Daily Bible Readings, Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:121-144

Prayer Point.  Sometimes life is difficult even when you do the right thing. What do ask for when you are in this place? Notice the requests that are made in verses 121-144 and make these your prayers. If you are not in the this place, think of someone you know who is and pray the requests on their behalf.

Luke 22:14-23

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.  We celebrate the Lord’s Supper twice a month at Pacific Union.  The origins of Communion is rooted in the Passover meal (Seder).  Jesus takes an old familiar ritual and gives it new meaning.  The unleavened bread of the Passover hearkens back to the suddenness of Israel’s freedom that came so quickly there was no time for the bread to rise.  Yeast also represented sin in the Jewish mind, so unleavened bread symbolized something that was sin-free.  What new meaning does Jesus give the unleavened bread of the Passover?  During the Passover meal, four cups commemorating the deliverance of Israel were drunk.  Jesus takes one of these cups.  What new meaning does Jesus give to the cups of Passover? 

What startling revelation does Jesus make?

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 6:1-15

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. The Jewish community in Israel was divided into two subcultures: the Hebraic and Grecian Jews. Hebraic Jews were those who maintained their native language (Aramaic), while Grecian Jews adopted the Greek language and some Greek cultural practices. What problem arose between these two groups? How did the Apostles solve this problem? What kinds of men were selected to serve in this new ministry? The seven men that were selected were the first deacons to serve the church. Who chose the deacons? Who commissioned (laid hands on) the deacons? What happened to the church as a result of this new deacon ministry?

The deacons were raised up to run the food distribution ministry of the church. Was their ministry strictly limited to distributing food? What does Stephen (one of the deacons) do? What happens to him?

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 7:2-17

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 Ark of the Covenant is left out in the open in the village of Beth Shemesh and seventy men are struck down for looking on (or possibly looking inside) the Ark of the Covenant.  Normally the Ark of the Covenant was hidden from public view behind a curtain in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle.  What is the question the men of Beth Shemesh ask in 6:20?  Think about how Jesus is the answer to this question (see Matthew 27:45-51).  

The Ark is moved to Kiriath Jearim, but the people mourn the death of their countrymen and sought God for answers.  What answer does God give through Samuel?  What does God ask the people to do?  What happens to Israel  when the they gathered at Mizpah in obedience to the Lord’s command?  Why do you think Samuel sacrifices a lamb as he cries out to God on behalf of Israel? (See Hebrews 9:22-28.) How does God save his people?

What does life look like under Samuel’s leadership after the defeat of the Philistines?

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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