Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, November 23, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 33

Prayer Point.  Psalm 33 praises God because he is our creator, sustainer, protector and savior. How have you experienced God in these ways? Remember them and worship God in response then pray for the faith to trust God as you face the problems of today.

Matthew 18:21-35

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. “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

The conventional wisdom among rabbis in Jesus’ day was that a person should forgive someone three times. Anything beyond that was enabling. Peter, sensing that Jesus has a more expansive view of forgiveness, increases it to seven times.

How much larger is Jesus’ understanding of forgiveness than our own?

What is your impression of the servant who was forgiven the debt of 10,000 talents? Do you think he deserves his fate?

Here is some background information on the debts that were owed. A talent was the largest unit of measure and 10,000 was the largest number used in Greek language in the first century. In other words, this debt is astronomical.

The debt owed the unmerciful servant is considerably smaller by comparison but is still significant. A denarius was a day’s wage, so one hundred denarii was a third of laborer’s annual salary. Can you imagine taking a financial hit like that?

Here’s something else to think about. Jesus turns the tables on us in verse 35 by identifying the unmerciful servant with us. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. If we are unmerciful servants, who is the forgiving king? What did it cost the king to forgive us?

What are some of the 100 denarii debts that are owed you? How does the understanding of the debt we owe God affect the way we are able to forgive those who hurt us? What will happen to us if we fail to let go of the debts that are owed us?

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 22:14-21

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. Who enjoys access to the tree of life and who is shut out? Who sent the angel to give John the visions contained in the book of Revelation? Who are these visions for? What is the Holy Spirit and the church’s (the bride) message to the world? Who is this water of life? See John 7:37-39; John 4:10; Revelation 22:1.

What is Jesus’ final message to his faithful suffering people?

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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