Daily Bible Readings, Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 119:97-120

Prayer Point. The level of David’s devotion to God and his ways is quite jarring. I’m not sure I love God’s law to this degree, so for me, this psalm is an invitation to repent. Confess to God that we don’t delight in his law nor do we cherish his wisdom. Pray for the faith to believe that his ways will provide us a lamp for our feet to navigate the darkness of our world.

Mark 8:34-9:1

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. How is Jesus’ way of life opposite to the normal approach we take to life? How did Jesus model this way of life for us? What do we get in exchange for giving up our lives? How would your life priorities change if you took these words of Jesus seriously? Take some time to think about that.

Mark 9:1 “I tell you the truth, some of you who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

Jesus is not speaking of the end of the world, but his own death, resurrection, ascension into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2). Through these events, we have been given the power to follow Jesus and establish outposts of the kingdom of God here on earth.

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 19:1-10

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

Background. Paul arrives in Ephesus and discovers a group of disciples. What had this group received? What were they missing? What happened to the community of disciples once they were baptized and Paul laid his hands on them? How was this similar to what happened to the original disciples in Acts 2:1-4?

Following his usual strategy, Paul entered the synagogue to preach Jesus and the message of his kingdom. Where does Paul go once his message is rejected in the synagogue? Notice that the church was called “the Way” in verse 9. What does that tell you about how the early church viewed Christianity? What it a set of beliefs or something more?

The Hall of Tyrannus was a lecture hall in the city of Ephesus. Lectures were given daily between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM during the hottest part of the day when Greeks customarily took time off from work. The Hall was a center of cultural and intellectual life not only for Ephesus but for the entire region. People from the outlying villages stopped to hear the lectures and brought the gospel message back with them. How do you think Paul’s strategic move to the Hall of Tyrannus caused the entire region of Asia to be evangelized?

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 9:1-13

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. In many respects David is a man of his word. His love for Jonathan ran deep and he remembered his promise to Jonathan that he would show kindness to his sons. “And Jonathan said to David… ‘If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the Lord, that I may not die; and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’” (1 Samuel 20:12-16 ESV) So David scouts out the children of Jonathan and finds Mephibosheth (again with the names!) with the help of one of Saul’s servants, Ziba.

Why does David go out of his way to show kindness to Mephibosheth? For whose sake does God go out of his way to show kindness to us?

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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