Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 74

Prayer Point. How do you pray when you lose something you believed was forever? That is the dark place this prayer originates. Asaph laments the destruction of his beloved city, Jerusalem, and God’s temple. He asks, “why have you rejected us forever, O God?” Think of someone in your life that is in this place and pray psalm 74 on their behalf.

Matthew 5:1-10

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. This passage, known as the Beatitudes, includes eight sayings that describe the virtues of a disciple in the kingdom of heaven. Each beatitude speaks of an inward quality of a disciple and a reward. What is the overall posture of a person who is called blessed according to these verses?  What is God looking for in a disciple or citizen of the kingdom? How is it different than the world’s understanding of a successful person?

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 2:13-3:15

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 role does the Holy Spirit play in our coming to know God?

Why does Paul consider the Corinthian church to be worldly and infantile?

How does Paul see himself, Apollos, and God working together and not in competition with each other? Think about Paul’s farming analogy. What roles do people play in spreading the message of Jesus? What role does God play?

Think now about Paul’s construction analogy. What is the foundation? Who builds the house? How will we know if our work has been of any value?

 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 22:29-45 

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. How does Ahab futilely attempt to escape God’s judgment? How does he die in the end? What is significant about what happens to Ahab’s blood?

In all of Judah’s history there were four “good” kings and four “not so good” kings and the remainder were “bad” or evil kings in the LORD’s sight. They all had one thing in common: they were all descendents of David. Asa was the first of the “good” kings and he was succeeded by his son Jehoshaphat who also was good. As we have seen, Jehoshaphat and Ahab were contemporaries and it was Jehoshaphat who had established peace between the two nations.

In what ways what Jehoshaphat a righteous king? What did he fail to do?

As a religion, the worship of the God of Israel was quite demanding. Sacrifices to God could only be made at the temple in Jerusalem. Pagan worship on the other hand, was far more convenient. There were altars scattered throughout Israel on a high place near you. You didn’t need to go to Jerusalem. The Israelites adopted incorporated this practice into their worship of God by erecting altars on high places, eliminating the need to go to Jerusalem, but violating the command of God.

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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