Daily Bible Readings – Monday, December 23, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 61

Prayer Point. David has seen the pain, sorrow, and violence of our world and so he cries out to God.  He prays for the coming of God’s kingdom, when Jesus will be enthroned forever. What pains you about the world today? Lift it to God by praying, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Luke 1:1-25

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. Zachariah had the faith to pray for a son, but when the answer came he couldn’t accept it.When you have answers to prayer do you accept them or do you have trouble believing? Unbelief produces silence (Psalm 116:15; 2 Corinthians 4:13), faith opens your mouth in praise to God. Who was this child to be born unto Zachariah and Elizabeth? What makes this a special event in biblical history? Who is this child to become? Why does Zachariah lose his speech? Why did Elizabeth say, “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”?

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.

Titus 1:1-16

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. Paul served as an apostle of Jesus Christ in that he was sent out by him to preach his message. In obedience to his call, Paul traveled throughout the Roman Empire, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ; he formed churches from among those who believed the message; helped the church establish itself before moving on to the next town to repeat the process. Paul did not minister alone but had a number of men and women who served alongside of him. Titus is one of those co-workers.

This letter was written following a mission campaign where Paul and Titus established new churches on the island of Crete. Paul will be moving on, but he leaves Titus behind to complete the work of developing leaders for these new churches so that they might be able to survive on their own.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Paul sees himself and his purpose.
  • His relationship with Titus.
  • The reason Titus was left behind on Crete.
  • The positive and negative criteria Titus was given for choosing elders for the churches in Crete.
  • How the criteria for selecting elders was related to their mission and the situation they faced in Crete.

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 3:14-20

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 opening words of this section of Zephaniah enjoin the people of Israel (returnees from captivity) to sing, shout aloud, to be glad and to rejoice. Why? [The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back our enemy. v. 15a NIV] What words of comfort does Zephaniah speak in verse 15b? [“The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.” NIV] Why is Jerusalem exhorted not to fear and “do not let your hands hang limp” (or grow weak)? [“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.” v. 17] What other wonderful things are declared in verse 17? [“He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing”] Verses 19-20 speak of a future period of time. What will be Israel’s (or Jerusalem’s) lot then? [The LORD will deal with the oppressors; rescue the lame; gather those who are scattered (like sheep); bring them home; give honor and praise to them – all this before their very eyes.]

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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