Daily Bible Readings – Monday, September 9, 2013

Prayer  Psalm: 44

Prayer Point. Jesus spoke of two enemies of the soul, the rocks (our struggles) and the thorns (our triumphs). When we are successful, we forget that it was God, not us, that brought it about. When we struggle, it is easy to blame God and give up. Psalm 44 is a psalm for both the rocky and thorny periods of our lives. If you are struggling, or know someone who is, focus more on verses 9-26 and turn it into your own prayer for help. If life is good, meditate on verses 1-8 and turn it into a prayer of praise.

Mark 15:40-47

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. Joseph of Arimethea asks Pilate for the body of Jesus. Pilate, after finding Jesus was dead, grants the body to Joseph. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where Joseph laid the body.

Why does Joseph of Arimathea, respected member of the council, ask to bury the body of Jesus in the tomb? What is he risking? Remember he would be ceremonially unclean for handling the body of a dead man. Why is it important for Mark to let us know that these women were witnesses to the burial of Jesus? Why would he write this when women had no legal rights as witnesses during this period of history?

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.

Philippians 1:1-11

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

Background. Philippians, a letter written in the 1st century, follows the form of letters from that time:

1. The author(s)
2. The recipient(s)
3. Thanksgiving / Blessing
4. The Main body of the Letter
5. Final Greetings

Who are the author(s) of the Philippian letter? Who is the letter addressed to? Note that the modern concept of saints (Saint Jude, Saint Peter) did not exist in the 1st Century. “Saint” was a term for any follower of Jesus. An overseer is what we call an elder or pastor today. The church in Philippi (located in Macedonia, northern Greece) was planted by the Apostle Paul (see Acts 16:9-40). What is it about the Philippian church that causes Paul and Timothy to rejoice? How does Paul and Timothy pray for the Christians in Philippi?

 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 13:1-10

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. Jeroboam, the king of the new northern tribes of Israel who broke away from David’s grandson Rehoboam, has set up two shrines to the God of Israel in Bethel and Dan. He is afraid that his subjects, who traveled to a Jerusalem still under Rehoboam’s control to worship God, would transfer their allegiance to the Israel’s southern kingdom. Evidently Jeroboam’s fears held greater sway over him than the promises made to him by God through a man of God. God promised Jeroboam a dynasty, but he simply does not trust God.

How does God send the message to Israel that their altars in Bethel and Dan will be destroyed and their very kingdom will end?

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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