Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, August 3, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 75

Prayer Point. When we look at the chaos of the world it is easy to conclude that God is either weak or uncaring. Psalm 75 invites us to think again. It is God who “holds the pillars of the earth firm” and “brings one [leader] down and exalts another.” Pray for the faith to believe this so that we can live patiently waiting for God’s justice and not live in fear and anger.

Mark 8:1-10

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. A prophecy was spoken by Moses over a thousand years before the coming of Christ.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.

God had fed Israel with daily bread, manna, while Moses led them through the wilderness (see Exodus 16). In today’s reading, we see a prophet like Moses miraculously feed his people.

Pay close attention to …

  • What moves Jesus to feed the crowds.
  • What he asks of the disciples.
  • The way Jesus performed this miracle and what it tells us about his ability to provide.

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 17:16-34

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 following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What distressed Paul about the city of Athens? In what two settings does Paul preach the gospel? Why is Paul brought before the Areopagus? The Areopagus was a council made up of the leading academics and philosophers in Athens. These men were responsible for ruling on matters of religion and morality (ESV Study Bible).

How did Paul’s careful observations of Athens help him tailor the gospel message specifically for the Areopagus? What sources does Paul quote in his sermon (see verse 28)? How is the God that Paul preaches different from the Greek gods (see verses 24-29)? What is God asking the Greeks to do in verse 30?

Why do many of the Greeks scoff at Paul’s message? What do they find unbelievable in 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.

2 Samuel 5:22-6:11

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 Philistines, not wanting the new king of Israel to consolidate power, decides to attack Israel and take out Israel’s new king. We know that the last time the Philistines attacked, Saul was king, but God was silent for God had rejected him. How detailed are David’s conversations with God? What does this tell you about David’s dependency on God? How involved is God in the details of David’s life? Think about how successful a warrior David was. How tempting would it had been for him to simply say, “I’ve got this.” When is the last crisis you faced where instead of panicking first, you stopped, prayed and simply asked, “God what do I do?”

Having defeated the Philistines, David decides to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, his new capital. What brings his plans to a screeching halt? Where does the Ark of the Covenant end up? What happens to the people who house the Ark of the Covenant temporarily? Why?

On the surface it seems unjust for God to be so harsh, but way back in Exodus (25:14 “And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark by them.” ESV), or again in Numbers (4:15 “And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishing of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die…” ESV); and again in Deuteronomy 10:8 (“At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless his name to this day.” ESV) So the rules are clear and equally clear is that they were disregarded.

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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