Daily Bible Readings – Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 105

Prayer Point. Romans 1 tells us that our sin is rooted in our failure to recognize God and give thanks to him. We are often ungrateful because we forget what he has done for us. Psalm 105 recounts what God did for Israel, but what has God done for you? Take note of the big and small things He has done for you and offer Him your thanks.

Matthew 7:22-29

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Why will some people, who profess to be followers of Jesus (say “Lord, Lord”) and even perform miracles, be shut out of the kingdom of heaven?  What are they lacking?

Matthew 7:24-27 is the conclusion of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” What does Jesus expect his followers to do with his teaching? What does He call the person who hears His words but does not put them into practice?  What about the person who does live out Jesus’ teachings?

What is about Jesus and his teaching that amazes the crowd?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 9:1-15

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What freedoms did Paul lay aside that were his by right as an apostle (messenger, one who was sent) of Jesus Christ? For what purpose does he surrender these rights? What good does Paul put ahead of his own personal happiness and fulfillment?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Kings 18:28-37

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 people of Israel are faced with a stark choice. Either resist the Assyrians and face the possibility of annihilation or become their slaves.  How they decide will be determined by the answer to these questions: Who will be their LORD and Savior? Who will be the one who will give them life and a future?

What would the people of Jerusalem have to believe about their God in order to resist the Assyrians? We are faced with the same choice today. Who or what will be our Lord and Savior? Who will we trust for our security and prosperity?  Compare Sennacherib’s ‘promise’ in verse 31 to God’s promise in Deuteronomy 8:7-9.  

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

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Daily Bible Readings – Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:121-144

Prayer Point. Sometimes life is difficult even when you do the right thing. This section of Psalm 119 shows you how to pray when you are in this situation. Look at the requests David makes in this psalm and follow those requests into your own time of prayer for either yourself or someone you know that is in this situation.

Matthew 7:22-29

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Why will some people, who profess to be followers of Jesus (say “Lord, Lord”) and even perform miracles, be shut out of the kingdom of heaven?  What are they lacking?

Matthew 7:24-27 is the conclusion of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount.” What does Jesus expect his followers to do with his teaching? What does He call the person who hears His words but does not put them into practice?  What about the person who does live out Jesus’ teachings?

What is about Jesus and his teaching that amazes the crowd?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. The subject of eating meat sacrificed to idols was a controversial subject for those living in the pagan Roman world. The meat from animals sacrificed to the local gods were offered for sale in cities like Corinth and Christians fought over whether it was allowable for them to each such meat.

How does Paul answer the question: ‘is it right for Christians to eat meat sacrificed to idols’? How does Paul view these other ‘gods’? Under what circumstances should Christians, who have no problem with eating meat sacrificed to idols, not eat it? Why are Christians sometimes called to lay aside their freedoms? In a church you will have both strong and weak Christians. Who should sacrifice for whom? 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.

2 Kings 18:9-25

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. The same forces that destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel in Samaria, now trained their sights on Judah. Hezekiah attempts to appease Sennacherib, king of Assyria, by emptying the royal treasury of its gold and silver and stripping the gold from the temple. But Sennacherib kept coming and now his supreme commander stood at the gates of Jerusalem.

How does Sennacherib challenge Hezekiah’s faith in God? What bold lie does Sennacherib utter in order to strike terror in the hearts of the people and induce them to lose faith in Hezekiah and the reforms that Hezekiah had done in obedience to the Lord?

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, October 1, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 94

Prayer Point. We live in a world where the most vulnerable: widows, orphans, the unborn and refugees are often oppressed with impunity. Many say, “the Lord does not see.” Pray on behalf of the weak and the oppressed. Pray that God will be their fortress.

Matthew 7:1-12

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. Judging, according to Jesus, is a final “writing off” of a person.  ”You will never amount to anything.”  ”You will always be a liar, and I will never trust you.”  What will happen to those who judge and condemn other people?  Does Jesus command, ‘do not judge’, preclude the possibility that we might have to point out the sin in another person?  What must we do before we approach someone and point out their sin?

“Do not give dogs what is sacred, do not throw pearls to pigs …”  (verse 6)  This verse is difficult to understand and there is wide range of opinion as to what it means.  My best guess is that Jesus is drawing a contrast between giving yourself to people and putting your exclusive trust in God which follows in verses 7-11.  The “sacred” and the “pearls” would refer to the giving of our trust to another.  Will it be a fallen human being, or to God?

How are we to ask God for good gifts?  How are we to see Him?  How are we to see ourselves?

How does Jesus sum up the Old Testament Law in one sentence (see 7:12)?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 7:32-40

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. Why does Paul encourage unmarried men and women to remain single? What advantages are there to remaining single? For what reason should a single person pursue marriage? What does Paul have to say to widows and widowers? Why do you think Paul is keen on encouraging us to stay ‘as we are’?

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 Chronicles 29:1-3, 30:1-27

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

Background. What extraordinary events took place during Hezekiah’s reign that sets him apart as one of the most righteous of the kings of Judah?

The Passover feast was an annual festival commemorating Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt. The holiday was to remind the people of what God had done, so they would not forget him and in their amnesia pursue other gods. The Passover was to be held on the 14th day of the second month (prescribed by Moses, the Passover is to be on the 14th day of the first month).  This was unusual and was explained away because there were not enough Levites consecrated in the first month.  Bear in mind that the Assyrians had by now carried off may Israelites.  Undaunted, Hezekiah wanted all in both Israel and Judah to join in the celebration.  It had been years since the festival had been celebrated. You can imagine how far Israel had drifted from the God who saved them.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Repent. How have I failed to obey and share what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

Daily Bible Readings – Saturday, September 28, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 136

Prayer Point. God deserves our gratitude because he is both our Creator and our Savior. Make this psalm your own by meditating on God’s creation and remembering the times he has rescued you and offering your thanks in response.

Matthew 6:19-24

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. What sorts of treasures should capture our hearts? What kind of treasure should we be storing up?

The Bible’s concept of “bad eyes” or the “evil eye” is connected to the sin of greed.

What will greed do to our bodies and souls? What two masters can’t you serve at the same time?

Is Jesus challenging you to make any adjustments in your own 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.

1 Corinthians 7:10-24

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. What is Paul’s teaching for those who are in an unhappy marriage? How should a spouse live if they do decide to separate? How should a Christian live with a spouse who is an unbeliever? What options are open to a follower of Jesus if their unbelieving spouse decides to leave?

Does Paul view his teaching on marriage as the direct teaching of Jesus or his own interpretation of Jesus’ teaching on marriage?

How does Paul justify his position that in most situations, we are called to stay where we are (see verse 17)? How does Paul apply the principle of verse 17 to other areas of life? Look carefully again at how Paul describes our new identity because of Christ (verse 23). How is this identity related to this way of life that Paul is describing?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Kings 11:1-20a

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. Apart from Deborah, Athaliah is the only woman ever to reign in either Israel or Judah. While Jezebel was the overriding influence in Ahab’s life and decisions, Athaliah actually rules as regent after her husband Joram  dies. It is likely that Athaliah was a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.  If she isn’t a daughter of Jezebel, she at least had her ruthlessness as she attempts to wipe out the entire royal family to secure her place on the throne.  The line of David, which is also the line of Jesus, hangs by a single thread, a baby boy named Joash.

How does God protect Joash, the last remaining heir of King David’s family? How is David’s family restored to the throne of Israel? How is the Israel’s covenant (special relationship with God) restored? What would have happened to God’s promises and the redemption of the world through Jesus had Joash not survived?

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 27, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 91

Prayer Point. Are you or someone you know struggling with fear? Meditate and pray through this psalm. Remember that because God rescued Jesus from the grace, he will also be a refuge to those who belong to Jesus.

Matthew 6:7-15

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Pagan prayer was about “sucking up” to their gods to get their attention. Prayer by the Jewish leaders in Israel was about drawing attention to yourself so that others could marvel at their “holiness.” How is Christian prayer different? What do we have to do to get God’s attention?

The Lord’s Prayer is Jesus’ key teaching on prayer. Let’s go through the Lord’s Prayer together. How does God want us to address him? Why is this an important contrast to pagan prayer? If ‘hallowed’ means ‘may your name be made holy’, what is Jesus teaching us about the first we thing we do in prayer? Verse 10 is an example of Hebrew poetry. The first line is explained by the second line. ‘Your kingdom comes’ = ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ How is praying this portion of the Lord’s prayer an expression of love for God (see Matthew 26:36-39). The key word in verse 11 is ‘our’. It’s not about my needs, it is about us. If verse 10 is an expression of what love for God looks like in prayer, verse 11 is what love for neighbor looks like. How does Exodus 16 shed light on what it means to pray for our daily bread? How is the forgiveness of our sins connected to forgiving others? What can we ask for in our battle against sin?

Try reading through the Lord’s prayer line by line. Pause after each verse and pray what whatever comes to mind.

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 7:1-9

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Christians today normally see singleness as a problem to be solved. How does Paul view singleness? What benefit is there in being single?  Why does Paul encourage some people to get married? Is marriage ‘better’ than being single? In yesterday’s reading Paul argued that our bodies belong to God. For married couples there is a second owner, who is 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.

2 Kings 9:17-37

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? You can use the following background to help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. What is the significance of the place where Joram, the son of Ahab, dies? Jehu is at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. You may remember that poor Naboth was minding his own business when Ahab came upon him in his vineyard and asked Naboth to buy/trade/sell the vineyard to him, which he refused. The upshot is that Jezebel then arranged for a couple of false witnesses to testify that Naboth had blasphemed God and denounced the king which then costs Naboth his life (see 1 Kings chapter 21). So here we are in Naboth’s, excuse me, Ahab’s vegetable garden.

Jehu also kills Ahaziah the king of Judah. Look at 1 Kings 9:6-10. Was Jehu authorized to kill the king of Judah? Remember that Ahaziah was a descendent of David in the line of Messiah. How is the judgment that was prophesied against Jezebel fulfilled?

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, September 26, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 85

Prayer Point. God has forgiven us in the past. How can we expect Him to forgive us today? Because God’s love and faithfulness, righteousness and peace, came together in Jesus.  He forgives us because Jesus bore the curse for our sin and earned our blessings with his perfect life. Confess your sins to God and receive the forgiveness that Jesus earned for you.

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

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? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. Why is it important to God that we give to the poor, pray and fast in secret? What reward can we expect if we do it publicly? What is the proper motive for doing a good deed?

You will see this a lot with Jesus’ teaching. It is not so much what you do, but why you do what you do that matters to 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.

1 Corinthians 6:9-20

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 help you understand the main points of this passage.

Background. Paul, in verses 9 and 10, paints a contrast between who the Corinthians were and who they have now became because of Christ. What was their old life? Who are they now because of Jesus? How was this new identity to affect the way they lived?

How does what is permissible for a Christian compare to what is beneficial? How can you know if good things like food and sex have become twisted?

What picture does Paul use to describe a Christian’s relationship with God? Who does a Christian belong to and why? How is believer connected to God? Where is it that the Holy Spirit lives? How should all of this affect the way we live in our bodies in the world? How does it affect the way we see sex?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Kings 9:1-16

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. Why is Jehu chosen to wipe out Ahab’s household and anointed the next king of Israel? (See also 1 Kings 21:17-26 and 19:15-18.)

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, September 25, 2013

Prayer Psalm: 119:97-120

Prayer Point. I’m not sure that I measure up to David’s devotion of God and His ways, so for me, this psalms is an invitation to repent. Confess to God that we don’t delight in His law nor do we cherish His wisdom. Pray for the faith to believe that his ways will provide us a lamp for our feet to navigate the darkness of our world.

Matthew 5:38-48

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.

Read. Read the passage slowly either alone or in a group and answer the following questions:

Listen. What is the passage saying? What are the main points? Using the following background as a guide.

Background. The Mosaic Law was given to control excesses. The principle of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” was created to restrain violence, and the desire for revenge. It was a legal principle meant to limit the damage of our sinful hearts.

Now, Jesus enters the scene and he has come to break the power of sin in our lives. Once he does that, the old principle of “an eye for an eye” is no longer necessary. What new and greater command does Jesus give us concerning our enemies? What are we to do if our enemy humiliates us? How do we as Christians “resist” injustice?

“Going the mile” was one of the most hated of the Roman laws imposed on occupied Israel. A Roman soldier had the right to force a non-citizen, which most Jews were, to carry his luggage for a mile. How does Jesus instruct his disciples to respond to this unjust law?

When Israel entered the Promised Land, God ordered them to kill the evil peoples that lived in the Land. They were instruments of God’s justice in this special case. This fueled the Pharisee’s notion that the people should love their neighbor, but hate their enemies. How does Jesus teach us to treat our enemies? Why will we not be rewarded for simply loving those who love us? How does God love his enemies and what would it mean for us to imitate him?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8

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. While Paul taught the Christians in Corinth not to associate with people who profess to be Christians and are blatantly immoral (and unrepentant), how were they to treat people who were immoral but did NOT profess to be followers of Jesus? Think about how Jesus treated unbelievers who were openly immoral (see John 4:1-26).

How are Christians called to handle disputes, even civil disputes that they might have with other Christians? What, in Paul’s eyes, is a better alternative than taking a Christian brother or sister to court and winning?

Obey. What is God asking me to do?

Repent. How have I failed to obey what God is asking me to do? Confess those failures to God and ask for his forgiveness.

Believe. Which of God’s promises would I need to believe in order to obey and share what I have read?

Share. What can I share and with whom can I share it?

Final Prayer. Pray for the faith to believe the promises of God so that you might obey and share what you have learned.

2 Kings 6:1-23

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. This story occurs during a time in Israel’s history when the worship of foreign gods was rampant. These ‘gods’ were trusted to fight wars on behalf of Israel and to provide for Israel. How does God reveal himself to be both, the provider in Israel and the protector of Israel?  How would we live differently in the world if we could see the world, as Gehazi did, through God’s eyes?

You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  1 John 4:4

How does Elisha’s action pave the way for peace between Israel and Aram?

[ESV Study Bible Notes p. 655 “6:18 blindness. Probably not a loss of physical sight (since the Syrians would not doubt their location just because they could no longer physically see it), but rather a dazed mental condition in which they are open to suggestion and manipulation but still able to follow the prophet to Samaria. The Syrians are ‘bedazzled’ and do not ‘see’ things clearly, whereas Elisha’s servant has been given perfect clarity of ‘sight’ about reality.”]

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.