the tribe of Levi, of the sons of Korah – those who waited on the LORD in the tabernacle. Like Jacob’s two wives, one was favored and one was not. Hannah, though she had no children, was more favored than Peninnah, who had a brood of young. While the story of Samuel’s origins has some similarity to Jacob’s life, the story also bears some resemblance to the origins of John the Baptist almost a thousand years later. Hannah and Elizabeth were “barren”. Both women bore sons and both were dedicated to the LORD from an early age. Both were prophets and both played key roles in the Davidic monarchy: Samuel to establish David and John the Baptist to announce the coming of the Messiah, David’s successor. Probably because she was not (as) favored as Hannah, Peninnah used to provoke Hannah to tears each year when the “family” went up to Shiloh (i.e., “where the tabernacle and the ark were” The Companion Bible p. 367) to make their offerings to the LORD. [There is a similarity here between Sarah and Hagar too!] Evidently this was rather acute for Hannah for she went into the temple to ask the LORD to bless her with a son, and if he did so, she would dedicate all his life to the service of the LORD. Eli, the chief priest was very old and his eyesight wasn’t what it used to be, so when he saw Hannah praying (for she was moving her lips but not speaking aloud) he mistook her to be drunk. He admonished her against such behavior whereupon she told him of her plea to God. Eli sends her off with his blessing and a hope that God would “visit” her.

Well, he did. By the time of the next yearly sacrifice, Hannah had delivered of a son whom she named Samuel (meaning “asked of God”, or “God-heard” The Companion Bible p. 367). Hannah’s plan is to wean her son and then leave him at the temple. Her reproach is removed. Hannah was blessed with three more sons and two daughters. Why was Hannah so eager to “lend” her son [for the rest of his life] to the LORD from such an early age? (I think it was a couple of things: an act of thanksgiving for removing her reproach; and an act of faith that the LORD would use and bless Samuel in his service to God.) Her prayers were heard (and answered) which might serve as encouragement to others who knew of her plight.

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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