Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, November 16, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 136

Prayer Point.  God deserves our gratitude because he is both our Creator and our Savior. Make this psalm your own by meditating on God’s creation and remembering the times he has rescued you and offering your thanks in response.

Matthew 16:21-28

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. Now that Peter has finally recognized Jesus to be the Christ (that’s Greek for Messiah), Jesus now begins to explain what kind of Messiah he will be? Why is Peter shaken by the Jesus’ answer?

Jesus’ response to Peter is quite severe. Why do you think Jesus attributes the idea, that he can be King without going to the cross, to Satan? Look back at the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11.

How are we, the disciples of Jesus, to follow the trail he blazed for us? The sight of a condemned prisoners parading through the streets on their way to their crucifixion was a sight not unfamiliar to the disciples. That is the image Jesus uses to describe our discipleship. Why would we want to do such a thing?

In verse 28 Jesus says that there are some there who would see the Son of Man (Jesus) coming in his kingdom. While many disagree, I believe that Jesus is speaking of his ascension into heaven which is described in Daniel 7:13-14 from heaven’s perspective.

Daniel 7:13-14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man approached the Ancient of Days [God the Father] and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

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.

Revelation 20:1-6

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 image shifts again and John sees a new vision. This vision does not continue the action of chapter 19, but instead allows us to see the ground we’ve covered already from a new angle. You might remember in chapter 11 that the two witnesses (representing God’s faithful people) were preserved for 1260 days. In chapter 12 God’s faithful people is symbolized by the woman who also is protected for 1260 days from the pursuing beast. In chapter 20, the same story is told but from a different perspective and with different images. The numbers are different, 1000 years instead of 3 and ½ years, but remember that numbers are highly symbolic in the book of Revelation.

In this vision, God’s people are protected through the binding of the beast.What is the beast unable to do now that he is bound? What does this mean for the church today as we seek to spread the gospel? Can we expect some success? What will happen, however, before the end?

What happens to the followers of Jesus who are killed because of their faith? Where are our deceased brother and sister Christians right now?What do you think the first and second deaths are? What are the first and second resurrections? While we all experience the first death, why do we no longer fear the second death?

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.

 

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