Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, September 7, 2013

Prayer  Psalm: 42

Prayer Point. Spiritual dryness and general sadness can either drive us to our addictions that dull our emptiness, or we can allow that thirst to fuel our pursuit of God. Pray Psalm 42 today, that the emptiness and brokenness in your life will drive you to Jesus.

Mark 15:33-39

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. It is important to note the times here in this passage. Mark 15:33 Between noon and 3:00 p.m. there was darkness. This was not a solar eclipse. Darkness represents lament (Amos 8:9–10) and divine judgment (ESV Study Bible Notes). Jesus calls out to his Father asking why he had forsaken him. Mark 15:34 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Jesus utters the opening words of Psalm 22 and in so doing cries out to God in the immense pain of divine abandonment (see Isa. 59:2; Hab. 1:13), which he suffers as a substitute for sinful mankind . Yet the following verses of Psalm 22 also anticipate divine intervention on his behalf (cf. Heb. 5:7–9) (ESV Study Bible Notes).

Why was Jesus suffering the abandonment of God? What does this accomplish?

In verse 38 we see the temple veil torn in two. What is the significance to that happening? The curtain of the Temple separated, but also protected the people from the presence of God. Mark 15:38 The inner curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, removing the separation between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (see Heb. 9:2–3, 12, 24; 10:19–20). Access to God is now provided by the unique sacrifice of Jesus, rendering the temple sacrifices obsolete (ESV Study Bible). In what way does the tearing of the curtain by God remove the separation from man and God? Who is the new sacrifice that atones for the sin of the people?

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 5:7-12, 19-20

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 are we to live as we wait for Christ’s return? How are we to handle suffering? How are we to treat each other?

In James 5:12, James echoes the teaching of Jesus in (Matthew 5:34-47). The problem here was that there were several levels to promises in the Jewish world. People swore by the temple, or Jerusalem or heaven itself. The promise was more binding or less binding depending on what you swore by. In other words, you swore by something to give yourself an out (like kids today who cross their fingers). James, and Jesus for that matter, wanted Christians to simply keep their word.

How should we respond in the following situations: sickness? Trouble? Happiness? A fellow Christian who has wandered away from following Jesus? Is this how you respond to these situations? Why or why not?

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 12:1-20

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. There is a paradox that runs through the stories of the Bible.  God is in control over the flow of human history and yet we are morally responsible for the choices we make.

How do we know that what happens to Rehoboam was part of God’s plan?  At the same time, how is Rehoboam responsible for what happens to him?

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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