Daily Bible Readings, Sunday, July 28, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 24

Prayer Point. “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.” Who can make such a claim? Only Jesus can. We would have no hope of entering God’s city without Jesus. He is the King who entered the gates of Jerusalem and offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Thank God for opening the door to know and enjoy him through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Matthew 25:31-46

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, who referred to himself as the Son of Man, is about to die on the cross, rise from the grave and return to his Father. His disciples will be expected to continue to serve him until he returns. This story focuses on Jesus’ return and his judgment on the world. Everyone will be judged based on what they did in his absence.

What is the major difference between the sheep, who are welcomed into God’s kingdom, and the goats, who are sent off into eternal fire? What did the sheep do that the goats did not do?

Why did the King place such a high importance on how the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and the prisoner were treated (see verse 40)? Did the sheep know that they were serving the king by caring for the poor (look closely at verses 37-39)?

It is important to remember that the sheep are surprised that they had served the king. The key here is that they were not serving the poor in order to get rewards from the king. They served the poor because that is what sheep do. Likewise, we serve the poor, because we belong to Christ and that is what Christians do.

The Apostle John put it this way: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:17)

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.

Romans 12:9-21

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. Jesus’ way of life boils down to two commands:  “Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.” Reduced even further, you are left with one word, ‘love’. Paul fleshes out for us Jesus’ vision of love in today’s reading.  What does love look like within the church (verses 9-13)? How are we to express love to those outside the church (verse 14-21)? Which challenges you more?

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.

2 Samuel 1:17-27

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. “And David lamented with this lamentation ever Saul and Jonathan his son, and he said it should be taught to the people of Judah…” (2 Samuel 1:17 ESV) “How the mighty have fallen!” is a recurring phrase throughout this elegy [a song or poem expressing sorrow or lamentation esp. for one who is dead Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary]. This is another of those wonderful biblical phrases which has crept into the English language, and how fitting it is. David graciously remembers Saul.

Jesus once taught “love your enemies.” You can understand David writing such beautiful lyrics for his friend Jonathan, but for his enemy Saul also? What does this song reveal about David’s love for Jonathan and his loyalty to Saul?

Jonathan deeply loved and supported David (as seen in 1 Sam. 18:1-20:42; 23:16-18), in accordance with their covenant with the Lord. surpassing the love of women David’s remark does not carry any sexual overtones. Rather, he is calling attention to Jonathan’s radical self-denial in giving up any right to the throne of Israel (1 Sam. 23:17); instead, he gave his absolute support to David as the Lord’s choice to succeed Jonathan’s father Saul, even to the point of risking his life for David. (1 Sam. 20:30-33)”] (ESV Study Bible Notes, 544).

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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