Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, December 26, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 80

Prayer Point. This Psalm tells the story of God who led Israel out of slavery and “planted” them fertile soil of the Promised Land. They thrived until in pride they turned away from Him and His judgment came down upon them. Like Israel, our lives have been broken by sin, but we can still appeal to God for mercy.  Confess your sins to God and follow this psalm’s lead and ask God to restore us.

Luke 1:57-66

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. Elizabeth, the wife of the priest Zechariah and cousin to Mary, the mother of Jesus, gives birth to her son, John the Baptist. Elizabeth was an old woman and being childless was a great source of shame as most people at that time believed infertility to be a sign of God’s judgment.

It is now the eighth day after John’s birth, which was the day Jewish boys were named and circumcised. Boys were typically named after their father or a close male relative, but Elizabeth insists that he be named John in accordance to the instructions given by the angel (Luke 1:13). She speaks for her husband Zechariah, because he had been struck dumb by the angel for his unbelief and who could blame him, would you believe an angel in he told you that your elderly wife was about conceive?

Pay close attention to …

  • What happens to Zechariah when he names his Son in obedience to the angel’s instructions.
  • The reaction of the neighbors.

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.

Galatians 3:1-14

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Abraham was revered as the father of the nation of Israel. You can read his story beginning with Genesis chapter 12. It was to Abraham that God first appeared and gave him the promise that we now know as the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ. In Genesis 12:1-3 God promised to make Abraham’s family into a great nation complete with a homeland and God’s protection, but the last promise was the greatest, “through you all the nations will be blessed.” This promise was fulfilled through Abraham’s descendant, Jesus, through whom the whole world is offered God’s forgiveness and blessing.

The key to understanding what Paul is saying in today’s reading is his argument that Abraham was made right with God, not by what he did (keeping the law), but by what he believed (the promises of God). You become a true child of Abraham, that’s how the Jews regarded themselves, not by keeping the law, but by believing in the promises that God gave to Abraham and fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

Pay close attention to …

  • The contrast between how the Galatians began to follow Jesus (“believing”) to what they were now trying (“law keeping”).
  • The reason God gave the Holy Spirit to the Galatians.
  • How it was that Abraham was declared “righteous” (right with God).
  • What is true of all those who try to make themselves right with God by obeying the Law.
  • How Jesus saved us from the curse of the Law.
  • Why Jesus redeemed us.

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 Samuel 7:18-29

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

Background. Most approaches to religion go something like this: I do something for God. God does something for me. David takes it one step further. He will do something for God in response to what God has done for him. God you gave him a throne and a palace, now he will build God a temple. But David discovers that God doesn’t need nor want anything from him and so he offers up this prayer.

What does David do with his prayer? What does he offer up to God?  How will the LORD’s name be magnified forever, according to David? What house is David speaking of? What does David ask for and how does he know what to ask for?

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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Daily Bible Readings – Sunday, August 25, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 146

Prayer Point. Presidents, kings, elections and governments come and go, but only God is eternal. He, not princes nor governments, holds the world together.  Meditate on the description of our faithful God in this psalm, praise him for who he is, and pray for the faith to trust him during these turbulent times.

John 8:12-20

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 revealed himself in a series of important “I am” statements that are recorded in the gospel of John (see John 6:35; 6:51; 9:5; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5). In today’s reading he declares “I am the light of the world.”

You will notice that the Pharisees challenge Jesus’ authority on two grounds: the identity of his witnesses and the identity of his Father. Jewish Law, in which the Pharisees were regarded as experts, required that all testimony needed to be confirmed by two or three witnesses in order to be considered valid.

Second, you might remember that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit before his mother, Mary, married Joseph. Jesus’ detractors are questioning the legitimacy of his birth by asking, “who is your father?”

Pay close attention to …

  • What Jesus being the light of the world” means for those who follow him.
  • The witnesses to whom Jesus appeals to in validating his testimony.
  • How Jesus handles the question of the identity of his 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.

Galatians 3:23-4:7

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. Sons were the exclusive heirs to their family estate in the Roman world. The boy from age six to sixteen was placed under the care of a slave who made sure that he went to class and stayed out of trouble. He was under the supervision of this slave until he came of age and received his inheritance.

Paul, the author of the letter to the Galatians, is comparing our experience to that of a young Roman heir. The slave that served as our guardian was the Law. We did not come of age and receive our full inheritance until Jesus (“this faith came”) entered the world. It was at that point that we went from a slave, the experience of the heir while he was still a child, to a full heir and son of God.

The Law of God did several things to us. It restrained us through fear of punishment. We were held back from acting according to all the dark desires of our heart. Second, the Law reminded us that we needed a Savior. The Law of God said that anyone who failed to keep it, that would be all of us, are under the curse of death. None of us is able to keep the law’s demands because we are born with corrupt hearts. The Law’s purpose is force us to face our broken selves, see the curse that we are under and create in us a need for Jesus.

Some may be put off by the fact that Paul speaks only of sons. This only reflects the cultural reality that only sons were eligible to receive the family inheritance. Imagine how radical it was for Paul to address the church made up of men and women, Jew and Gentile, slave and free and call them all “sons of God.”

Pay close attention to …

  • The contrast between our lives before Jesus’ coming and after.
  • How Jesus freed us from the curse.
  • What the Holy Spirit does for us once we go from being a slave to a full son or daughter of 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.

2 Samuel 24:1-2, 10-25 

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. Why do you think it was a sin for David to count his fighting men? Why does David choose three days of plague as his punishment? Do you think it was fair for Israel to be punished for David’s sin? What is it that brings an end to the plague? Who was it that played the role of Christ and interceded for his people? What accompanied the prayers that caused God to end the plague?

David declares he will not offer God a sacrifice that cost him nothing. We look forward into the future when Jesus said the same thing. He offered a sacrifice that cost him more than money, it cost him his life.

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 – Saturday, August 24, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 144

Prayer Point. When you think about how brief and small our lives are in comparison to our eternal God it makes you wonder, “O, LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you care for him?”  Take some time to thank God that he hears our cries for help, that he split the heavens and came down to earth through Jesus Christ. Pray for the faith to be patient while we wait for Jesus’ return.

Mark 13:1-13

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. Mark 13 has been hotly debated within the church because some of the difficulties in interpreting the passage. At first glance it seems to be a chapter about the end of the world—take verse 24 for example: “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” That sounds like a passage out of the end of the book of Revelation. Yet, Jesus speaks as though his disciples will experience the things he is talking about and says quite clearly: “…this generation will not pass away until all these things have passed.” (Mark 13:30) So which is it, things that the disciples will witness in their lifetime (Jerusalem and the temple were completely destroyed in 70 AD) or a description of the very end of the world?

Despite the difficulty, let’s ask a couple of questions:

What observation sparks Jesus’ teaching in the first place? What is the precise question that Peter, James, John, and Andrew ask Jesus? What does Jesus say to answer their question? What will come before the ‘end’? What personal warnings does Jesus give to his disciples? What will happen to them personally? What does Jesus promise them despite the coming persecution?

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 25:13-27

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. Luke 21:12-15 … They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

How do you see the words of Jesus playing out in the life of Paul?

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 Samuel 23:1-7, 13-17 

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. Who is it that inspires David’s song? What does David praise God for? David speaks of an everlasting covenant (peace treaty) between himself and God. This covenant promised David that one of his descendants will reign on the throne of David forever. How will this prophecy be fulfilled? Who is the Son of David that will reign forever? See Luke 1:26-33.  

As you read the list of David’s fighting men, what evidence do you see of their devotion to David?

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 – Friday, August 23, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 140

Prayer Point. This psalm is a prayer of the oppressed asking God for the justice that is too often denied to the poor and the needy. Pray this psalm on behalf of an oppressed person or group of people, but keep this in mind: God, not us executes judgment. We would deserve this same judgment had Jesus no died for our sins. Pray also that oppressors will also come to faith in Jesus Christ so that they will receive the same forgiveness we have received.

Mark 12:35-44

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 this passage we see Jesus teaching to the crowds in the temple. He asks the question, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David?”. Who is Jesus claiming to be in this passage? How do the crowds of people respond?

In this passage we also see Jesus telling the people to beware the scribes. What is it about the scribes’ motives that makes Jesus so angry?

We also see the widow come into the picture and put her offering in the box. It was not much compared to what the rich people would put in. Why does Jesus commend the woman? What is it about her offering that makes it more special than the rich people’s offerings?

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 24:24-25:12

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. Notice how long Paul languishes in prison. Can you imagine what thoughts and doubts went through his head? How is a second attempt on Paul’s life thwarted? Who is God working through (notice the sweet irony again)?

As a Roman Citizen, Paul had the right to appeal his case to Caesar. How does this right serve God’s purpose for Paul?

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 Samuel 19:24-33 

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 did Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, demonstrate his loyalty to David? How was he betrayed by his servant Ziba (see 2 Samuel 16:1-4)? How does David reward his ally Barzillai? What rift is forming between the tribe of Judah and the rest of Israel as the chapter comes to a close?

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, August 21, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 131

Prayer Point. We long to be independent of God, but true spirituality is approaching God with the humility and dependence of a weaned child. Take some time today to stop, be still in his presence and surrender control to him. Pray that he might give you peace as you learn to trust him.

Mark 12:28-34

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 this passage what does Jesus say is the most important commandment? Why does Jesus say to the scribe, “You are not far from the kingdom of 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.

Acts 24:1-23

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. Stability was prized by the Romans as it was vital for maintaining control of an empire that stretched from Britain to the Middle East. How do Paul’s opponents work this need for peace into their charges against him? How does Paul defend himself?

Pay close attention to how Paul connects following Jesus (the Way) to the Jewish tradition he grew up with. Does Paul believe he is founding a new religion?

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 Samuel 19:1-23

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. Despite the victory, David mourns the loss of his son Absalom. What charge does Joab level against David? How does David treat his enemies upon his return? How is David different from Joab and Abishai, the sons of Zeruiah?  Why does he fire Joab as his general?

“It seems shocking do demote the victorious loyal general Joab in favor of the soundly defeated rebel general Amasa (17:25). Perhaps David pointed out that Joab had disobeyed his specific order about Absalom (18:5). He probably could have added that, if Joab claimed it had been necessary to kill Absalom, he (David) was also doing what was necessary to reunite the nation.” (ESV Study Bible Notes)

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, August 21, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 119:145-176

Prayer Point. We easily fall into sin when we are stressed, angry or afraid. Take note of what the author of Psalm 119 does with his anxiety, anger and fear and pray for the faith to respond in the same way.

Mark 12:13-27

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. Both the Pharisees and the Herodians wanted to trap Jesus in his talk. The two groups couldn’t have been more diametrically opposed. The Pharisees held to a strict observance of the law. The Herodians were a loosely organized group who looked to advance the political and economic influence of the Herodian family. The Pharisees and Herodians were adversaries on many political and religious issues, but here we see them collaborating to trap Jesus and find cause to get rid of him once and for all.

The Pharisees and Herodians try to butter Jesus up with flattering speech. Jesus sees this as hypocrisy and calls them on it. Jesus knows they are trying to trap him, but notice how he answers them.

He asks for a coin which contains the image of Caesar on it. (This would have been an offense to any Jew because of the law which states that they should not make or bow down to any graven images). The likeness of Caesar and the inscription which read “Augustus Tiberius, son of the divine Augustus” would have been a definite slap in the face to any Jew who was looking for the messiah to come. On the other sign of the coin it read, “High Priest.” You can easily see why Jesus says to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

What is Jesus saying here to the Pharisees and Herodians as well as the disciples within earshot? What was Caesar’s and what was God’s according to Jesus?

Mark 12:18-27. Here the Sadducees come and try to trick Jesus. The interesting thing about the Sadducees is that they did not believe in a resurrection. So to ask Jesus a question about resurrection was quite scandalous. Of course Jesus knows right away that they are trying to trick him.

According to this passage what kind of relationships do we have in heaven? Is marriage an issue? How does Jesus demonstrate the reality of the resurrection from the Old Testament?

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 23:23-35

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. Compare Claudius Lysias’ account of Paul’s arrest to what actually happened in Acts 22:22-29. How truthful is the centurion? How does Paul’s Roman citizenship serve  Paul’s God-given mission (see Acts 23:11 and 23:27-35)?

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 Samuel 18:19-33

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. Why do you think David was so devastated by the news that his son, Absalom, was dead? Look back at the events that led up Absalom’s rebellion in chapters 13-15 and the prophecy of 2 Samuel 12:7-12. What emotions other than sorrow must David be feeling?

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, August 20, 2013

Psalm Prayer: 120

Prayer Point. The psalmist models for us a simple way to handle fear: “I call on the LORD in my distress and he answers me.” Act on that promise today. Lift up your concerns to God and wait for him to answer.

Gospel: Mark 11:27-12:12 Old Testament: 2 Samuel 18:9-18 New Testament: Acts 23:12-24

Mark 11:27-12:12

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. Here we see the leaders of the temple coming to Jesus in the temple. They ask him by what authority does he do these things. This question refers to the cleansing of the temple, but also to his healing and teaching in the temple.

Why would the scribes, chief priests, and elders question Jesus? How does Jesus’ ministry threaten their way of life?

Considering the fact that in the Bible the vineyard was used as a symbol for Israel, who is the vineyard owner? Who are the tenants? Who are the servants in this parable? Who is the beloved son? What does this passage say about how the religious leaders have led Israel? What does this passage say about Jesus and his 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.

Acts 23:12-24

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. Here is God’s final mission for Paul from yesterday’s reading:

Acts 23:11 “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Who attempts to derail this mission? How does God thwart their plans? Who does God ironically use to protect Paul’s life and preserve the mission?

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 Samuel 18:9-18

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. 

Deuteronomy 21:23 “… anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.”

There is a promise that David and all those who were in the line of the Messiah carried with them. God promised to bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed them. Absalom takes up arms against his father David. In what ways do you see God’s curse fall on Absalom?

Joab’s reasoning for killing Absalom may be that he had seen Absalom lose the king’s favor and then saw Absalom restored. His apprehension may be that Absalom would mount yet another coup against David. Traitors need to be punished severely.

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.