Daily Bible Readings, Thursday, July 11, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 18

Prayer Point.  Although this psalm arises out of David’s life experience, Psalm 18 belongs to his son, Jesus. Try reading and praying the psalm this way. It is Jesus who is suffering unjustly in our place, It is Jesus who goes to the grave for us. It is God the Father who rescues his son (and we with him) from death. It Is God the Father that has made Jesus, king of king and Lord and lords. Read this psalm and meditate on the love, forgiveness and power of God expressed through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Luke 24:36-53

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 Appears to His Disciples

Luke 24:36–49 Jesus Appears to His Disciples. This account emphasizes the actual physical reality of Jesus’ resurrection body (vv. 36–43) and the necessity of Jesus’ death and resurrection taking place in fulfillment of God’s providential plan (vv. 44–49) (ESV Study Bible Notes).

Here Jesus reveals himself to his disciples and tells them that these things had to take place to fulfill the Law, Prophets, and the Psalms. (The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms was the Jewish way of referring to what we call the Old Testament). Once again we see that he opens their minds to the Scriptures. What is the message that Christ gives to his disciples? What does he say they will do in his name? What must they do before they can fulfill this mission?

The Ascension

Notice here that Jesus leads the disciples out as far as Bethany on the Mount of Olives. He takes time to bless his disciples and then ascends to heaven. What is the disciples’ response? Where do they worship 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 10:17-33

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. Peter, as a Jew, was culturally forbidden from eating with a Gentile or entering the home of a non-Jewish person. Who is it that nudges Peter out the door? Jews also highly regarded messages that were delivered by angels. Notice that piece of information is also included in the appeal made by Cornelius’ messengers. Imagine what is happening here. God is asking Peter to break 1500 years of Jewish tradition by entering the home of a Gentile. But these are the boundaries that must be broken if the good news of Jesus Christ is going to be taken to the ends of the earth.

How has the good news of Jesus changed the boundaries between Jews and Gentiles? How does Peter describe it? How has God prepared Cornelius household for the receiving of the gospel?

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 16:14-17:11

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 Spirit of the Lord has come upon David, but left _____________.  Where did the evil spirit come from to torment Saul?  How does God show mercy to Saul despite having rejected him as king and removing his spirit from him?  Through whom does God show mercy to Saul?

The Philistines and Israelites face off at the Valley of Elah (about 20 miles west of Jerusalem). The Philistines want to do battle via champions, i.e., each side chooses his best man and whoever wins, wins the whole battle and the loser becomes slaves to the winner. The Philistines choose Goliath of Gath as their champion.  The practice spared combating nations the carnage and bloodshed of an all out war.

Why was Saul and his army unwilling to accept Goliath’s challenge?  Think about the promise God had made to Israel.  ”I will curse those who curse you.”  (Genesis 12:3)  What is Saul and his army lacking?

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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