Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Prayer  Psalm: 119:25-48

Prayer Point. Understanding and following the law of God (following Jesus) is very difficult.  Psalm 119 reminds us that we face formidable obstacles within ourselves and in the world around us.  Which obstacles are present in your life.  Lift those up to God and pray that he will give you the wisdom, the strength, the faith and the courage to follow Jesus.

Mark 15:1-11

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. We see here that the whole council held a consultation early in the morning. During this time they bound Jesus and carried him away to Pilate. Pilate asks Jesus in verse 2, “Are you the King of the Jews?” This is an important question. Notice Jesus’ response, “You say so.” Here once again Jesus is turning the world upside down. It is important to understand that any claim to be King of the Jews would be met with Roman punishment. Crucifixion was the form of punishment they used to squash any insurrection. (Remember, the thought inside the Jewish mind was that the Messiah would come and defeat the Romans and establish his kingdom). But notice what Jesus does here. He stands quiet and does not answer the charges brought before him.

Why does Jesus remain quiet? What kind of kingdom is he going to establish?

Pilate stands amazed that Jesus does not answer any of the charges. There was a custom that the Roman governor in the province could release a prisoner for the people during the festival of Passover. Pilate asks if he should release the, “King of the Jews”. The chief priests stirred up the crowd and had them ask to release Barabbas, an insurrectionist and murderer, instead.

What are the Jewish leaders motivated by here?

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.

James 3:1-12

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. What should give us pause before we pursue a teaching role in the church? Why are our tongues so dangerous? What damage can the tongue cause? What good can it do? In verse 8 James declares that “no man can tame the tongue.” What hope does this give us, if any? How do we go about changing so that fresh water flows out of us instead of salt water?

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. ” – Jesus (Matthew 12:34)

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 9:24-10:13

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

Background. How would you describe Solomon’s accomplishments? Is there anything that troubles you?

Solomon builds a fleet.  He and Hiram send seamen off to Ophir (which is believed to be near present day Ethiopia) and returned with 420 talents of gold (or 31,500 lbs.; or 504,000 oz. which at $1,700 per ounce comes to: $856,800,000 in US dollars today).  Let’s just say that Solomon was very rich indeed!  It is more than probable that this wealth was at the root of his later problems.  “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:10 ESV)

What brought the Queen of Sheba (probably in modern day Yemen) to King Solomon’s court? What did she discover once she got there?

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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