Daily Bible Readings – Monday, September 23, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 77

Prayer Point. Asaph, the author of Psalm 77, is thinking back on how he prayed during a dark period in his life.  He cried out to God and refused to be comforted. He then reminds God of the great things he has done and asks him to do it again. Try following this prayer today, either for yourself or someone you know that is in need.

Matthew 5:21-16

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. Of all the laws in the 10 Commandments one would think that “do not murder” would be the easiest one to keep. How does Jesus redefine our understanding of murder? Are we murderers according to Jesus?

God’s Law was never only about not breaking rules. The heart of God’s Law is to love him and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is not enough to avoiding murdering our brother or sister in our hearts, we are also called to actively love them. How does Jesus ask us to love those we are in conflict with?

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 4:8-21

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.  Read this portion of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church keeping in mind that this church was among the wealthiest of its time. How did the Corinthians self-perception of being wealthy affect the way they viewed Paul and the other apostles? How did the apostles’ way of life challenge the Corinthian way of life? How does it challenge you? You might want to compare the apostle’s experience with the way of life Jesus laid out in Matthew 5:1-11.

What would it look like for the Corinthian church to make Paul their spiritual father? How would this new father-son relationship change the way they lived? What present sins would be overcome?

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 5:1-19

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. Consider these promises to Israel as you read this story:

Genesis 12:3 “… all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Isaiah 49:6 “… I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

How do these promises play out in Naaman’s story? In the ancient world, a military victory was considered a victory for the victorious nation’s god and loss for the losing nation’s god. How does God use this “defeat” to advance his purposes? What is “required” of Naaman in order to be healed? What does God ask of us to be “healed” of our sins? How is Naaman transformed by his experience? How is Elisha gracious to him?

Look for these two themes in the story:

1. The grace of God cannot be bought.

2. The mercy of God extends beyond the tribes of Israel.

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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