Daily Bible Readings – Friday, September 20, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 73

Prayer Point. We believe that God watches over his people, but it troubles us that the wicked seem to prosper.  Sometimes we envy them.  Meditate on this psalm and pray that God will give us the faith to say, even in difficult times, “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you …”

Matthew 5:11-16

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. It was believed that suffering and ill-fortune were signs of God’s displeasure. How does Jesus interpret the insults, persecution and false accusations his followers will receive? What is promised to those who suffer for the sake of Jesus? Who else was treated in this way?

In ancient times salt was used as a preserving agent as well as for flavoring food.

What is Jesus saying about the “flavor” of the citizens of the kingdom?  In what way are Jesus’ disciples light? What should our good deeds cause those outside of our faith to do?

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 3:16-23

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.  Keep in mind that the “you” of verse 16 is plural. If we were in the south we could say “y’all are God’s temple.” What is God’s new temple on earth? How highly does God value his new temple?

Apparently there were great divisions in the early church as early Christians identified themselves as followers of Paul, Apollos and Cephas (Peter) not unlike the way Christians today hitch their wagons to Calvin, Wesley or Rick Warren. What does Paul exhort the Corinthian Christians to do instead of boasting and arguing about their great wisdom?

 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.

2 Kings 1:1-18

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 stories of the Bible hold two truths in tension: 1. God is in control of human history. 2. Man is responsible for the choices the he makes. This is especially true in the story of Ahaziah the son of Ahab, the new king of Israel.

Because of Ahab’s repentance, God decided that he would not wipe out Ahab’s dynasty until after Ahab’s death. That judgment was going to fall on Ahab’s son, Ahaziah (1 Kings 21:28-29). In God’s plan, Ahaziah is destined to fall under judgment. But at the same time, Ahaziah makes a decision that justly brings judgment upon himself. What did Ahaziah do that made him deserving of God’s judgment? What happens when Ahaziah attempts to send soldiers to kill the messenger?

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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