Daily Bible Readings, Saturday, August 10, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 87

Prayer Point. Rahab (Egypt), Babylon, Philistia, Tyre and Cush were all former enemies of Israel and yet in this psalm, they have all been adopted into the family of God (see verse 5). Can you imagine if those we fear became followers of Jesus? Pray this dream for the enemies of our country today.

Mark 9:30-41

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

Background. Jesus ministered to the crowds, but he concentrated his efforts on teaching his small community of disciples. He was not interested in gathering a large group, but starting a movement of committed disciples who were able to make new disciples and fill the world with his followers. We see this priority in today’s reading as Jesus gets away from the crowds in order to instruct his disciples privately. You’ll also notice that the disciples have a lot to learn before they are ready.

For example, the statement, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days will rise,” appears to us to be a straightforward prediction of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The disciples don’t get it because their expectation of the Messiah (Son of Man) was of a conquering king, not someone who was going to die.

Pay close attention to …

  • The disciples’ argument on the road and how it further demonstrates their misunderstanding of Jesus.
  • The disciples’ attitude towards other followers of Jesus who were not “one of them” and Jesus’ response.

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 20:1-16

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. Paul never intended to stay in one place and build a giant church. He was a church planter. His mission was to travel from city to city, preach the message of Christ and gather those who believed into churches. Once the churches were established, he trained leaders and then moved on to repeat the process in the next city. In this chapter Paul leaves Ephesus and travels with some of the church leaders to revisit the churches he has established and encourages them.

Why does Paul to cancel his plans to go to Syria and travel through Macedonia instead?

What strikes you about the way Paul and the Christians at Troas worshiped together? In what way is Paul’s preaching ‘dangerous’ (all pastors should be forewarned)? In what unexpected way does the Holy Spirit comfort the Christians of Troas through Paul?

Paul and his team move on. Why does Paul bypass Ephesus? Where is he in a hurry to get to?

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 12:15-31

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. Why does David mourn, fast and pray while his son is alive, but stops once his son dies? What signs of God’s continued favor to David do you see after the boy dies?

“I shall go to him. Some interpreters understand David to be saying that he, like the child, will someday die. But “shall go to him” seems to indicate the expectation of future personal reunion. (ESV Study Bible Notes p. 561)

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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