Daily Bible Readings, Friday, July 12, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 16

Prayer Point.  Where does our security, our future and hope come from? I’d like to say from God alone, but I am one who still clings to idols. My idols are control and the praises of other people. What are yours? Confess those to God and then pray that for the faith to believe what David believed, “you are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.”

Mark 1:1-13

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.  John the Baptist Prepares the Way

It is believed that the Gospel of Mark was written by John Mark, a member of both Paul’s and later Peter’s ministry teams. Church tradition teaches us that Mark was asked by the church in Rome to write down Peter’s teaching and compile them in a book so that they would not be forgotten after Peter’s death.

Mark is the shortest, simplest, and focused most directly on the actions of Jesus.

Mark quotes two Jewish prophets. Malachi 2:1 in verse 2 and Isaiah 40:3 in verse 3.

How is John the Baptist the fulfillment of these prophecies? How is John’s ministry connected to Jesus?

John’s baptism was one of repentance. Repentance had to precede baptism, and thus baptism was not the means by which sins were forgiven but rather was a sign indicating that one had truly repented. We see here that God was working on people’s hearts, calling them to turn back to himself, in preparation for the coming Messiah (ESV Study Bible Notes).

What were the people coming to John for? What was John’s message to the people? What was the purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry?

The Baptism of Jesus

Notice that Jesus identifies with mankind by being baptized. He was sinless and therefore did not need to be baptized, yet he was baptized anyway. At his baptism we see the heavens being torn open and the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove. His Father’s voice comes from heaven and delivers the message that Jesus is his beloved Son.

Why does Jesus need to hear this from His Father at this time?

The Temptation of Jesus

Notice that it was the Spirit who drove Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.Why do you think God allowed his Son to be tempted for forty days by Satan?

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 10:34-48

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 preaches the message of Jesus for the first time to a household of Gentiles. Here we see the gospel breaking through the boundaries of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and spilling out into what the Jews called the “nations”, the Gentiles, the ends of the earth. What message does Peter deliver to Cornelius and his household? How does Peter invite the Gentiles to respond? What does the Holy Spirit do to Cornelius and his household? Why do you think this astonished Peter’s companions? Why does Peter decide to baptize Cornelius and his whole household?

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 17:17-30

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. David arrives at the battlefield bringing to his brothers supplies from home.  What evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in David can you see?  What makes him stand out from the soldiers of Israel?  How does David’s older brother misread 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.

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