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.

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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, March 1, 2014

Prayer Psalm: 104

Prayer Point. Why is God worthy of our praise? He created our world; the valley, the mountains and the seas.  He has given rhythm to our world with days, nights, weeks, seasons and years. He is our provider and he is our Savior. Think about the world God has made, meditate on Jesus’ death and resurrection and offer God your own psalm of praise.

John 12:20-26

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. Word spreads in Jerusalem that Jesus, who raised Lazarus from the dead, is coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Passover. Those who hear the message rush out to meet him, hailing him as the King and Messiah sent by God to save them. Not all who  are interested in greeting Jesus are Jews.  John tells us that there are Greeks in the city who also wish to meet Jesus.  These men had come to the city to celebrate the Passover.  Most likely they would have been “God-fearers” or Gentiles who worshiped and followed the God of Israel but had not yet fully converted by undergoing circumcision.

Jesus will not directly answer their question, but instead talks about his death (lifted up = crucifixion) and its implications for those who would follow him. “Son of Man” is a title that Jesus used for himself and is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14.  The Son of Man in that prophecy ascends to heaven on the clouds and is given the authority to rule over heaven and earth for eternity.

Pay close attention to …

  • The comparison between Jesus and a kernel of wheat.  What will not happen unless he dies?
  • What is expected of those who wish to follow Jesus. How must they view life?

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 Timothy 1:1-14

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 guide you.

Background. Some of the most poignant literature are letters written from prison. We are fortunate to have Martin Luther King’s letters from the Birmingham Jail and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings from his final days in a Nazi Prison. This is one of those letters. Paul is a prisoner in Rome and he is about to die. He writes to a young man, Timothy, whom he personally trained and now leads the church in Ephesus. Timothy was raised up for this moment; to continue Paul’s work as his life comes to a close.

Pay close attention to …

  • How Paul understands his role in life. Note that ‘apostle’ means ‘one who is sent.’
  • The nature of Paul’s relationship with Timothy.
  • The gift that God gave Timothy and what he is to do with it.
  • Why Paul invites Timothy to be bold and join with him in suffering for Jesus.
  • What Timothy is asked to do with the training Paul gave him (verses 13-14).

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 8:22-36

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 – Friday, February 28, 2014

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.

John 12:9-19

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.  There are two important events that loom large in today’s reading.  First, Jesus has just raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been in the tomb for four days. Second, the Feast of the Passover is approaching which celebrated God’s rescue of Israel from 450 years of slavery.  The expectation was that God was going to send a new king, a Messiah, who would lead Israel again to freedom and establish God’s kingdom on earth.  If Jesus can raise the dead, he might just be the Messiah that Israel has been waiting for.

Jesus’ sudden rise in popularity is threatening to the chief priests who were given their positions by the Romans in exchange for keeping the peace.  They were afraid that the people might revolt and attempt to put Jesus on the throne.  This would bring swift and brutal force from the Roman army resulting in loss of life and the chief priests’ loss of positions.

Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a young donkey which was the royal mount in times of peace.  Had Jesus come to declare war, he would have ridden in on a horse.

Pay close attention to …

  • The depth of the chief priests’ unbelief and what they were willing to do to Lazarus.
  • What drove the crowd to follow Jesus to Jerusalem and what encouraged the people in Jerusalem to come out and greet him.
  • The song the people sing and what it says about 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.

Philemon

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. Philemon is a personal letter from Paul to a wealthy slave owner named Philemon, hence the name. Slavery was pervasive in Roman society, and the church was slowly coming to grips with the implications of Christ’s teaching and the institution of slavery. Philemon was a Christian, but he was also a slave owner.

Paul writes on behalf of Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus, who has become a Christian through Paul. As a runaway, Onesimus was in serious legal trouble, but under Paul’s guidance, he agrees to return to his master. Paul is not condoning slavery, but is practicing the Christian idea of “submissive subversion”. Just as Christ took down Rome, and the power behind Rome (death), by submitting to death on the cross, so also Christians were called to bring down injustice, not through armed revolution, but by submitting to it. See 1 Corinthians 7:21-24; Ephesians 6:5-9.

Notice that Paul could order Philemon as to what he should do, how does Paul appeal to him instead? How does Paul refer to Onesimus? Does he consider Onesimus to be property or something else? How does Paul want Philemon to consider Onesimus from this point forward?

How does Onesimus’ new identity in Jesus undo his status as a slave? Why do you think Paul and Onesimus decided to ask Philemon for Onesimus’ freedom rather than demand 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.

Proverbs 8:1-21

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?

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 – Thursday, February 27, 2014

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.

John 11:55-12:8

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.  John begins today’s reading with the comment: “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover,” to signal us that the time has now come for Jesus to die. The feast of the Passover commemorated Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. On the night before their salvation, the Jews took a lamb, killed it, ate it, and put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the house. That night the angel of death came through Egypt and struck down the first born of all the sons of Egypt, but “passed over” the homes with the blood of the lamb. See Exodus 11-12.

The Exodus is about to happen again, only this time God is going to save his people from slavery to sin and death with a new Passover lamb, Jesus.

Who is the only person that recognizes what is about to happen to Jesus? What does she do to prepare Jesus for his death? Who objects to her act of love 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.

1 John 5:13-21

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.  As John brings this letter to a close, he wants to remind his readers of the purpose of his letter and give them some final instructions.

Pay close attention to …

  • Why John wrote this letter to “those who believe in the Son of God.”
  • The confidence that comes with this eternal life and how it impacts our relationship with God.
  • What one should do if he sees a fellow Christian sin. Note that the definition of a “sin that leads to death” has been hotly debated throughout history. Most likely John is referring to a final and complete rejection of Jesus.  (See 1 John 4:2-3; 3:15).
  • What is true of those who are born of God with regard to sin.
  • Who controls the world we live in.
  • The Son of God we should cling to and the idols we should avoid.

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 7:1-27

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?

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 – Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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.

John 11:45-54

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. There are two very different reactions to the resurrection of Lazarus.What are they? Why do the Pharisees decide that they can’t allow Jesus to continue to healing the blind and raising the dead? What does this tell you about the hardness of their hearts? Whom do they fear more, God or the Romans, despite the miracles?

How is Caiaphas, the high priest, an accidental prophet? How does Caiaphas unwittingly serve God’s purposes even though he is fighting Jesus, the Son of God? What does Jesus do in response to the death threats?

This does not betray Jesus’ fear. He will die and he knows this, but he will die at a time and place of his own choosing.

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 John 5:1-12

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?You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. Most Jewish people in John’s day believed that membership among the children of God was a birthright. You were born into it and unless you lived an exceedingly sinful life you stayed in your entire life.  Your identity as a member of the nation of Israel was more than enough. John, who was Jesus’ disciples for three years, saw it differently.  A person becomes a child, not by birthright, but by miracle.  That person is literally “born again” or “born from above” or “born of God.”  John described it this way in the first chapter of his Gospel.

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

This new birth will be connected to believing Jesus is the Christ. Christ is the Greek translation of Messiah, the hope of Israel.  Devout Jews in John’s day were waiting for the arrival of this Messiah.  The Messiah was the promised king sent by God to rescue his people and re-establish God’s peace and justice on the earth.  This new kingdom was often called by Jesus, “the kingdom of God” and the “kingdom of heaven.”

John will also talk about the “water,” “blood,” and “spirit” which testify to Jesus’ identity.  The water refers to Jesus’ baptism where the Holy Spirit descended on Him.  The blood is the blood he shed on the cross.  The Spirit is the Holy Spirit which Jesus poured out on the church after he ascended to heaven.

Pay close attention to …

  • What is true of everyone who believes Jesus is the Christ.
  • What a believer will do with regards to God’s children.
  • How obedience to God and love for God are connected.
  • Why God’s commands are not burdensome for those who are born of God.  Note that the world John refers to is sinful humanity that is separated from God.
  • What three things testify that God has given us eternal life through Jesus.
  • What is true of all those who have and do not have the Son.

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 6:1-19

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?

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 – Tuesday, February 25, 2014

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.

John 11:30-44

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? You can use the following background to guide you.

Background. How do you think Mary’s question hit Jesus? Why do you think Jesus weeps when he knows that he is about to raise Lazarus from the dead?

What are the crowd’s two interpretations of Jesus’ weeping?Remember that Jesus pointed to his miracles as evidence that he was not a blasphemous, demon-possessed sinner, but truly the Son of God.

What is revealed about Jesus in his raising of Lazarus? What does this miracle tell us about his relationship with 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 John 4:7-21

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. Jesus was once asked what he thought was the greatest commandment. He replied with not one, but two commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” For Jesus these two commands were one because you can’t separate love for God from love of neighbor. You see this same theme in John’s writing.

Pay close attention to …

  • The command of verse 7.
  • The source of love in verse 7.
  • What is true of those who love (verse 7) and those who don’t love (verse 8).
  • How God demonstrated love for us (verses 9-10). Note that an atoning sacrifice (propitiation in some translations) is a sacrifice that turns God’s righteous wrath for our sin into divine favor.
  • The appropriate response to God’s love (verse 11).
  • How the invisible God can be made visible in our world (verse 12).
  • How we know that God lives in us and we in him (verse 13).
  • What does someone who lives in God and God in him believe (verse 15-16) and what does he do (verses 17-21). What does this say about the connection between knowing God and loving others?
  • The connection between perfect love and the absence of fear and why (verse 18).

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 4:1-27

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?

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.