Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 45

Prayer Point. Today’s psalm was written for the wedding of a Jewish King, but I think it is best understood in light of the great wedding when King Jesus will marry his bride, the church at the end of all things. The poet expresses a number of hopes for the world under the reign of this great king. Pick two or three that resonate with you and pray “your kingdom come.”

Matthew 24:32-44

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. Christ here is warning to prepare for his second coming. Jesus is telling his disciples to look at the signs of the times. It is important to note that Jesus says in verse 35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Matt. 24:42 stay awake. Christians should not merely keep looking for the coming of the Son of Man. Instead they should be completing the work of the Great Commission (28:19–20), as well as being prepared and expectant, because the time of Christ’s return is unknown (24:36). On readiness for Christ’s return; cf. 1 Thess. 5:1–11; 1 Pet. 4:7; 2 Pet. 3:2–18[ESV Study Bible Notes].

What does Jesus say regarding the day and hour of his return? Why? Who alone knows the hour of his return? What attitudes should characterize Jesus’ followers as they prepare for the end knowing that his return is imminent?

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 3:14-22

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

Background. The letter from Jesus to the church of Laodicea (an actual church in Western Turkey that received this letter) relayed through John. How does Jesus identify himself in verse 14? Why does Jesus find the church in Laodicea so distasteful? What should the church do about the situation?

The word ‘repent’ implies a humble return to God. For a story example read Matthew 18:21-29. The clothing refers to Christ’s goodness and righteousness that covers over our sin when we humbly return to him.

What promise does Jesus hold out for this church if they overcome (think: hold on to their faith, persevere)?

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.

Zechariah 2:1-13

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. What does Zechariah “see” in this vision? How does the second angel describe Jerusalem? Does this describe the Jerusalem Zechariah is familiar with? What promise does the LORD make concerning Jerusalem? What encouraging and urgent command does the LORD give (v. 8)? According to verse 8 how does the LORD regard his people? To whom is the LORD giving this command (both to Israel and the captives of Judah in Babylonia)? What does the LORD have in store for those who took his people captive and plundered them? To what end does the Lord prove himself? ( v. 9b “Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me.” ESV) What age-old promise does the Lord make to the “daughter of Zion”? (v. 10) Who else benefits? What does verse 12 say about the LORD’s forgiveness and mercy? What image is brought to mind when you read verse 13?

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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