Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 8

Prayer Point. If you need a bigger view of God and a smaller view of yourself then get outside at night and look up at the stars as David, the composer of Psalm 8 did. How is it that the God who made the stars even notices us?  How is it that our insignificant planet played host to Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God? Let the wonder of that move you to worship God in prayer.

John 11:45-57

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 we see that many of the Jews believed in Jesus because of the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. We also see that some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Here the council is plotting and the High Priest planning to kill Jesus for what they believed to be the safety of the nation. What was the council and the high priest afraid of? Why do you think they were so afraid of the Romans? What fear drove the council to reject Jesus’ claims? How does Caiaphas unwittingly serve God’s purposes even though he is fighting 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 5:34-42

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 Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, had the apostles arrested for preaching openly about the resurrection of Jesus in the temple.  They hoped to intimidate the apostles into silence.  The apostles, who fled from the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested, no boldly defied the High Priest.  The Council was furious and wanted to illegally put the apostles to death.

How does God use Gamaliel to save the apostles?  How does the fact that Jesus’ followers fill the world 2000 years later demonstrate Jesus was something more than all the other men of his time who claimed to be the Messiah?  

Gamaliel was the most highly regarded rabbi of his time.  He happened to be the Apostle Paul’s mentor and may have been a secret follower of Jesus at this time.

How do the apostles respond to their persecution?  Why?

 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 19:8-21

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 is God’s question for Elijah when he comes to speak to him? How does God respond to Elijah’s despair? Why do you think it was so important for Elijah to encounter God in the way he did? What hope and what mission does God give Elijah to revive him?

Notice the people God will use to carry out his purposes.  Are they all righteous people?

What new dimension is added to Elijah’s ministry?

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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