Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 119:145-176

Prayer Point. We easily fall into sin when we are stressed, angry or afraid. Take note of what the author of Psalm 119 does with his anxiety, anger and fear and pray for the faith to respond in the same way.

Mark 12:13-27

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Both the Pharisees and the Herodians wanted to trap Jesus in his talk. The two groups couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed. The Pharisees held to a strict observance of the law. The Herodians were a loosely organized group who looked to advance the political and economic influence of the Herodian family. The Pharisees and Herodians were adversaries on many political and religious issues, but here we see them collaborating to trap Jesus and find cause to get rid of him once and for all.

The Pharisees and Herodians try to butter Jesus up with flattering speech. Jesus sees this as hypocrisy and calls them on it. Jesus knows they are trying to trap him, but notice how he answers them.

He asks for a coin which contains the image of Caesar on it. (This would have been an offense to any Jew because of the law which states that they should not make or bow down to any graven images). The likeness of Caesar and the inscription which read “Augustus Tiberius, son of the divine Augustus” would have been a definite slap in the face to any Jew who was looking for the messiah to come. On the other sign of the coin it read, “High Priest.” You can easily see why Jesus says to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

What is Jesus saying here to the Pharisees and Herodians as well as the disciples within earshot? What was Caesar’s and what was God’s according to Jesus?

Mark 12:18-27. Here the Sadducees come and try to trick Jesus. The interesting thing about the Sadducees is that they did not believe in a resurrection. So to ask Jesus a question about resurrection was quite scandalous. Of course Jesus knows right away that they are trying to trick him.

According to this passage what kind of relationships do we have in heaven? Is marriage an issue? How does Jesus demonstrate the reality of the resurrection from the Old Testament?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Acts 23:23-35

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. Compare Claudius Lysias’ account of Paul’s arrest to what actually happened in Acts 22:22-29. How truthful is the centurion? How does Paul’s Roman citizenship serve  Paul’s God-given mission (see Acts 23:11 and 23:27-35)?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey 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?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

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 18:19-33

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

Background. Why do you think David was so devastated by the news that his son, Absalom, was dead? Look back at the events that led up Absalom’s rebellion in chapters 13-15 and the prophecy of 2 Samuel 12:7-12. What emotions other than sorrow must David be feeling?

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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