Daily Bible Readings, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 78

Prayer Point. Israel’s story is one of ebbs and flows. At times, Israel flourished as they remained faithful to God. But often they failed to pass this faith on to the children who grew up and turned their backs on him. Pray that we will commit ourselves as a church to the mission of passing on the faith to the next generation.

Mark 8:22-33

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. In yesterday’s reading, Jesus compared distorted visions of the kingdom of God to yeast. Running in the background of toady’s reading is a distorted understanding of the Messiah, the future king who will rule over God’s kingdom. It was believed that the Messiah would be sent by God to overthrow the oppressors of God’s people Israel by military force and set up a kingdom for the benefit of Israel. Jesus clearly understands himself to be the Messiah, but not the kind of Messiah that the people of Israel were expecting. He does not want to be revealed as the Messiah until after he has been crucified on the cross .

Jesus takes the blind man by the hand and leads him out of the village. Why?Why does he tell the man not to enter the village? What does the miracle and Peter’s confession tell us about Jesus’ identity? What would have happened if word got out?

How does the Jewish expectations for the Messiah explain Peter’s angry response to Jesus’ teachings? Why does Jesus slap Peter down so forcefully?

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 18:12-28

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. The Jews who rejected the gospel, mount an effort to stop Paul. Who does God use to protect Paul and why is this surprising? Emboldened by the vision he receives in verse 9 and favorable treatment by the Roman proconsul, Paul stays on in Corinth. But Paul’s mission is to travel around the Roman world, preach the message of Jesus and establish churches with those who believe. The time comes for Paul to move on to Syria. Who joins Paul’s mission team?

The Apostle Paul always brought a team with him as he planted churches throughout the Roman world. In this case, he brought a couple Aquila and Priscilla to work with him and to learn from him. At a certain stage in their development, Paul released Aquila and Priscilla into their own ministry, by leaving them in Ephesus. In Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla encounter a powerful, but inadequately trained preacher named Apollos. (He knew of John the Baptist’s baptism, but he had yet to learn of Jesus’ baptism.) How do Aquila and Priscilla come alongside Apollos and support him in his ministry? What impact did Apollos have on the church in Achaia (a region in Greece)?

What causes Paul to stay in Corinth for a year and a half?

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 7:18-29

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. Most approaches to religion go something like this: I do something for God. God does something for me. David takes it one step further. He will do something for God in response to what God has done for him. God you gave him a throne and a palace, now he will build God a temple. But David discovers that God doesn’t need nor want anything from him and so he offers up this prayer.

What does David do with his prayer? What does he offer up to God?  How will the LORD’s name be magnified forever, according to David? What house is David speaking of? What does David ask for and how does he know what to ask for?

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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