Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 28

Prayer Point.  Psalm 28 calls us to trust God with our safety and more importantly, justice. This is what empowered Jesus to love his enemies and pray for them. Grab one or two of the beautiful promises on this psalm and meditate on them. May these promises give you the faith to be Christ-like in the face of evil today.

Matthew 11:25-30

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. Jesus was largely rejected by the rich, powerful and religious people of his time, while the poor and sinners flocked to him.  His disciples were not the best and brightest, but included fishermen and tax-collectors.

In Biblical times, a rabbi’s “yoke” referred to his teaching and the way of life he required his disciples to follow.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus praises his Father.
  • From whom Jesus’ teaching was hidden and to whom it was revealed and why.
  • The only path to know God the Father (verse 27).
  • The nature of Jesus’ teaching (yoke).

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 15:41-50

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. Like a seed, our physical bodies will die, only to have new life emerge with a new “spiritual” body. How will our new bodies compare to the one we have now? How does the first Adam (Adam, the first human being created in Genesis 1) compare to the last Adam (Jesus Christ)? How are we like the first Adam? How will we become like the Second Adam?

What can’t “flesh and blood” and “perishable” inherit? How will this problem be solved? You’ll have to read tomorrow’s reading.

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.

Lamentations 1:1-12

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? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. “Lamentations is not an emotional outburst but a formal expression of grief in a high literary style.  However, each lament moves rapidly from one topic to the next, revealing that the writer’s soul is still in turmoil.  Like most elegies, the lyrics in Lamentations deal with profound loss by recollecting past glories and cataloging what is now gone forever, lamenting the finality of the losses while at the same time seeking consolation in present sorrows and some hope for the future.” [ESV Study Bible Introduction to Lamentations p. 1477]  So although we may associate mourning and grieving with lamenting, the biblical view includes an element of hope.

Lamentations is ascribed to Jeremiah though the book does not itself identify its author. It is a collection of poems (laments) written to mourn the destruction of Jerusalem. The lamentations are poems written acrostically which means little to those of us confined to other than Hebrew.  It means that the first verse begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet; the second with the second and so forth until the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are expended.  What this means to us is that a great deal of thought and skill went into the writing of Lamentations.

Israel in this book is identified with the “city”, “Zion”, “Daughter of Zion”, which are all references to its capital city Jerusalem, home to the Temple of God, which was destroyed by the Babylonians. Jerusalem in turn is personified as a woman. When you think about Israel’s history, who do you think the ‘lovers’, and ‘friends’ are? What did these ‘lovers’ fail to deliver? How have the ‘”woman’s” children and princes suffered because of her infidelity?

The punishment for the “woman’s” adultery has caused her to be exposed with the world despising her and looking on her shame and nakedness. Compare this to Jesus’ experience on the cross. He hangs there naked on the cross, as his enemies heap scorn upon him. Whose shame is Jesus bearing?

Imagine these words applied to the crucifixion of Jesus:

Lamentations 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see. Is any suffering like mike suffering that was inflicted on me, that the LORD brought on me in the day of his fierce anger?

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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