Daily Bible Readings, Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 46

Prayer Point.  It is easy to despair over the evil in our world. We fear for our safety. The wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. The economy is uncertain. Psalm 46 calls us to fix our eyes on another reality, God’s reality. Pray that we might know that God truly is “our refuge and strength” so that “we will not fear, though the earth give way.”

Luke 16:1-13

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background.  Jesus taught that our possessions belong to God. We are only managers of God’s stuff, not owners. Some day we will have to make an account of what we did with his things.

This parable is a strange one because the master seems to praise his manager for his dishonesty. This story will confound you if you read it straight. Jesus’ stories are meant to throw us off our game in order to help us see the world through new eyes. This story drips with irony giving it an edge that drives the point home.

Pay close attention to …

  • What causes the manager to change the way he handled his master’s possessions.
  • How the master feels about having his money given away.
  • The lesson Jesus would like us to learn from this story (verse 9).

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.

Acts 28:14b-23

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. As the book of Acts comes to a close, let’s take a step back at look at the ground we’ve covered. The book opened with the resurrected Christ giving a promise to his disciples:

Acts 1:8 But you receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of earth.

Acts is a story of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church in Jerusalem (chapter 2). The shockwaves of that event, Pentecost, radiate out like the ripples of a rock hitting the water; first Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria, and finally the ends of the earth. The message was given to Israel and then extended to the Gentiles, and so God calls a people for himself from every nation under heaven.

Who does Paul preach to when he gets to Rome? How does he explain his appearance in Rome? What sources does Paul use to convince the Jews of Jesus’ message about the Kingdom of God? Note that Law of Moses and the Prophets is the Jewish way of saying “Old Testament.” What kind of response does Paul get? Why does he decide to preach to the Gentiles? As the story ends, how do we know that the promise to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth has been fulfilled?

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.

Nehemiah 7:73-8:18

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. This reading of the Law of God by Ezra at the Water Gate is a pivotal moment in this book. Here the Law (Genesis – Deuteronomy)  is proclaimed and if that were not enough, those who did not understand were taught it [the law, the statutes, the rules, and the ordinances].

What do you notice about the way the people responded to the Law of God?  What do they do?  Compare their reaction to our reaction to the commands of Jesus?

It is extremely important to keep the Word of God before us at all times.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share 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?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s