Daily Bible Readings, Monday, September 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 64

Prayer Point. Before you pray this psalm, put yourselves in the shoes of someone you know who is a victim of injustice. Following the flow of this psalm pray that: God will hear them, cause the plans of the wicked to backfire, and that God’s intervention will cause our world to fear and worship him.

Matthew 4:1-11

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. Notice that Jesus was “led by the Spirit” to be tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Why would God lead his Son into such temptation by the devil?

One way to look at Jesus’ life is to see that he is retracing the steps of Israel. Jesus is born in Bethlehem, but flees to Egypt just as Israel (Jacob) and his sons fled to Egypt. Israel was enslaved in Egypt, but God brought them out of slavery, wandering for forty years in the desert before they reached the Promised Land. Did you notice how many days Jesus spent in the wilderness?

Israel’s story in the wilderness was one of tragedy. The people were tempted when the water ran out and the bread ran low. How did Jesus do when he faced the same temptation? In what other ways was Jesus tempted?

Think about this, Jesus stands as our representative in the wilderness. He is succeeding where Israel failed and where we failed. Jesus not only died for our sins. He earned for us God’s blessings by living a righteous life.

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 Corinthians 1:1-19

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. Corinth was located in a commercially strategic location in Greece with ports providing access to Rome in the west and Asia Minor (Turkey) in the east. Consequently, the church in Corinth was among the wealthiest churches in the Roman Empire. See if their struggles mirror the challenges that we face as Christians in America as we are also among the wealthiest churches of our time.

How does Paul identify himself as the author of this letter (along with Sosthenes who was most likely an assistant / missionary intern serving with Paul)? The word ‘apostle’ means ‘one who is sent.’

How does Paul identify the recipients of the letter, the Christians in Corinth? The word sanctified here means to be made holy or set apart by God. So what Paul is saying here is that God has made you holy (sanctified – past tense) now go and be holy. That is a common theme in the Bible. God has made you who you are. Now go and be who you are.

What is it about the Corinthian church that causes Paul to give thanks to God? Why is Paul confident that the Corinthian church will be ‘strong to the end’?

What does Paul see in the Corinthian church that troubles him? What do you think Paul would think of the state of the church today with its many denominations and divisions? Who or what is to be unifying force in the church? How does Paul view the rejection of the gospel by the the wise and the intelligent?

 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 21:1-16

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. 

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house … or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

(The 10th Commandment – Exodus 20:17)

Naboth refuses to sell Ahab his vineyard because he is a righteous man. When Israel entered the promised land, each family received a piece of land as a gift from God. It was theirs to enjoy. It was not be sold.

Take a look at the 10 commandments in Exodus 20. How many of these commandments are broken because Ahab coveted Naboth’s vineyard?

Contrast Ahab to our true king, Jesus:

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant …” (Philippians 3:6)

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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