Daily Bible Readings, Friday, August 9, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 88

Prayer Point. Psalm 88 is a prayer of someone drowning in darkness and grief. Do you know someone in this place? Pray this psalm on their behalf.

Mark 9:14-29

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? You can use the background  to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Jesus, Peter, James and John return from the mountain (see Mark 9:2-13 for that exciting story) to find the other disciples in a heated debate with the teachers of the law. There is a demon-possessed boy they are unable to heal.

Pay close attention to …

  • Jesus’ criticism of the crowds (most likely including the disciples) and what they are missing.
  • How the boy’s father responds when Jesus points out his lack of faith.
  • Why the disciples were unable to cast out the demon.

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 19:21-41

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 gospel has spread throughout the city of Ephesus through the work of Paul, Apollos, Aquilla and Priscilla, but suddenly the church’s existence is now threatened. How did the message of Jesus come to be viewed as a threat by the Ephesians? Who two Ephesian gods have been challenged? How does God protect his young church in Ephesus?

The Roman Empire stretched from Britain to the Middle East. Stability was valued above all else. The Emperor gave great latitude to local governments provided they could keep order. If you failed, the Roman army showed up in force.

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 12:1-14

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. What does David’s inability to get the point of Nathan’s story tell us about human nature and how we view our own sin and the sins of others? Why doesn’t God simply punish David with the judgment David pronounced on the man in Nathan’s story? Why doesn’t he die? What judgment will fall on David and his family?

In what respects are we like David? What is the difference between David and Saul with respect to repenting of their sin? (see 1 Samuel 15) What is the Lord’s response to David? to Saul? How does this event in David’s life serve as a lesson to us today? What are David’s saving words? In what way has David’s relationship with God changed? In what ways was the change for the better?; or for the worse?

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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