Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, October 19, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 21

Prayer Point. This psalm looks forward to the coming of King Jesus. It is he who will return to destroy evil and establish his eternal kingdom upon the earth. As we watch the news and struggle through our lives, use this psalm to build your hope and to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 11:7-15

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. John the Baptist, the prophet sent to prepare the world for Jesus’ arrival is deeply disappointed. He had expected his cousin Jesus to overthrow the evil oppressive powers that dominated Israel and establish God’s kingdom in its place. John had courageously called out the sins of Israel’s tyrant Herod, but had landed in jail for his trouble. Time past and John fell deeper into despair. He sends his disciples to Jesus and asks: “are you the one or should we wait for another.” Jesus confirms that he is the one and then turns to the crowd to tell them about John.

In this passage Jesus will refer to Elijah who was one of Israel’s great prophets. It was believed that Elijah would return prior to the coming of the Messiah to prepare the people for his arrival.

Pay close attention to …

  • What Jesus says about John despite his doubts (verses 7-12).
  • John’s identity for those who are willing to listen to him (verses 13-15).

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.

1 Corinthians 15:12-29

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 bkground to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background.Apparently some in Corinth preached against the idea resurrection from the dead. How central is resurrection to the Christian faith? What are we left with without resurrection?

Paul refers to Jesus as the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (15:20) “Fallen asleep” was the term early Christians used to refer to physical death, emphasizing its temporary nature. For Jesus to be the firstfruit of those who have been raised from the dead, means that Jesus is the first resurrected human being with a new, perfect, imperishable body. If you want to know what your resurrected body will be like, take a look at Jesus in John 20. 

The concept that Jesus is a “second Adam” is an important theme in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Notice how he compares and contrasts Jesus to Adam.

Through Adam all _______________________. Through Christ (sometimes called the second Adam) all will be _________________. (15:22)

What must Christ do before the end of this world can come?

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.

2 Kings 25:8-12, 22-26

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. You can best understand Israel’s story through the lens of their special relationship or covenant with God. When God rescued his people from Egypt he created a covenant with them. If Israel remained loyal to God, God promised to bless them. If they broke his covenant …

Deuteronomy 28:32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand .

By the time Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians finished with Jerusalem, who and what is left? What happens to Zedekiah because of his lack of faith and courage? What happens to the temple? What happens to the small remnant left behind in Judah? Where of all places do they flee?

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.

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Daily Bible Readings – Friday, October 11, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 141

Prayer Point. While external threats exist, our most dangerous enemy is the one within. The psalmist prays for protection in three areas: his mouth, his heart and his pride. Are any of these areas a problem for you? Pray today that God will protect you from your own sinful nature.

Matthew 9:27-34

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. Notice here how the blind men recognize Jesus. Son of David was a term used by the Jewish to address the messiah. It was known that the messiah would be a descendant of David (Isaiah 9:7) (Life Application Study Bible Notes). What is interesting to note here is that it is prophesied in Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; and 42:7 that the messiah would restore the sight to the blind.

Notice the question Jesus ask the two blind men. “Do you believe I am able to do this?” What does Jesus say that heals the men? Why does Jesus warn them not to tell people? What do the men contribute to their healing?

What happens next is interesting. What does this say about Jesus’ power to cast out demons? What does the crowd’s reaction say about Jesus? Why do the Pharisees react this way? Something to note here is that Jesus performs miracles to confirm people’s faith never to create it.

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.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

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. How does the church function like a human body? What is true of every Christian? In what way is each Christian unique? In Paul’s understanding of the church and the Christian faith is it possible to be a Christian all by yourself? What responsibility does each of us have to the church community?

American society values people based on what they do. Therefore a CEO is valued more than the night janitor. Different roles exist in the church. Some are leaders and some are more behind the scenes. In what way is the church different from our world? How are the ‘lesser roles’ to be valued by the church?  How are Christians to view the sufferings and successes of their fellow Christians?

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.

2 Kings 23:26-24:17

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. Although Josiah’s reforms were impressive, God’s wrath for the sins of Judah under King Manasseh remained. God promised that judgment would not come until after Josiah’s death (2 Kings 22:15-20). With Josiah now dead, idolatry returns to Judah and along with it the looming threat of God’s judgment.

How has Judah become re-enslaved to the Pharaoh of Egypt? What new threat appears in Israel that is more terrifying than Egypt? Can Israel find a king with the power to save them?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, October 10, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 134

Prayer Point.  Psalm 134 was a prayer blessing the priests who served on the temple’s night watch, preparing the sacrifices for the next day. We too have brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe who serve God while we sleep.  Use this psalm to pray that God will bless them.

Matthew 9:18-26

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.Notice what happens here. A ruler in charge of the synagogue comes to Jesus. His daughter has died and in an act of humility and faith he got down on his knees and asked Jesus to raise his daughter. What does Jesus do when the ruler asks him to raise his daughter?

Next we see a woman who had a bleeding disorder for twelve years come on the scene. This woman was considered by Jewish law to be unclean. Imagine, for twelve years being an outcast living in isolation. Christ changes all of that and where does it begin? According to Jesus what healed the woman? Notice how she reaches out to Jesus. It wasn’t the “correct” way, but it was sufficient for her healing.

Once again we turn to the ruler and his daughter. Typical of Jewish funerals professional mourners were hired to mourn for the deceased. Jesus tells them to go away. Why does Jesus send the crowds away? What does this miracle say about Jesus’ power over life and death? Since Jesus has the power over life and death shouldn’t we trust him with all our problems?

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.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

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. What is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit (see verse 3)? “Jesus is Lord” was no idle statement. In Paul’s day, “Caesar is Lord” was the pledge of allegiance of the Roman Empire. To declare “Jesus is Lord” was considered to be an act of treason.

While all Christians have the same Spirit, and the same Lord, how is each follower of Jesus unique? Why is each Christian given “spiritual gifts” by the Holy Spirit? What examples of spiritual gifts does Paul give us? For a fuller list of spiritual gifts see 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; Romans 12:1-8; Ephesians 4:11-13; and 1 Peter 4:10-11. How would you define spiritual gifts? Which gifts do you think you have?

We live in a society where gifts and talents are a means to enriching the self. Who is to benefit from our unique set of spiritual gifts?

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.

2 Kings 23:4-25

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? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. How far did Josiah’s campaign to remove idol worship and the corrupted forms of the worship from the Israel?

Josiah had what might best be described as a “scorched earth” policy regarding the high places and the altars and shrines dedicated to any god other than the LORD.  There would be no other place of worship except in Jerusalem.  Once in Bethel, Josiah destroyed the high place, burned the Asherah (the consort goddess for the LORD provided to Him by Manasseh).  Not happy with that, Josiah unearthed the bones of those buried in Bethel in the high place and burned them on the altar and defiled it “according to the word of the LORD that the man of God proclaimed who had predicted these things.” (2 Kings 23:16 ESV. See also 1 Kings 13:2 where the prophesy is proclaimed.)

What did the celebration of the Passover look like? What is the author’s assessment of Josiah? Why?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 128

Prayer Point.  Why do we struggle to follow Jesus? Because we don’t believe that obedience is the path to fulfillment. Confess your sins to God today and pray for the faith to believe the promises that are given in this psalm.

Matthew 9:9-17

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. The tax collector, Matthew (who is the author of this book), and his friends were some of the most hated men in all of Israel. They not only worked for the oppressive Roman government, they were cheats as well. It was well known that the tax collectors took more than their fair share. You can imagine the utter dismay of the Pharisees when they hear that Jesus was dining with them. Thus they ask the disciples why Jesus is eating with tax collectors and sinners. What is Jesus’ response to the Pharisees? In what way should the church follow that example? What does it mean when Jesus says, “I desire mercy not sacrifice”?

Here John’s disciples ask a legitimate question. “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” What is Jesus’ answer to John’s disciples? Who is the bridegroom? Who is the bride?

In Bible times, wine was not kept in glass bottles, but in goat skins sewn around the edges to form watertight bags. New wine expanded as it fermented, stretching the wineskin. After the wine had aged, the stretched skin would burst if new wine was poured into it. New wine, therefore, was always put into new wineskins (Life Application Study Bible Notes). The point Jesus is making is that fasting does not “fit” the time while the bridegroom, Jesus, is with his disciples, just as new wine does not “fit” into old wineskins.

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.

1 Corinthians 11:23-34

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 received the tradition of communion from __________ and passed it on to ___________.

Communion, sometimes called the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus as he celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples on the night he was betrayed by Judas and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. See Matthew 26:17-30. Just as the first Passover was celebrated on the night before Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt, so also the first Communion was celebrated on the night before Jesus liberated us from slavery to sin by going to the cross and rising from the dead. Just as the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine were part of the celebration of Passover, the cup and the bread are shared in communion.

What is the significance of the bread and the cup? For what purpose do we drink the cup and eat the bread? What should we do before we eat the bread and drink the cup?

Paul has a warning for those who participate in communion in an unworthy manner. Celebrating communion unworthily is connected to not “recognizing the body of the LORD”. While some have argued convincingly that failure to recognize the body of the LORD, is taking the bread and cup without recognizing Jesus’ body and blood in the elements, I believe that Paul has a different form of Christ’s body in mind. The church community is the body of Christ that has gone unrecognized.  Look at verse 33 and verses 20-22 to see what Paul means by celebrating communion unworthily. What have the Corinthian Christians experienced because they made a mockery of the Lord’s Supper?

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.

2 Kings 22:14-23:3

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. [ESV Study Bible Notes p. 689] “22:8 I have found the Book of the Law. The phrase “Book of the Law” is used in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) only in reference to Deuteronomy (e.g., Deut 28:61; 29:21), which was read to the king and provided the basis for his actions. Available to the kings of Israel and Judah in previous years (cf. 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 10:31; 14:6; 18:6), it was evidently lost or concealed during the long reign of the apostate Manasseh, who systematically infringed its laws.

The book of the Law was rediscovered after being lost for decades. To King Josiah’s horror, he discovers that Israel was bound by a covenant to God, to love and worship Him exclusively and love their neighbor as themselves. They have failed miserably and now live in fear that the threatened curses will fall on them because of their sin. Desperate for a word from God, a delegation is sent to the prophetess Huldah.

What is Huldah’s message to Josiah? What grace will God extend Josiah because of his humility and sorrow for the sins of Israel?

The kindness God extends is not unlike the mercy shown to the despicable Ahab! (See 1 Kings 21:25-29.)

What does Josiah do once he hears from Huldah? Why do you think he calls the people to repent and rededicate themselves to their covenant with God when judgment has been pronounced to be inevitable? Do you think God’s justice can be turned by true repentance and faith?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Tuesday, March 8, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 124

Prayer Point.  Let’s face it. We assume that safety, food in our refrigerator, health and our homes are a given. Psalm 124 reminds us where we would be without God. Take time today to thank God for the things we too often take for granted.

Matthew 9:1-8

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. A man lays paralyzed at the feet of Jesus. Which of the paralytic’s problems does Jesus choose to address first? Why does this enrage the teachers of the law?

What was Jesus’ motive with the physical healing? What does the healing reveal to us about the authority of Jesus?

Once again we see Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man. This is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 where Daniel describes the son of man as one who will be given an everlasting kingdom by the Ancient of Days (God the Father).

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.

1 Corinthians 11:2, 17-22

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. What drives Paul to conclude that the Corinthian churches meetings (church services) do more harm than good? What exists among them that should not exist?

It appears that the Corinthian church celebrated communion, the Lord’s Supper, as part of a meal that was shared by the whole community.

What is wrong with the way they celebrate the Lord’s Supper? (obviously getting drunk during communion is a big problem, but what else?)

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.

2 Kings 22:1-13

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? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Because Manasseh and Amon eschewed (i.e. go around or avoid) the way of the LORD, it happened that the temple fell into disrepair.  Josiah commissioned Hilkiah the high priest to take the money collected for the temple and give it to the workmen to get the temple repaired.  Then something wonderful happened: Hilkiah found a book in the temple.  Hilkiah handed the book (the Book of the Law) to Shaphan his secretary and told him to bring it to the king and read it to him.  Josiah’s response is encouraging.

What is it that makes Josiah a righteous king? What do Josiah’s restoration projects tell you about how far Israel (the kingdom of Judah) had drifted from the LORD? What does the discovery and the reading of the book of the Law, the first five books of the Bible, Genesis to Deuteronomy, tell you about how much Israel had forgotten? What does this tell you about the patience of God?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Monday, October 7, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 106

Prayer Point.  I can’t read this psalm without hearing of the voice of the crucified thief pleading with Jesus, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Like us, he was a sinner in need to God’s forgiveness. Psalm 106 speaks of Israel’s sins, but what are yours? Confess them to God and ask him for his forgiveness and the hope of eternal life.

Matthew 8:28-34

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. According to Jewish ceremonial law the men Jesus encountered were unclean in three ways: 1. They were Gentiles. 2. They were demon possessed. 3. They lived in a graveyard. (Life Application Study Bible Notes)

Even though the men were unclean we see Jesus engage them. What does Jesus do that is so amazing and terrifying to the townspeople? Why do you think they pleaded with Jesus to leave their region?

It is also important to note that Jesus had landed in a Gentile area. Jews did not herd pigs or hang out in tombs. Notice the demons recognize Jesus as Son of God. What do they ask of Jesus? What does this say about Jesus’ power over the devil and his demons? What does this passage say about Jesus’ willingness to save even the Gentiles?

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.

1 Corinthians 10:14 – 11:1

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 urges the Corinthians to flee idolatry, the worship of false gods.  The “cup of thanksgiving” and the “bread” are the bread and cup of communion.  How does communion bind us to God and to each other? Why couldn’t the Corinthians participate in communion (the Lord’s Table) and pagan sacrifices at the same time? If the idols are nothing, what is the harm?

Paul argues that we have a considerable amount of freedom as followers of Jesus. Why would we not do everything that is permissible for us? For what reasons should we set aside our freedoms? How should we exercise our freedoms in light of Jesus’ command to “love our neighbor as ourselves?”

Paul teaches a Christian way of life through words, but also by__________ (see 11:1).

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.

2 Kings 21:1-18

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. How do we go from one of the more righteous kings of Judah to by far the most reprobate?  Manasseh succeeds Hezekiah as king of Judah and he reigns for fifty-five years.  All of the religious reforms and cleansings done by Hezekiah will be undone by his own son Manasseh. He is described as a king who “did evil in the eyes of the LORD; following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.” How far did Manasseh’s wickedness go? How did Israel compare to the Canaanite nations that God had destroyed?

What will God’s judgment look like?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, October 6, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 145

Prayer Point. Psalm 145 gives us a number of reasons that God is worthy of praise. Pick one or two that resonate with you and use them to worship God. Pray that these things will be remembered and passed on to our children.

Luke 7:11-17

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.In Jesus’ day it was very important that a widow have someone from her family to provide for her.  If no family members were alive to take her in she would be reduced to begging for food.  Unless a relative came to her aid her future was bleak.

What does this passage say about the power of Jesus over death?  What does it say about the importance of taking care of the poor and needy?

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 12:1-17

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. What motivates King Herod to begin persecuting the church?

Think about this. Jesus had twelve disciples, but he had an inner core of three disciples: Peter, James and John. These became the core leaders of the church. James is now dead. Peter is in imprisoned. The church hangs by a thread. What does the church do in response to this crisis? How does God rescue his church?

In case you were wondering. There were two James in the early church. James, the brother of John, who was killed and James the brother of Jesus.

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.

2 Kings 20:1-21

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 chapter represents a “flashback” of some 12 years before the threat from Sennacherib. Hezekiah falls ill and Isaiah announces that he is going to die. Hezekiah refuses to accept Isaiah’s prophecy and begins to argue to with God.  What does this tell you about his relationship with God? Does God stick to his guns, or does he have a change of heart? Why? What sign does God give Hezekiah that he will be healed?

What foolish mistake does Hezekiah commit and how did it sow the seeds of the future destruction of Judah and Jerusalem?

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.