Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:73-96

Prayer Point. The God who made us is  the God we must obey if we seek to live with wisdom. His law are the path to life. But there are obstacles that block our attempts to follow him: our own ignorance, sin, and the brokenness of our world. What is getting in your way as you try to follow Jesus?  Lift those to God, ask him to remove them that we might live according to his will.

Matthew 4:18-25

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.

The highest aspiration for a young Jewish man in Jesus’ day was to become a rabbi. To become rabbi, you needed to become a rabbi’s disciple. This was not easy. Prospective disciples applied to the rabbis they wished to follow. If the rabbi believed that the young man had the intelligence and the integrity to do what he did, he accepted the prospective disciple with the words, “follow me.” If he rejected the young man, he would encourage him to go home and ply the family trade. (For more on this, check out the video “Dust” at http://nooma.com/nooma-dust-008-rob-bell.php )

What is different about the way Jesus accepted disciples? Who approached whom? What were Simon Peter and Andrew doing when Jesus called them to follow him? Why do you think Peter and Andrew did not hesitate to follow Jesus?

Why did Jesus’ fame spread so quickly? What was he doing? What was his message?

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 2:1-13

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 Corinthians, as did all Greeks, valued a speakers’ communication skills over the substance of their message just as a politicians today are judged by their ability to connect to the camera more than the validity of their ideas.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Paul appeared to be weak to the Corinthians.
  • Why it was important to for Paul to communicate the Gospel in weakness.
  • The power that allows us to to know “the secret wisdom of God.”

 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 22:1-28

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 two kings of Israel (Ahab of the Northern Kingdom and Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom) have come together to reclaim taken by the Arameans (Syria). Before they go to war, Jehoshaphat asks that they first inquire of the LORD. There is only one prophet left in Israel (the northern kingdom). Why does Ahab hate him? What note of sarcasm do you see in Micaiah’s initial “prophecy” to Ahab?

In Macaiah’s true vision, he sees Israel as a flock sheep scattered without a shepherd. Why? Because Israel’s kings have failed. It is no accident that when Israel’s true king arrives in Jerusalem hundreds of years later, this is what he saw:

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:35-36

How are the false prophets, who promised victory for Ahab and Jehoshaphat, part of God’s plan to bring judgment on Ahab?

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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