Daily Bible Readings – Friday July 27, 2012

Prayer Psalm: 54

Prayer Point:  When David is attacked by his enemies, what does he believe and what does he ask of God in Psalm 54? Make this psalm the pattern of your prayers today when you are afraid.

Matthew 27:1-10

Compare and contrast Judas’ response to his sin to that of Peter’s (see Matthew 26:75). What does Judas do to try to undo the sin he had committed? Do you think this is true repentance on the part of Judas? Why or why not?

Why are the priests unable to put the returned money into the temple treasury? How does its eventual use also fit into God’s plan?

Romans 15:14-24

If Paul considered the Christians in Rome to be full of goodness and knowledge, for what purpose did he write this letter to them?

You might have noticed in verse 15 that Paul writes “because of the grace God gave [him].” We normally think of grace of God’s unmerited favor in forgiving sinners, but it also refers to the spiritual gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to every Christian and that is the meaning that Paul has in mind here. These gifts or “graces” are what determine our unique callings and ministries as we follow Jesus. What is Paul’s unique grace-empowered ministry? Who does he preach to? Where has he been? In what sorts of places is he called to preach?

Remember that this was Paul’s unique calling based on the grace that was given him. Our calling and the graces to fulfill those callings will be different. What do you think your unique mission might be?

Joshua 9:22 – 10:15 – Joshua and the Gibeonites / The Sun Stands Still

What does Joshua say to the Gibeonites regarding their deception? (“You are now under a curse: You will never cease to serve as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.” (Joshua 9:23 NIV))

And their response to this was? (“They answered Joshua, ‘Your servants were clearly told how the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.’” (Joshua 9:24-25 NIV))

If you had heard that a mighty fighting force had come into the neighborhood – a force which had wiped out two important cities (Jericho and Ai) and had humbled a third city into submission, what would you do? (I like to think I would sue for peace but not Adoni-Zedek, King of Jerusalem. He enlists the help of Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. This Adoni-Zedek wants to attack Gibeon. Because of this treaty between the Gibeonites and the Israelites, Israel will have to defend Gibeon from this onslaught.)

This time Joshua seeks the LORD’s help. What does the LORD tell him? (Now this is a case of the LORD bailing Joshua out of a problem of his own making. The LORD tells Joshua: “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” (Joshua 10:8 NIV))

While it is a foregone conclusion that these five kings will meet with disaster, what is the distinguishing feature about this victory? (“As they fled before Israel … the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.” (Joshua 10:11 NIV))

What is the odd thing that Joshua does without any apparent explanation? (“Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: ‘O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped till the nations avenged itself on its enemies. … There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!” (Joshua 10:12b-13a, 14 NIV))

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