Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 130

Prayer Point. We have created the oceans of pain and misery in this world. So how can we expect God to hear us when cry out for mercy? Because with God there is forgiveness. Follow Psalm 130 in prayer today by lifting up to God the pain of your life and brokenness of our world. Thank him for his forgiveness. Make space in your life to wait quietly for his answer.

Luke 18:9-14

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 guide you.

Background. Pharisees were highly regarded in Jesus’ day for their commitment to God and his Law. Tax-collectors were despised because they profited from the misery of their countrymen by serving the hated Roman occupiers and defrauding them in order to line their pockets.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why the Pharisee’s prayer is rejected and the tax collector’s prayer accepted?
  • What the tax collector’s prayer can teach us about repentance.

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.

Hebrews 12:1-14

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 guide you.

Background. The book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish followers of Jesus who were experiencing persecution. It was severe enough for them to consider abandoning their faith in Jesus and returning to the safety of Judaism. This book was written to encourage them to cling to Jesus and to persevere in their new faith.

In chapter 11, the writer provided several examples of persevering faith from their Jewish history and now in chapter 12 the writer starts to point them to Jesus.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Jesus can inspire us to persevere when we are persecuted.
  • How Christians should interpret suffering, especially what it tells us about our relationship with God.
  • How we should treat others despite our suffering.

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 5:6-15

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?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?  You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel…” opens the fifth chapter of Amos. As I read this line I have to remember that Amos is still a shepherd with a heart broken for his people. Do we ever experience such sorrow as to “lament” for those around us? Are our hearts broken for the broken world we live in?

What is the LORD’s plea to Israel (verse 4-6)?  What are they asked not to do?  What are they called to instead? The people are admonished against going to Bethel. This is meaningful because it is in Bethel that one of the two golden calves was set up for worship. This cannot help but be regarded as idol worship. The warnings against going to Gilgal and Beersheba are given simply because they are doomed to go into exile.

How have the Israelites treated those who have attempted to speak God’s truth to them and warn them of impending judgment (verse 10)?

Jesus taught that the worship and true love for God was deeply connected to the way we love our neighbor.  The Israelites have abandoned the worship of the true God.  How has that impacted the way the Israelites treated their poor neighbors (verses 11-13)?

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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