Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 45

Prayer Point. Psalm 45 is a wedding song written for a royal couple, but it is best understood as the music of Jesus’ wedding. We look forward to the day when he will return and marry his bride;  the church. Listen closely to what the world will like under this king’s reign. Think about what would change if these dreams came true and pray, “Lord, your kingdom come.”

Mark 4:21-34

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 used simple stories, sometimes called parables, to describe what life is like under the rule of God, or, as Jesus referred to it, “the kingdom of God.” There are four parables in today’s reading.

Pay close attention to …

  • If you consider that the lamp represents the message of Jesus, what does the parable of the lamp tell us about what we are do with it in God’s kingdom.
  • The connection between hearing carefully and measuring, and what this says about what we are do with the message of God’s kingdom which Jesus has given us (verses 24-25).
  • What the parable of the seeds (verses 26-29) tells us about how the message of Jesus spreads. Look carefully at what the farmer controls and what he does not understand.
  • What the parable of the mustard teaches us about the pattern of growth in God’s kingdom.
  • What Jesus says to the crowds and what he explains to his disciples (verse 33-34).

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 14:1-18

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

Background. Where did Paul and Barnabas go first when they reach Iconium? Compare their approach to Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 10:7-14 and Paul’s declaration in Romans 1:16. What are the results of Paul and Barnabas’ effective preaching? Why do they move on? (see Mark 6:8-11)

What is the unexpected response to the crippled man’s healing? How do the people of Lystra misidentify Paul and Barnabas? How do Paul and Barnabas respond to the prospect of being worshiped? The crowds listening to Paul and Barnabas are Gentiles, people who were unfamiliar with Jewish customs, Scripture and traditions. What do you notice about the way Paul communicates the message of Jesus to the crowds? How are the themes in Paul’s sermon different from what he communicated to Jewish audiences? Compare this sermon to Acts 13:13-41.

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 25:1-22

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. With no fanfare Scripture tells us Samuel died and that all Israel mourned for him and that he was buried in his house at Ramah. What is curious is that only one verse is spent on the death of the book’s namesake and then the story continues on …

How does Nabal (whose name means “foolish or boorish” – see verse 25) respond to David’s request for aid in compensation the protection that David and his men had provided him? What is David going to do to Nabal and all that belongs to him? Who emerges to stave off disaster? Contrast this story to the previous story in chapter 24. In chapter 24, David trusts God to take vengeance. Here in chapter 25 David will trust ________________ to take vengeance.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s