Daily Bible Readings – Friday, December 20, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 40

Prayer Point. How can we repay God for his kindness and salvation? We can do nothing but offer ourselves in gratitude. Think about the ways God has demonstrated grace in your life. Confess to him the areas of your life you are afraid to offer him. Tell him your troubles and ask him to save you once again.

Matthew 25:14-30

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’ earthly ministry is coming to a close. Soon he will leave earth and journey to his Father in heaven. To prepare his disciples for his departure, he tells the story.

Who is the master in the story? Who are the servants? What are the talents that are given to the servants? Which servants are praised? Why? Which servant is condemned? Why? How did the servant who hid his talents view the master?

What will we have to believe about God in order to freely invest what he has given us in the work of building Jesus’ kingdom?

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 5:6-14

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Who steps forward to open the scroll? What is interesting about this Lamb? Who must this Lamb be?

What do the four living creatures (representative of the reflection of God’s glory in creation) and the 24 elders (representative of God’s people, Israel and the church who have died and are in heaven) do once the Lamb opens the scroll? What do they sing about?

Throughout history God’s people sang “new songs” in response to a “new action” performed by God to save his people. We knew God as our Creator. Now through Jesus, we know God as our Savior.

Like ripples on the water, worship of Jesus, the lamb of God, begins at the throne and moves out to fill the whole universe. Who surrounds the 24 elders (God’s redeemed people – Israel and the church who have died) and the four living creatures (symbolic of the creation)? What do they sing? Remember that God’s plan of salvation goes beyond saving people, but also includes the restoration of all Creation. How do the creatures of the sky, the earth and the sea get in on the act?

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 7:8-8:8

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. Remember this?

Micah 6:8b: “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

How does this apply to Chapter 7 verses 9 and 10? How does the LORD describe the response of the people? How is the heart of the people described? What is the result of this behavior? What happens when the people cry out to God? What was the LORD’s judgment? What happens to the land? [The land is made desolate. I think the LORD was purging the land of all its evil just as he did when he brought the Israelites into the promised land. j.t.] What is the Lord’s determination for Jerusalem in Chapter 8? [He will return and dwell there; Jerusalem will be called faithful; the mountain of the LORD – the holy mountain. Both the very old and the young will fill the streets.] What does the LORD promise to do? [He promises to bring his people back from the east and the west and to save them and as the prophet Jeremiah predicted: they shall be his people and he will be their God.]

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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