Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, September 1, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 114

Prayer Point. We are called to both fear and love God as Israel did. Psalm 114 explains why. It is the power of God that causes the earth to tremble, but it is that same power that breaks the power of oppression and sets us free. Pray that God will fill you with a reverent fear of his power, but also gratitude that this same power rescued us from slavery to sin and death.

John 8:47-59

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. Here Jesus once again is at odds with the Jewish leaders. They are once again trying to push Jesus into a corner and get him to say something to get himself convicted. Jesus does not buy into their trap but instead tells them who he really is. Who does Jesus say that he is? Why does he say it that way? Look back into the book of Exodus 3:14. Why do you think the Jewish leaders were so enraged that they would take up stones in which to stone Jesus?

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 28:17-31

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

Background. As the book of Acts comes to a close, let’s take a step back at look at the ground we’ve covered. The book opened with the resurrected Christ giving a promise to his disciples:

Acts 1:8 But you receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of earth.

Acts is a story of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church in Jerusalem (chapter 2). The shockwaves of that event, Pentecost, radiate out like the ripples of a rock hitting the water; first Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, and finally the ends of the earth. The message was given to Israel and then extended to the Gentiles, and so God calls a people for himself from every nation under heaven.

Who does Paul preach to when he gets to Rome? How does he explain his appearance in Rome? What sources does Paul use to convince the Jews of Jesus’ message about the Kingdom of God? Note that Law of Moses and the Prophets is the Jewish way of saying “Old Testament.” What kind of response does Paul get? Why does he decide to preach to the Gentiles? As the story ends, how do we know that the promise to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth has been fulfilled?

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.

1 Kings 8:22-40

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 prayer of dedication is filled with all the “right” words and I suppose that Solomon believed them (at the time). There are warnings against sinning against the LORD and the eternal hope that the LORD will hear from heaven and heal the sinners. The cardinal sin committed was idolatry. These are all the kinds of things that all of the great prophets had said before (Moses, Samuel, David) and yet, as Israel’s history unfolds further (beginning with Solomon), it seems that all of these pretty words fall on deaf ears. All of these events were recorded for posterity but apparently posterity did not take heed. This all goes to underscore the importance of having a discipline of reading the Word on a daily (or regular) basis.

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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