Daily Bible Readings – Monday, December 9, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 25

Prayer Point. “To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.” Are we ready to pray this? Are there areas of our lives that we will not lift up to God? Confess those parts of your life to God and pray for the faith to believe that “all the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful.”

Matthew 22:23-33

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 Sadducees were a sect of Judaism that did not believe in “dangerous ideas” such as life after death and the resurrection which helped them curry favor with the Roman authorities. Because they Sadducees downplayed ideas that might inspire the people to revolt, the Romans gave them the positions of authority in Israel including controlling the temple. Here we see that they are trying to get Jesus to discredit himself.

How does Jesus’ answer demonstrate the reality of the resurrection? What will this resurrected life look like?

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 1:1-8

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 popular perception is that the book of Revelation is a vision of the end of the world. While the book certainly deals with the return of Christ, it would be wrong to say that this book is exclusively about the distant future. It has something to say to us right now (see Revelation 1:19) and is it did for the book’s readers in the first century AD. A proper understanding of chapter 1, will be key to understanding the imagery in the rest of the book.

Prologue 1:1-3. Whose revelation is it? When will the events described in this book take place? Who received the revelation? How was the revelation communicated to him? What promise is given to those who take the time to read the book of Revelation?

Greetings and Blessings 1:4-5a. it is important to remember that that the “book of Revelation” is a letter written to a specific group of real people at a certain time and place.Who is the author of the letter? Who are the recipients? The Roman province of Asia comprised the western part of what we call Turkey today. The seven churches were churches that John (the author of the Gospel of John and 1,2,3 John) ministered to in the later part of his life.

Typical of letters from this time period, John includes a blessing (grace and peace to you …) in his greeting to the seven churches.How is each member of the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) described in his blessing? Numbers in Jewish tradition and later in the Christian writings are highly symbolic and this will be important to remember as you read this difficult book. Seven is the number signifying perfection or completion. So, seven spirits of God does not mean that God has seven holy spirits. It is a statement about His perfection.

Worship 1:5b-8. What is about God, what has he done in the past, what will he do in the future that causes John to respond in worship?

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 7:1-9

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? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Amos receives three visions in verses 7:1-9. What does the first vision concern? (verse 7:1) What does Amos do? What is the Lord’s response? [The vision concerns a plague of locusts and Amos asks the LORD to relent. The LORD relents.]

What does the second vision reveal? Again, what does Amos do? Again, what does the LORD do? [Here the LORD is calling for judgment by fire. Once again Amos beseeches the LORD to have mercy. The LORD shows mercy.]

What is different about the third vision and Amos’ response? What is the LORD’s response? [Amos finally gets it. Judgment is Israel’s destiny (with good reason).] How many times must the LORD plead with his people (us)? Amos begins to understand how much the LORD has been offended and he begins to see things as the LORD sees them.

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.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s