Daily Bible Readings – Monday, September 30, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 89

Prayer Point. God’s story with Israel is a tale of God’s faithfulness despite their faithlessness. God saves. His people forget. God sends judgment. His people cry out and God sends a Savior. Israel’s story is our story. Praise God for the ways he has been faithful to you. Confess the way you have been unfaithful to him. Lift up your needs to him and ask him to save you.

Matthew 6:25-34

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. Worrying about the necessities of life is a universal human experience even here in the United States where few of us have known true hunger.  How is it possible not to worry about such things?  What does Jesus point to as examples of God’s faithfulness?  What would we have to believe about God in order to not worry for food, clothes and shelter? What should consume our thoughts if not the basic necessities of life?

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 7:25-31

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 is Paul’s advice to those who are single? Married? We normally see singleness as a ‘problem’ to be solved. How does Paul view it? Why does Paul encourage single people to stay single, even though he says it is not a sin to get married?

How does Paul call us to view our lives and the stuff or our world? How do we view our marriages? Our happiness or sadness? Our possessions? Why?

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 17:24-41

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 Assyrians pursued a policy of forced resettlement in order to quash any possibility of rebellion in their empire. The Assyrians moved the people of Samaria to Gozan in Assyria and the cities of the Medes beyond the Tigris River.  In turn, the Assyrians transported peoples from Babylonia and parts of the Assyrian Empire to Samaria and these people did not come alone: they brought their gods with them. The worship of God dies out in Samaria (the land of former kingdom of Israel).

How does God restore worship of Himself in Samaria? How does Israel ironically begin to fulfill its mission to be a light to the nations in its defeat? What does religious life look like in Samaria from that point on?  

It must be noted that the priest sent from captivity to Samaria to educate the new inhabitants of the land would have instructed them in what he knew, namely, the “way of Jeroboam and … his sin which he committed, making Israel to sin.” (1 Kings 16:19b)  So idolatry was part of the mix.

The descendants of these newly resettled people became known as the despised Samaritans in Jesus’ day. The Jews would have nothing to do with them, but it was Jesus and later his disciples who finally bridged the divide (see John 4).

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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