Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, October 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 18

Prayer Point. Although Psalm 18 arises out of David’s life experience, it belongs to his son, Jesus. It is Jesus who is suffering unjustly in our place. It is God the Father who rescues his Son from death and crowned him the King of Kings. Meditate on the love, forgiveness and power of God expressed through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Matthew 10:34-42

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. Why does Jesus say he “did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”? What does that mean? Who should our priority be according to Jesus? According to Jesus, what does it take to find one’s life? Jesus is flipping the traditional understanding of life upside down. What kind of commitment does it take to become a disciple?

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 14:26-40

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 bkground to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What do you notice about Paul’s instructions for organizing a worship service? Who participates? How is each person’s participation related to their spiritual gift? How does this compare to the way we worship on Sunday mornings? Are we lacking anything?

How should the gifts of tongues and prophecy be practiced in the church? For a definition of the gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy see the notes on 1 Corinthians 14:1-12.

Verses 34-36 are difficult to interpret for a number of reasons. 1. It violates our own cultural sensibilities when it comes to the equality between the sexes. 2. 1 Corinthians 11:5 clearly assumes that women did pray and prophecy in the church. The problem Paul is addressing is the lack of order in the Corinthian church. Everyone is out for themselves. Paul is not saying that women are not competent to speak, he is concerned that while prophecy was going on in the church service, there were women who were disrupting the worship service. Needless to say, Christians are deeply divided on this passage.

Paul’s chief concern is that the spiritual gifts were practiced in an orderly and selfless way that builds up the whole congregation.

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.

Jeremiah 38:1-13

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. Can you imagine being put in this situation? Your country is at war, but God has called you to prophesy against your own country and predict its defeat. Look at the advice Jeremiah is forced to give his countrymen. What charges are going to be leveled against him? Think about this. Is there a time when your loyalty to God trumps your loyalty to your home country? How do you see Zedekiah’s courage wavering again?

What makes this story especially troubling, is that it takes the courage of a Gentile, a non-Jew to rescue Jeremiah. Ebed-melech [“servant of the king”] is an Ethiopian and a eunuch who worked for the king is the her, while  the King of Judah is clearly not up to the job. The question for Israel, is where will we find a king that will the fulfill the promises God made to King David. Who will step up and be that king that will reign forever? Zedekiah, a son of David, is a huge disappointment. Is there another hope as night falls on Judah?

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s