Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, December 15, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 63

Prayer Point. Are we hungry and thirsty enough to reach out to God? Meditate on the promises of this psalm. Confess our lack of faith in these promises. Pray for the faith to believe that God, not money, not relationships, will satisfy us.

John 5:30-47

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 Law of Moses, the law given to Israel by God, summarized by the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20), required all legal testimony to be verified by two or three witnesses.  Jesus is claiming to be the Son of God, but the crowds are skeptical. The implied question is: where are the two witnesses to support your outlandish claims?

Pay close attention to …

  • Why Jesus doesn’t need John the Baptist (see  John 1:19-36 for John’s story) as a witness.
  • The witnesses that verify Jesus’ teaching.
  • The reason the Jews missed Jesus even though they were experts of the Bible (see verses 37-47).

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.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

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. We worship one God, but this one God exists as three persons: the Father,  the Son and the Holy Spirit.  All three worked together to bring the universe into existence. Today’s reading celebrates that all three, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, work together to bring about our salvation.

Paul, the author of this letter, will mention a few terms that warrant some explanation:
Gospel. Good news or specifically the message that the Jesus we crucified by our sin has been raised from the dead by power of the Holy Spirit and elevated by the Father to the throne from where he now rules as eternal king of the universe. Jesus, our new king, offers the promise of forgiveness and eternal life to all those who humbly return to him, confess their sin and believe this good news.

Sanctifying.  The process of becoming holy. Through God, not only is sin’s guilt forgiven, but its power is slowly destroyed. We have been saved through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are being saved in that God is slowly sanctifying us and making us more like Jesus.  We will be saved in that one day we will stand before God sin-free.

Pay close attention to …

  • The distinct roles that the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit (Spirit) play in our salvation (verses 13-14).
  • How we are to respond to God’s initiative (verse 15).
  • Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians and for us (verses 16-17).

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 9:11-15

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. In verse 11 to what does “that day” refer? What plans does the Lord have for “that day” once the destruction is complete? What kind of abundance is in store for “that day”? What is the supreme hope in this final passage? [“‘I will bring back my exiled people Israel; … I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God.”

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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