Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, December 8, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 149

Prayer Point. New songs were sung when God intervened and saved his people by defeating their enemies.  God’s ultimate victory was Christ’s death and resurrection. Meditate on what that victory means for us and pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

Matthew 22:15-22

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. The Pharisees and the religious leaders of Israel understood full well that Jesus’ actions in the temple (Matthew 21:12-17) and the three parables (Matthew 21:23-46) were spoken against them. Rather than humbly repent before their God, they attempt to discredit Jesus by asking a question about the most volatile issue of their time, paying taxes to the occupying Roman Empire.

Jesus knew they were putting him in an awful position. For if he answered yes, he would lose favor with the people. If he answered no, he could bring the wrath of the Romans down on his head.

How does Jesus answer their questions? Does he fall in the camp of those who want to cooperate with the Romans, or those who wish to overthrow them, or neither?

On one side of the silver denarius was a profile of Tiberius Caesar, with the Latin inscription “Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus” around the coin’s perimeter. On the opposite side was a picture of the Roman goddess of peace, Pax, with the Latin inscription “High Priest”[ESV Study Bible Notes].

As humans we are all created with the image of God stamped on us. To give God the things that are God’s would simply mean to give our lives to God.

What do you think Jesus would tell us today?

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.

Jude 7-15

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. How are Jude’s readers to withstand the attack of these false teachers? Why should they ignore their teaching? It is not enough to shut their ears to the lies, they must fill their minds with the truth. How are they to ‘build themselves up’ in verses 20-21? How are they to treat those who are struggling with their faith (verses 22-23)?

Verses 24-25 are a closing prayer that is often used as a benediction today as a closing to a worship service. Who makes this possible for us to stand firm? Why is God worthy of our faith and our praise?

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.

Amos 5:18-27

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 people of Israel regarded the “day of the LORD” as the day where God  rescued them from the evil people who oppressed them.  Why should Israel not look forward to this ‘day of the LORD’?

How does the LORD feel about the people’s feasts? and their burnt offerings? their songs? What does the LORD want for Israel?  Is it possible to worship God while at the same time treat your neighbor unjustly?

Love for God cannot be separated from living justly and loving your neighbor as yourself.

What is the penalty for Israel’s empty worship and unjust living (see verse 27)?

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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