Daily Bible Readings, Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 130

Prayer Point.  We have created the oceans of pain and misery in this world. So how can we expect God to hear us when cry out for mercy? Because with God there is forgiveness. Follow Psalm 130 in prayer today by lifting up to God the pain of your life and brokenness of our world. Thank him for his forgiveness. Make space in your life to wait quietly for his answer.

Luke 23:1-12

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? You can use the background  to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background.   Jesus Before Pilate

Notice who brought Jesus before Pilate. Notice what they tell Pilate. Luke 23:2 They began to accuse (bring charges against) him (cf. Acts 24:2–21; 25:5–22). The religious grounds of Jesus’ condemnation would be of little interest to Rome, so the Sanhedrin changed them to political ones. The first charge, misleading our nation, involves seducing the nation away from loyalty to Rome. The second, forbidding … tribute to Caesar, is clearly false (see Luke 20:20–26). The third is that he himself is Christ, a king (cf. John 18:33, 36, 37). This new charge focuses on insurrection: Jesus’ claims to kingship would be a direct challenge to Caesar (ESV Study Bible Notes).

What do we see here in Jesus’ response to Pilate? Why does Pilate find no guilt in Jesus?

Jesus Before Herod

Notice how Herod is excited to see Jesus. Why was he happy to see Jesus? Why does Herod treat Jesus “with contempt” and mock 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.

Acts 8:14-25

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. Who arrives on the scene once the surprising news gets back to Jerusalem that the Samaritans are beginning to follow Jesus? What had Phillip done for those who had responded to the message of Jesus? What were they yet to receive and how did they receive it?

Simon the Sorcerer witnesses the giving of the Holy Spirit and wants that power for himself. What does he offer for the ability to give the Holy Spirit? What according to Peter and John is the only way to receive the Holy Spirit?

The is an important difference between magic and the power of the Holy Spirit.  Magic is an attempt to manipulate a god into doing what I want.  The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles to accomplish what God wanted.  It is the same with the gospel.  We don’t live for God to manipulate him into giving us what we want.  We live for God because he has already given us everything in Jesus Christ.

This story concludes with Peter and John preaching in the Samaritan towns. Who took the initiative in this chapter in the first place? What does this tell you about the nature of the early church?

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 12:1-6, 16-25

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.  Nowadays rock stars have many “farewell” tours before the final one. New idea? I don’t think so. This farewell of Samuel’s will not be his last. At this point in time, the era of the Judges comes to a close – Samuel being the last of the Judges. Thus the “farewell”. In this speech, Samuel gives the people a brief history of their relationship with God.

What part of Israel’s history does he recount? Why? What great sin of the people does he bring before them? What are the kings or substitute gods that we wish for?  What sign is given to confirm what Samuel is saying? How do the people respond to the terrifying sign? What grace does God offer his people? What does God ask his people to do? Why will God not forsake the people of Israel?

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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