Daily Bible Readings, Monday, June 24, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 89

Prayer Point.  God’s story with Israel is a tale of God’s faithfulness despite their faithlessness. God saves. His people forget. his people. God sends judgment. His people cry out and God sends a Savior. Israel’s story is our story. Praise God for the ways he has been faithful to you. Confess the way you have been unfaithful to him.  Lift up your needs to him and ask him to save you.

Luke 21:29-36

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 background  to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Several months ago leaves sprouted on the trees in New England announcing that spring had come and summer is just around the corner.  What are the “sprouted leaves”, signs that the kingdom of God is near (see Luke 21:10-28)?  When will these events happen (see verse 32)?  

Scholars have scratched their heads at this verse because it was assumed that Jesus was speaking about his return which did not happen within the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples.  What did happen was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Roman Army.  Much of what Jesus describes in chapter 21 fits the destruction of Jerusalem.  What Jesus seems to be doing is warning his disciples about the coming destruction of Jerusalem which in turn foreshadows the return of Jesus at the end of this age.

While we will never know the exact time or place of the return of Christ, what are the followers of Christ to do and not do while they wait?  

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 5:12-26

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 to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Solomon’s Colonnade (portico) was a section of the temple that ran along the eastern wall of the outer court of the temple called the “Court of the Gentiles.” Gentiles, those who were uncircumcised and therefore forbidden to enter the inner courts of the temple, were restricted to this area.

Why were the people afraid to join the Christians, despite holding them in high regard (look back at Acts 5:1-11)? Why do you think the church continues to grow during this time despite their fear? What was attracting these people?

The Sadducees were a powerful religious party in Israel who controlled the temple by currying favor with the Romans. The Romans favored them because they denied “dangerous” doctrines such as the resurrection. These beliefs were thought to inspire the people to risk their lives and attempt the violent overthrow of the Roman government in Israel.

How do the Sadducees respond to the apostles’ popularity? How does God respond? Why does God intervene on behalf of his apostles? What is his purpose for them (relate this back to Acts 1:8)? Why do the Sadducees use less force the second time around? Who is truly in charge here?

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 5:1-12

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.  The Philistines, believing that they had not only conquered Israel but that their national god Dagon had defeated the God of Israel, placed the captured Ark of the Covenant in Dagon’s temple.

How does God demonstrate to the Philistines that he has not been defeated and that he is stronger than Dagon?  What convinces the Philistines to send the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel?

Some have noted that the characteristics of the plague that broke out in the Philistine cities sounds a lot like bubonic plague.

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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