Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, November 21, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 105

Prayer Point.  Romans 1 tells us that our sin is rooted in our failure to recognize God and give thanks to him. We are often ungrateful because we forget what he has done for us. Psalm 105 recounts what God did for Israel, but what has God done for you? Take note of the big and small things He has done for you and offer Him your thanks.

Matthew 18:1-9

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. How do the disciples view greatness? How do we understand greatness? What does Jesus say about greatness in the eyes of the kingdom? What must we become like in order to enter the kingdom of heaven?

Youth was not valued in Jesus’ day as it is today. A person’s status in Jesus’ day increased with age rather than diminished. To identify with a child was to identify yourself with the lowest of society.

In most societies, the gods identified themselves with the ruling class. Who does Jesus identify with? Whoever welcomes this ______________  welcomes me. What will Jesus do to those who cause one of his little ones to fall into sin?

While Jesus sees temptation as inevitable, what does Jesus say about those through whom temptation comes? Why would Jesus use such harsh terms talking about dismemberment of the body parts that cause us to sin?

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 21:22-22:5

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. A temple simply is a place where God’s presence dwells. In the Old Testament it was a tent (the Tabernacle) and then later the temple in Jerusalem. Why is there no temple in God’s Holy City? Why no sun or moon? Why are the gates always open? Who will be invited to live in this city?

You might remember from the story of Adam of Eve (Genesis chapters 2 and 3) that there were two trees in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of the Knowledge of God and Evil and the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve in disobedience to God’s command ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For their sin, the world was cursed with death and Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden. Why?

Genesis 3:22 … [Adam] must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.

What tree do you see in God’s holy city? Why is it now gone?

Jesus, through his death on the cross reversed Adam’s curse and destroyed death forever. That victory became certain at the cross. This victory will be complete when Christ returns and this vision is fulfilled. That gives us something to look forward to as we enter the season of Advent!

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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