Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 26

Prayer Point. Psalm 26 doesn’t describe my life because Jesus is the only one man who can pray this prayer with integrity. Imagine him praying as he is crucified between two thieves. He is the one who lived a blameless life on our behalf. He is the one bore the punishment for our failures. God hears us because we belong to the blameless one, Jesus. Use Psalm 26 to praise God for Jesus.

Matthew 22:34-46

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. Why did the Pharisees get involved when they were rivals with the Sadducees? We see here that it is because Jesus is upsetting the power balance. The Pharisees and Sadducees both were interested in keeping the Mosaic law, but they were also interested in keeping the status quo.

Why were the Pharisees asking Jesus what was the greatest commandment of the law? What is the heart of the law according to Jesus? What does this look like?

(Verses 41-46) Here we see Jesus quoting Psalm 110:1 of David. What Jesus quotes is a Psalm that the Pharisees already beleived had to be speaking about the Messiah. The problem is if the Messiah is the Son of David, how could David call him Lord? In Israel it would be considered strange for a father to call his son Lord. How can he call him his son, ‘Lord’ and yet be his father at the same time?

They don’t want to accept what Jesus is pushing. The son of David has to be greater than David himself.

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 1:9-16

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 Letter begins in 1:9-20. How does John identify with his readers? Here is one detail to help you make sense out of John’s circumstances. John is the island of Patmos, an island off the western coast of Turkey, because he had been exiled by the Roman government. Imagine the disappointment, fear and doubt that the seven churches must have experienced being deprived of their leader and the despair John must have felt. Why is it important for God to send a message of encouragement at this time?

“In the Spirit” (verse 10). This is a description of an intense time of prayer under the influence of the Holy Spirit. What John “sees” is a vision or a dream given him by the power of the Holy Spirit. What is John commanded to write down and send to the seven churches (this became the content of the book of Revelation)?

In his vision, John sees a mysterious figure with eyes of fire standing among the seven lampstands holding seven stars.What do the lampstands represent? What do the stars represent? (Verse 20 tells us).

Who is this mysterious figure? Here are some things to help you answer this question. Remember that what John is describing is a vision, a dream. In visions, images are symbols. The question becomes how do you figure out the meaning of the symbols. The best approach is to ask yourself, where have we seen these images in the Bible before and do they shed light on how to interpret this passage? The description of the mysterious man is full of references to other prophecies in Scripture, here are some examples:

  • “One like a son of man” is a reference to a vision recorded by the prophet Daniel in Daniel 7:13-14. This is a vision of the ascension of Jesus into heaven.
  • Compare the clothes and appearance of the mysterious figure to the Daniel’s vision of God in Daniel 7:9 and 10:4-6.

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 7:10-17

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 is the one who tattles to King Jeroboam about the king’s fate? What did Amos predict about Jeroboam? What does Amaziah say to Amos and how does that fulfill prophecy (see Amos 2:12b)? What is Amaziah’s advice (command) to Amos? What is Amos’ clever response? What curse-like prophecy does Amos see for Amaziah?

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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