Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, November 26, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 130

Prayer Point.  We have created the oceans of pain and misery in this world. So how can we expect God to hear us when cry out for mercy? Because with God there is forgiveness. Follow Psalm 130 in prayer today by lifting up to God the pain of your life and brokenness of our world. Thank him for his forgiveness. Make space in your life to wait quietly for his answer.

Matthew 19:23-30

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.  Many Jews in Jesus’ day fully expected the Messiah to come and establish God’s kingdom on earth. The question on everyone’s mind was who was going to be allowed to enter this kingdom of heaven? Out of the crowd steps a young man who is both wealthy and devout which would have made him a likely candidate to enter Messiah’s kingdom.

How does Jesus answer the young man’s question, “what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

Jesus answer would not have caught his hearers off guard. Most Jews would have believed that some obedience to the law of Moses would have been required. Jesus quotes most of the second half of the Ten Commandments which is summarized in the one command, “love your neighbor as yourself.” What’s interesting is that Jesus leaves off the last commandment, “do not covet” and the first half of the 10 commandments which are four commandments describing what it means to “love God with all your heart, mind and soul.”

How does the young man react to Jesus’ requirements? What is the young man lacking? Why do you think Jesus sets the bar so high? Why can’t the young man reach Jesus’ bar? Could you live up to this standard? Do the disciples think they can?

If anyone was going to be allowed in the kingdom of God, it was this man. He was a law keeper and he had the wealth to show evidence of God’s blessing in his life. If he can’t get in, who can? How does Jesus answer this question? Whose power will cause people to enter God’s kingdom?

What does Jesus promise Peter and those like him who give up everything to follow Jesus?

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 Peter 2:1-10

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. In chapter 1 we learned that Jesus is two things:

Jesus is the lamb of God through which God the Father redeemed us. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Jesus is the word of God through whom we are forever changed. (1 Peter 1:23)

How are we called to live in response to Jesus in 1 Peter 2:1-2? What do we get rid of? What do we fill ourselves with?

Identity in America is thought of in terms of “I”.  “Who am I?” With Peter, identity is a community thing. Who are Christians together? Who is Christ? Why is Jesus a stumbling stone for some and a cornerstone for others? How are we formed into a community?

Peter draws these images of a “spiritual house” and “a royal priesthood” from the Old Testament. Before Christ, the temple was a tent and then a building of stone where the people went to worship God. The priests were those who offered sacrifices on behalf of the people.  Now that Christ has come … Who is the temple? Who are the priests? What are the priests called to do?

We see another reference to the Old Testament in verse 10. Before God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt, they were “not a people”, just a group of slaves.  They became a people when God set them free. What caused us to become “the people of God”? Did we make it happen ourselves?

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.

Obadiah 15-21

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.

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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