Daily Bible Readings, Thursday, July 4, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 135

Prayer Point.  Fear reigns in our hearts when we forget and our God becomes small.  This psalm reminds Israel of the miracles God performed on their behalf.  How has God worked miracles in your life? Remember and thank God for them.  Confess your fears to God. Pray for the faith to trust him and not the false gods we turn to when we are afraid.

Luke 23:13-25

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

Background.   Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

Pilate declares Jesus innocent for a second time in verse 14. He then goes on to declare that Herod found not guilt in Jesus. Pilate then decides to punish and release Jesus. But the crowds are relentless. They want to see Jesus crucified.

What happened that drove the crowds to want to crucify the very man who rode into Jerusalem a week earlier to their praises? How is it that their hearts could turn so quickly?

In verse 22 we see Pilate ask the people “Why what evil has he done?” Pilate has found him innocent for a third time, yet the crowds were relentless.

Notice that Pilate does not declare Jesus guilty. Why would Pilate release Jesus over to the will of the people? What did that accomplish for 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 8:26-40

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. How has the Holy Spirit set up a perfect opportunity for him to share the message of Jesus? Think of all the different circumstances just in verses 26-35.

How does the Ethiopian Eunuch respond to the good news of Jesus? What does he ask for? What happens immediately following the baptism? What does this passage tell us about the Holy Spirit’s role and our role in sharing the good news of Jesus?

The Ethiopian Church to this day is regarded as one of the oldest surviving churches in the world. They regard this man as its founder.

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 13:5-18

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? Use the “Background” below to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background.  Saul instigates a war with the Philistines. They respond with such an overwhelming force that army of Israel is terrified, hiding in caves and fleeing over the river. Imagine being Saul at this point and you are waiting for Samuel to come as he instructed. As time passes, the army grows more fearful. Seven days are up and still no Samuel. What do you do? How does Saul choose to handle this situation? How is this a major failure on Saul’s part? What does Saul do when Samuel confronts him in his sin?  How does he make matters worse?  What do you think God wants from us when we fail?  What will happen to Saul and his kingdom as a result?

Here Saul shows his tendency to rely on religious ritual to gain God’s favor (see 14:24 and the incident in 4:3 [that famous scene where the Ark of God is brought to the battlefield j.t]) rather than to trust and obey the word of the LORD.

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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