Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, August 24, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 144

Prayer Point. When you think about how brief and small our lives are in comparison to our eternal God it makes you wonder, “O, LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you care for him?”  Take some time to thank God that he hears our cries for help, that he split the heavens and came down to earth through Jesus Christ. Pray for the faith to be patient while we wait for Jesus’ return.

Mark 13:1-13

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Mark 13 has been hotly debated within the church because some of the difficulties in interpreting the passage. At first glance it seems to be a chapter about the end of the world—take verse 24 for example: “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” That sounds like a passage out of the end of the book of Revelation. Yet, Jesus speaks as though his disciples will experience the things he is talking about and says quite clearly: “…this generation will not pass away until all these things have passed.” (Mark 13:30) So which is it, things that the disciples will witness in their lifetime (Jerusalem and the temple were completely destroyed in 70 AD) or a description of the very end of the world?

Despite the difficulty, let’s ask a couple of questions:

What observation sparks Jesus’ teaching in the first place? What is the precise question that Peter, James, John, and Andrew ask Jesus? What does Jesus say to answer their question? What will come before the ‘end’? What personal warnings does Jesus give to his disciples? What will happen to them personally? What does Jesus promise them despite the coming persecution?

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 25:13-27

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

Background. Luke 21:12-15 … They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

How do you see the words of Jesus playing out in the life of Paul?

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 23:1-7, 13-17 

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. Who is it that inspires David’s song? What does David praise God for? David speaks of an everlasting covenant (peace treaty) between himself and God. This covenant promised David that one of his descendants will reign on the throne of David forever. How will this prophecy be fulfilled? Who is the Son of David that will reign forever? See Luke 1:26-33.  

As you read the list of David’s fighting men, what evidence do you see of their devotion to David?

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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