Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 61

Prayer Point. David has seen the pain, sorrow, and violence of our world and so he cries out to God.  He prays for the coming of God’s kingdom, when Jesus will be enthroned forever. What pains you about the world today? Lift it to God by praying, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Mark 6:30-46

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 just days before had sent his disciples out to carry out his ministry. They were given the authority to preach the good news of Jesus, heal the sick and cast out demons (see  notes on Mark 6:1-13). This was the purpose for which the disciples were called (see Mark 3:14): to watch and learn from Jesus and eventually to carry out his work when he returned to heaven. In today’s reading, the disciples have just returned from their first test mission.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus models a way of life for his disciples. Look at what he asks his disciples to do when they return from their mission (Mark 6:30-31) and compare it to Mark 1:35.
  • How Jesus responds when the crowds interrupt their planned time of rest.
  • How he tests his disciples’ faith in verse 37 and how well the disciples respond.
  • The way Jesus performed his miracle and what that says about his ability to provide.
  • What Jesus does as the day comes to a close.

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 16:6-16

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. Why do Paul, Silas, and Timothy travel to Phrygia and Galatia instead of Asia? Who is leading to them? What is one way that the Holy Spirit communicated with Paul? Notice how he directs Paul to go to Philippi.

If you are a careful reader, which I am not, you may have noticed that the pronouns in this chapter have changed from “they” to “we.” Luke, the author of Acts, has now joined Paul’s missionary team for this portion of the story.

Paul and his companions went to the river intending to pray. What did the Holy Spirit have planned for them instead? What causes Lydia to believe Paul’s gospel message? What does this tell us about our role and God’s role in sharing the good news of Jesus? What happens to Lydia’s household (network of family and friends)? How is Paul’s team following the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 10:11-13?

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 3:6-21

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

Background. A power struggle ensues and “there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David” (2 Samuel 3:6 ESV). Abner, the powerful general under King Saul, is now consolidating power behind Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth. The fact that he has slept with one of Saul’s concubines indicates that Abner had designs on Saul’s throne. At the very least, Ish-Bosheth would be a puppet king, with Abner the real power behind the throne.

What does Abner do when his loyalty is questioned? How does Abner’s change of heart serve God’s purposes? What does David demand of Abner? How does Abner work to hand the kingdom over to David?

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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