Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 78

Prayer Point. This prayer is about passing the knowledge of God on to the next generation. Pray that your church will remember what God has done; not only in the Bible, but in our own lives. Pray that we will be faithful in sharing what God has done with the next generation, so they in turn will tell their children.

Matthew 5:27-37

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. Adultery was considered an extremely serious offense because, in addition to violating another person, it broke the marriage covenant that was a reflection of the relationship between God and his people (ESV Study Bible Notes). Where, according to Jesus, does adultery begin? What does this passage say about our eyes and our hands? Note that Jesus isn’t calling for self-mutilation here. Do you think there is a reason, though, that Jesus uses such strong language here?

In ancient times divorce was widespread and easy to obtain. “God instituted a regulation through Moses that was intended to uphold the sanctity of marriage and to protect women from being divorced for no reason” (ESV Study Bible Notes). Divorce also was a problem because it endangered the women’s property rights leaving them, in many cases, destitute. What is Jesus’ view on divorce and marriage?

While the Jews professedly adhered to the law, they had introduced a number of oaths in common conversation during the time of Jesus. For example, they would swear by the temple, their head,  heaven or by the earth. Why would they do this? If you swore by something lesser than God, you had the legal wiggle room to break your promise.  Oaths were originally meant to cause people to keep their word, but the custom had been so distorted that it gave people legal-cover to break their word. What does Jesus think about the promises we make?

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 5:1-8

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 major problem does Paul see with the Corinthians’ way of life? How should their attitude towards sin in their community change?

Paul’s command to hand the blatantly immoral brother over to Satan, is not a reference to final judgment, but a desire to see this person turn from their sin and return to God. Those who are proud of their sin and possess no desire to change were to be put out of the community (“handed over to Satan”) with the hopes that this person would struggle (as the younger son did in the story of the Prodigal Son – see Luke 15:11-31 ) and humbly return to 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.

2 Kings 5:19-27

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. Naaman offers considerable wealth to Elisha as payment for his healing. but Elisha refuses to accept it. What motivates Gehazi to go after Naaman and ask for money? Have you ever been offended by the grace God gives to undeserving people? How does Gehazi wind up bearing Naaman’s curse?

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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