Daily Bible Readings, Saturday, March 8, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 43

Prayer Point. The author of Psalm 43 believes God has abandoned him but notice how he prays: “Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  Pray this on behalf of someone you know who is going through a difficult time.

John 17:20-26

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 guide you.

Background. This is where the prayer gets exciting.  Jesus extends his prayer beyond his disciples to those who will receive the message from the disciples.  That means us!  What is Jesus’ prayer for us?  What is Jesus most concerned about and why?

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.

Philippians 4:10-20

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? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. Chapter 4 begins “therefore …” But therefore what and why? Here is what chapter 4 is responding to.

Philippians 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … therefore … [chapter 4]

How are we to live on today with this promise as our tomorrow?  What are we to do and not do? List out the commands you see in verses 1-9.

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.

Ezekiel 39:21-29

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?

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 – Friday, March 7, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 35

Prayer Point. There are two ways we can respond to injustice.  We can seek vengeance, or, as Psalm 35 encourages us, leave matters of justice in God’s hands. Where do you see injustice in our world? Lift the victims of this injustice up to God in prayer and ask him to rescue them.

John 17:9-19

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 guide you.

Background. John 17 is commonly known as Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.”  Priests represent the people before God and in this prayer Jesus is representing us before his Father by praying for us.  Imagine.

Verse 9 tells us that Jesus is praying for his disciples, “his own.” How did these disciples come to belong to Jesus? What did Jesus do for his disciples while he was with them?  What does Jesus ask the Father to do for his disciples in his absence?  In case you were wondering, “to sanctify someone” is to make them holy, or to use Christian language, to make someone like 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.

Philippians 4:1-9

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 guide you.

Background. Chapter 4 begins “therefore …” But therefore what and why? Here is what chapter 4 is responding to.

Philippians 3:20 Our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … therefore … [chapter 4]

How are we to live on today with this promise as our tomorrow?  What are we to do and not do? List out the commands you see in verses 1-9.

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.

Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32

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?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?  You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. Chapter 12: Ezekiel will portray visually what will happen to Judah.  The LORD has Ezekiel pack his bags for a journey [exile] in broad daylight in the sight of the people — it is important that the people watch Ezekiel pack his bags.  He does this expressly as a visual demonstration of what will happen to the Jews.

Chapter 13: The false prophets are exposed.  The false prophets are trying to encourage the people by telling them more of what they want to hear than what the LORD says.  Again, nature will ally with God to bring judgment to these false prophets.

Chapter 14: This chapter discusses that the idolaters will be judged and punished.  The prophets whom they seek out for comfort will be misleading them because they are false prophets.

Chapter 15: Jerusalem is likened to a vine which is now useless.  “I will make the land desolate because they have been unfaithful,” declares the Sovereign LORD.

Chapter 16: This chapter is an allegory of Jerusalem.  [Allegory: (1) the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression.  (2) a symbolic representation: EMBLEM.]  It is descriptive of how the LORD had nurtured his people and the loving care he showered on them.  She proved adulterous/unfaithful.

Chapter 17: Another allegory this time the nation (people) is represented by a vine which is ultimately uprooted.  This is the fate of Jerusalem.   Let’s face it, the LORD will continue to pull out the stops in an effort impress upon his people to abandon their idols and their need for him.

Pay close attention to …

  • The opening proverb (v. 2 )
  • The clarification in verses 3 and 4
  • Another clarification in plain language in verses 19-20
  • The reward of repentance (v. 21 )
  • The LORD’s heart toward the death of the wicked (v. 23 )
  • The accusation of the people against the LORD (v. 29 )
  • The overall theme of this chapter (v. 32 )

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, March 6, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 37

Prayer Point. The wicked prosper in our world and that won’t change until Christ returns. What can change is our response. Psalm 37 lists several sinful responses to evil. Repent by confessing to God the ones you see in your life. Pray for the faith to trust God, delight in him, commit yourself to following him and to leave justice in his hands.

John 17:1-8

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? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. It’s the dead of night in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus kneels in the darkness to pray. He is desperate because he knows that the next day he will go to the cross. In a most remarkable chapter, John allows us to listen in on Jesus’ prayer.

What do we learn about Jesus’ relationship with his Father?  What do they do for each other?  How does Jesus bring glory to his Father?  How does Jesus’ obedience to his Father impact 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.

Philippians 3:12-21

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 guide you.

Background. What does Paul do realizing that he is not yet been made perfect? What role does Paul play in his struggle to follow Jesus? What role does Christ play? What is the goal that Paul pursues? What does he let go of in order to pursue that goal?

Christianity is more than a set of beliefs for Paul. It is also a way of life. How does this way of life contrast to the world’s way of life? What is the primary citizenship of a Christian? What is a Christian’s hope? How does this new identity and new hope affect the way a Christian should live today? How would the Philippian Christians know what the Christian life looked like?

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.

Habakkuk 3:1-18

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?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?  You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. This is a prayer of praise – for the first sixteen verses Habakkuk outlines one after another of the great works of the LORD in dealing with his people. It should serve as a reminder to us who are so far removed (in time) from Habakkuk, that we worship the very same LORD today and he is as omnipotent now as he was then. One of the most memorable lines from this prayer is: “In wrath remember mercy.” (v. 2b) Habakkuk’s close is a praise worthy of Job: “Though he slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15a ESV)

Try offering your own prayer to God following the pattern of Habakkuk, thanking him for using his great power to save you.

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.

Daily Bible Readings – March 4, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 39

Prayer Point. “Each man’s life is but a breath … he bustles about, but only in vain, he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.” Through David’s eyes we see a true perspective of the world. The question is: will we bury ourselves in more busyness and wealth-building or will we take our emptiness to God? If you are ready to go to God use verses 7-13 to guide your prayer.

John 18:28-38

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 guide you.

Background. The Pharisees and teachers of the law believed that entering a non-Jewish home, where Jewish law practices concerning cleanliness were not practiced, would make them unclean.  Jewish law prohibited anyone who was ceremonially unclean from celebrating the Passover. This is why the Jewish officials escorting Jesus refused to enter the palace of the Roman governor. But this only serves to expose the hypocrisy of Jesus’ adversaries. It was unlawful to enter the home of a Gentile, but it is permissable to bring trumped up charges against the Son of God.

Pilate clearly wants this whole thing to go away and commands the Jewish officials to judge Jesus according to their law. Why do Jesus’ enemies reject this suggestion? Who, according to verse 32, is orchestrating the details of Jesus’ death?

The Jewish authorities hoped to present Jesus as a threat to Roman authority, so their charge was that Jesus claimed to be the “King of the Jews”. The penalty for insurrection in the Roman Empire was death by crucifixion. Does Jesus consider himself to be a king? What makes Jesus’ kingdom different from the kingdoms of our world? What does this tell us about following King Jesus today?

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.

Philippians 3:1-11

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 guide you.

Background. The question: “Do followers of Jesus need to be circumcised and follow the Jewish laws and traditions?” was a question that troubled the church in Paul’s day.  Many Jewish Christians argued forcefully that non-Jews who became Christians must also be made to follow Jewish customs. Paul argues against this teaching calling it “confidence in the flesh”.

Why did Paul have more reason that most Jews of his time to have “confidence in the flesh”? What is worth more to Paul than his Jewish identity and all his accomplishments? What is it that is a source of pride for you? What would it look like for you to let go of these things and instead base your self-worth on the fact that you belong to 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.

Proverbs 30:1-4, 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?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Monday, March 3, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 15

Prayer Point. The answer to David’s question in verse 1 is: no one. No one has lived up to the standard laid out in verses 2-5 save one, Jesus, and he did it for us. How have you fallen short of God’s requirements in verses 2-5? Confess your failures to God. Thank him for Jesus who makes it possible for us to live with God. Pray for the faith to follow the path that Jesus walked.

John 18:15-18, 25-27

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 guide you.

Background. Earlier that evening Jesus interrupted his meal with his disciples to deliver some disturbing news. He is leaving and where he is going his disciples cannot follow. You have to admire Peter’s brash resolve. He announces that he will die for Jesus. Jesus, however, sees a different future for Peter and predicts that he will deny him three times that very night.

Following the meal, Jesus takes his disciples out to the Garden of Gethsemane, just outside the city of Jerusalem. While Jesus is praying (and the disciples are sleeping), Judas appears with a crowd of soldiers and to arrest Jesus. Peter tries to play the hero and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant, but Jesus quickly puts a stop to the Peter’s resistance and heals the servant. The disciples scatter, but Peter and one other disciple followed Jesus at a distance.

What wins out that evening, Peter’s resolve or Jesus’ prediction? Why does Peter fail? When Jesus predicted Peter’s failure, Peter offered Jesus his resolve to stay faithful. What do you think Jesus  wanted from Peter instead? Peter is a pillar of the early church. Why is his colossal failure preserved for us? What does it teach 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.

Philippians 2:1-13

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 guide you.

Background. What is the life pattern that Christ left for us to follow? Where did Jesus begin? Where did he go? Where did God the Father take him in the end? What would it would like for you to follow that same life pattern (go back and look at verses 2-4)?

There is a mystery, a paradox, that runs through Paul’s letter to the Philippians concerning how we grow as a follower of Christ. On the one hand, our growth is a work of God …

Philippians 2:13 … it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Yet we also have some hard work to do as we follow Jesus …

Philippians 2:12 … continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

What does it look like for us to work out our salvation as God works in us?  What does God do?  What do we do?

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.

Proverbs 27:1-6, 10-12

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?

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.

Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, September 14, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 138

Prayer Point. Psalm 138 gives us a number of reasons to praise God. Pick one or two that speak to you and use those to offer your own prayer of thanksgiving.

Matthew 3:13-17

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. John says, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?” What is Jesus’ response? Why does he respond that way? “…the heavens were opened…” We see God declare Jesus as his beloved Son and the Holy Spirit descending on him. What does the Father want us to know about his Son? What is the reason for this?

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.

Philippians 3:17-4:7

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. Christianity is more than a set of beliefs for Paul. It is also a way of life. How does this way of life contrast to the world’s way of life? What is the primary citizenship of a Christian? What is a Christian’s hope? How does this new identity and new hope affect the way a Christian should live? How would the Philippian Christians know what the Christian life looked like?

As Paul’s closes his letter to the Philippians with final remarks and greetings (chapter 4).What advice does Paul have for the church in Philippi? Why is Paul appreciative of the Philippian church? Why does he not “need” their kindness, even though he enjoys it?

What final hope for the Philippian church does Paul sign off with? What would your life look like if this was true of you?

 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 Kings 18:41 – 19:8

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. It had not rained for years in Israel at the word of God’s prophet, Elijah, demonstrating without a doubt that Baal was not the god who controlled the weather and increased crops and caused livestock to multiply. Now with Baal, thoroughly discredited, God sends the rain. How else does God demonstrate his power through Elijah?

Elijah, whom I regard as a giant among the people of God, suffered a crisis of faith.  He became fearful.  He had brought a dead boy back to life, he called down fire from heaven, he opened heaven’s skies, and he rode to Jezreel on foot faster than Ahab who was in a chariot.  He was drenched in the power of God and yet now he was afraid.  In some respects this may demonstrate his humility – he doesn’t take the LORD or his power for granted. How does God respond to Elijah’s exhaustion and despair even though it looks to us like unbelief?

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, September 13, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 51

Prayer Point. Doubt that God can forgive even the worst sins, then you need to read this psalm. David, the author, has just committed adultery and then murdered the husband to cover his crime and yet there is hope for him. How do we come clean when we sin? Use this psalm as your guide.

Matthew 3:1-12

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. Why does John the Baptist attack the Pharisees and Sadducees?  What is it about them that John is opposed to? What kind of repentance is God looking for? What comes out of repentance?

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.

Philippians 3:1-16

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. The question: “Do followers of Jesus need to be circumcised and follow the Jewish laws and traditions?” was a question that troubled the church in Paul’s day.  Many Jewish Christians argued forcefully that non-Jews who became Christians must also be made to follow Jewish customs. Paul argues against this teaching calling it “confidence in the flesh”. Why did Paul have more reason that most Jews of his time to have “confidence in the flesh”? What is worth more to Paul than his Jewish identity and all his accomplishments? What is it that is a source of pride for you? What would it look like for you to let go of these thing and instead base your self-worth on the fact that you belong to Jesus?

What does Paul do realizing that he is not yet perfect? What role does Paul play in his struggle to follow Jesus? What role does Christ play? What is the goal that Paul pursues? What does he let go of in order to pursue that goal

 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 Kings 18:20-40

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 God of Israel clearly demonstrate his supremacy over Baal? Compare the prayers of Baal’s priests to that of Elijah.

Matthew 6:7-8 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

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.