Daily Bible Readings – Friday, October 4, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 107

Prayer Point. “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107 gives us numerous examples of the love and faithfulness of God. Meditate on one of the examples that resonates with you and offer God a prayer of thanks.

Matthew 8:1-17

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 when a ceremonially clean and holy man came in contact with an unclean and unholy person, that the holy man became unclean.  What happens when the holy and clean Jesus touches the unclean, unholy man with leprosy?  

A centurion was an officer in the hated Roman army that occupied Israel.  What does Jesus see in the centurion that causes him to exclaim, “I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”?  Why will it be that many in Israel who were born into the kingdom of heaven be cast out, and many who were born on the outside be brought in?  What does it take to be invited to the feast of the kingdom of heaven? How does Jesus finally respond to the man’s faith?

How does the author Matthew connect the healings that Jesus performed to the Old Testament (see verse 17)?

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 9:16-27

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. How does Paul live differently based on who he is preaching to?  Paul says that when he is with the Jews he lives like a Jew and when he is with gentiles (those without the law) he lives like a gentile.  Why?

For Paul to become like a Jew in order to win the Jews meant that in their presence, he held to Jewish customs and practices, such as keeping Kosher. Paul understood that he was no longer bound by these cultural practices, but for the sake of his audience, he keeps their traditions so that they will be able to hear the message of Jesus Christ.

Paul compares the Christian life to the life of an athlete in training. What would your spiritual life look like if you approached your faith the way an athlete prepares for the Olympics?

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 19:1-20

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. I confess that I was disappointed when Hezekiah resorted to bribery to fend off the Assyrian king.  It was a lot of money and too much trust was placed in something other than the LORD.  Happily, the Assyrian king was unimpressed with the offering and decided rather to destroy Jerusalem and Judah along with it.  This time, however, Hezekiah tears his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the temple.  At last! He sends word to God’s prophet, Isaiah, desperate for a word from the LORD.

What is God’s message to Israel? How does God give Israel a reprieve? How does Sennacherib attempt to destroy Hezekiah’s faith in God? What does he point to as ‘proof’ that he cannot be resisted?

Notice what Hezekiah does with Sennacherib’s letter. How does Hezekiah appeal to the LORD to act? Whose honor would God be protecting by driving off the Assyrians? How does Hezekiah see God as being different from the “gods” that Assyria had defeated? Notice how Hezekiah ends his prayer. What does Hezekiah hope will come from Israel’s deliverance? Think about this, why did God deliver us from sin and death through the Son and the cross? How was God motivated by the same purpose in saving us as he was in saving 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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