Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Prayer  Psalm: 45

Prayer Point. God will throw a wedding feast when his Son, Jesus, will marry his bride, his people, the church. Today’s psalm was written for the wedding of a Jewish King, but I think it is best understood in light of the wedding of King Jesus. The poet expresses a number of hopes for this king. Pick two or three that resonate with you and pray “your kingdom come.” The poet also challenges the bride to believe in the King’s love. How is God challenging you to believe in the love of Christ. Pray for the faith to rest in his love.

Mark 16:1-20

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Why does God send an angel to tell the news to the women? Where does he tell the women to go? Why there? What message does this angel have for the disciples and Peter?

Here we see the unbelief of the disciples. Three witnesses told them of Jesus’ rising from the dead. Jesus finally has to go to the disciples themselves and show himself to them to believe.

Why do you think it was so hard for the disciples to believe? What is Jesus’ message to the disciples? How do the disciples respond?

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 1:12-30

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. From your own reading you might have guessed that Paul is writing this letter from prison. It is believed that Paul was writing from Rome towards the end of his life. Some of the most powerful letters have been written from jail including Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail. The experience of imprisonment adds poignancy and urgency to Paul’s letter.

What is it that gives Paul hope as he sits in prison? How has God used his imprisonment? What is most important to Paul, even more important than his own freedom? What does deliverance look like for Paul? What is the great dilemma that he faces? For what purpose does Paul believe that God will keep him alive? What does Paul mean by “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” and what does it have to do with suffering? In verse 29 two things were granted to the Philippian Christians, to __________________ but also to ___________________.

 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 16:23-34

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. Following Jeroboam’s reign came several decades of instability in the northern kingdom of Israel.  Omri was a usurper who defeated Zimri another usurper who killed Elah the king who was the son of Baasha and so it goes and goes.  There is no established dynasty in Israel as there is in Judah (David’s descendents) but there is murder, mayhem and civil war throughout Israel’s history.  All of the kings of Israel are guilty of idolatry; as expressed in the biblical epithet “For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”

How does Omri continue the sins of Jeroboam? How does Omri’s son, Ahab, continue Jeroboam’s sins and go beyond them?

While the land of Israel was under Canaanite control, Jericho was a center of pagan worship in that land.  Jericho was one of the first cities to be destroyed by the nation of Israel when they entered the land.  God laid a curse on anyone who dared to rebuild the city (see Joshua 6:6). Rebuilding Jericho was a sign that Israel had completely gone over to idol worship.

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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