Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 94

Prayer Point. We live in a world where the most vulnerable: widows, orphans, the unborn and refugees are often oppressed with impunity. Many say, “the Lord does not see.” Pray on behalf of the weak and the oppressed. Pray that God will be their fortress.

Matthew 7:1-12

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. Judging, according to Jesus, is a final “writing off” of a person.  ”You will never amount to anything.”  ”You will always be a liar, and I will never trust you.”  What will happen to those who judge and condemn other people?  Does Jesus command, ‘do not judge’, preclude the possibility that we might have to point out the sin in another person?  What must we do before we approach someone and point out their sin?

“Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw pearls to pigs …”  (verse 6)  This verse is difficult to understand and there is wide range of opinion as to what it means.  My best guess is that Jesus is drawing a contrast between giving yourself to people and putting your exclusive trust in God which follows in verses 7-11.  The “sacred” and the “pearls” would refer to the giving of our trust to another.  Will it be a fallen human being, or to God?

How are we to ask God for good gifts?  How are we to see Him?  How are we to see ourselves?

How does Jesus sum up the Old Testament Law in one sentence (see 7:12)?

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 7:32-40

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. Why does Paul encourage unmarried men and women to remain single? What advantages are there to remaining single? For what reason should a single person pursue marriage? What does Paul have to say to widows and widowers? Why do you think Paul is keen on encouraging us to stay ‘as we are’?

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 Chronicles 29:1-3, 30:1-27

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. What extraordinary events took place during Hezekiah’s reign that sets him apart as one of the most righteous of the kings of Judah?

The Passover feast was an annual festival commemorating Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. The holiday was to remind the people of what God had done, so they would not forget him and in their amnesia pursue other gods. The Passover was to be held on the 14th day of the second month (prescribed by Moses, the Passover is to be on the 14th day of the first month).  This was unusual and was explained away because there were not enough Levites consecrated in the first month.  Bear in mind that the Assyrians had by now carried off may Israelites.  Undaunted, Hezekiah wanted all in both Israel and Judah to join in the celebration.  It had been years since the festival had been celebrated. You can imagine how far Israel had drifted from the God who saved them.

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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