Bible Readings: June 29-July 5 2020

LOVE GOD’S WORD & PRAYER

New Testament Challenge 2020

At Faith Baptist Fellowship, we Love God’s Word and Prayer. Hearing a sermon at church on Sunday mornings alone isn’t enough to be considered a healthy diet of God’s word and prayer. We strongly believe that every growing disciple of Jesus needs to be regularly hearing from God through his word and personally speaking back to God through prayer.

We are challenging everyone to read through the entire New Testament in 2020 – one chapter per day, five days per week. If regular Bible reading is not yet a habit of yours, this is a great way to get started! As always, we will provide devotional thoughts and helpful prayer points on the passages. The weekend material will prepare you for the upcoming Sunday sermon as well as provide some discussion help for Faith Groups.

We recommend you set aside at least 15-20 minutes a day for this plan and prayer. If you fall behind, just start on the current day. Try to develop the habit of reading at the same time and place. We suggest having a journal and pen for answering questions and recording your thoughts and insights. Happy Bible Reading!

Download PDF: DBR 2020 Jun 29-Jul 5

Monday, June 29

Read Romans 13:1-14

THINK: What are Paul’s exhortations regarding governing authorities? How far do we take this? Paul is speaking here of the general principle of submission to government. Other passages show that God approves of disobeying government, but only when obedience to government would mean disobedience to God. (See Esther 4:16, Daniel 3:12-18.) Do you think the command “owe no one anything” is universal? How does love fulfill the commandments listed here? Every day we live, the return of Christ grows nearer. What does the armor of light look like? The works of darkness?
PRAY: Pray for those in governmental authority over us (I Tim 2:2) during this current time of crisis. Ask God to give you grace to submit to wise and helpful laws (speed limits!) and the paying of your taxes. Pray for persecuted Christians who suffer under evil regimes around the world. Ask God to make us a loving congregation of Christ-followers, fulfilling God’s law by our love. Maranatha! Come soon, Lord Jesus. By prayer, ask God to bathe you in his light, to do good by grace.

Tuesday, June 30

Read Romans 14:1-23

THINK: Would you consider yourself weak in faith or strong? Why are we tempted to judge another believer’s convictions? Eating certain foods, or not, observing certain holy days, or not—what are some of the issues today which cause tension among Christians? What is Paul’s point about the death and resurrection of Jesus? Ponder v. 12 for a while. In what ways might we put “stumbling blocks” before one another? Are you experiencing “righteousness, peace, and joy?” Ponder the final sentence of the chapter. 
PRAY: Ask God to strengthen your faith, so that you trust him at all times in all circumstances. Ask God to help you encourage and build up others in the faith, not judge them harshly. Rejoice that because of Easter, we will live forever! Thank God that through Jesus Christ, you have an Advocate before him, and do not need to fear giving an account. Ask God to remove “whatever is not from faith” in your life, and give you righteousness, peace, and joy.

Wednesday, July 1

Read Romans 15:1-33

THINK: How can you build up your neighbor? What does living in harmony look like? How can we at Faith Baptist Fellowship welcome one another to the glory of God? Notice that Paul’s ministry is due to God’s grace at work and what Christ has accomplished through him; he takes great satisfaction in his labor while at the same time giving God the glory for it. What was Paul’s ambition? Is that our ambition today? Do you ever “strive” in prayer? What did Paul mean by that? Reflect on your own gospel-oriented motivations and desires.
PRAY: Ask God to help you build up others around you in Christ. Ask God to help us at FBF live in harmony together, glorifying God with one voice, welcoming one another. Rejoice that every people group on earth can find hope in Jesus Christ. Since God has an ocean reservoir of grace, inexhaustible and unending, thank God for daily grace he supplies to you, today and also for the ages to come. Give God the glory for life and breath and every opportunity this day affords you. Submit your gospel ambitions to him, and ask for the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit today.

Thursday, July 2

Read Romans 16:1-27

THINK: Romans 15:33 sounded like the closing of the letter, but now Paul has some additions in mind. Paul displays here his interest in people and love for them. What comments stand out to you? Faithful people, many working behind the scenes, help a local church fulfill its ministry. Thank you for your part in making Faith Baptist Fellowship a vibrant body of Christ! Paul also sends a warning concerning certain kinds of people. What stands out to you here? Memorize and take to heart the incredible promise of v. 20. Now meditate phrase by phrase through the final closing of Romans, vv. 25-27. What a gospel! What a God!
PRAY: Take some time to pray for people by name. Pray for members of FBF who help make it the family of God for you. Thank God for believers who led you to Christ and discipled you in the faith. Ask God to give grace and wisdom to our elders and team leaders. Thank God for his amazing promise in v. 20, that Satan is a defeated foe. Pray through the closing paragraph, taking it to heart as you pray, and then praising the all-wise God who saves us through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank God for this amazing book of Romans! 

Friday, July 3

Read Acts 20:1-38

THINK What problem did Paul encounter when he preached too long at Troas? How was that incident resolved? Have you ever fallen asleep during the sermon? Summarize the main points that Paul shared with the church leaders from Ephesus. What do you learn from that passionate address? What do you think Paul means by “the whole counsel of God” in v. 27? Do you think we preach and teach the whole counsel of God here at Faith? What kind of “wolves” are a danger to believers today? 
PRAY: Pray for our church! Pray for our Elder Council. Pray for wisdom and discernment and for our commitment to declare the whole counsel of God. Pray for our protection against the false teachings common to our day, and the wolves who would disrupt and destroy our gospel faithfulness. Ask God to call forth missionaries, pastors, and teachers from our flock.

Weekend, July 4-5

Read Genesis 32:1-32

If you’ve fallen behind this week, consider using these extra days to catch up. You can also prepare your heart and mind for this Sunday’s worship service. Read the planned sermon text above and the thoughts below in advance of Sunday morning’s message. If you are in a Faith Group, consider discussing the questions below together.
THINK: Note that angels appeared to Jacob en route but also now on his return. What made Jacob afraid? Jacob responded to his fear in two ways: strategy (what was it?) and prayer. His humble prayer wisely acknowledged his fear of Esau but also cited God’s promise and previous faithfulness. What else did Jacob do in his attempt to appease Esau? Ponder the wrestling match account. What stands out to you? What questions does it raise for you? What does the name Israel mean? Peniel? [BTW, have you noticed the graphic we have used for this PREVAIL series? It’s a displaced hip! Perhaps Jacob’s hip!] 
PRAY: We are currently living in fearful days. The virus is global, so it impacts not only our country but every country. In addition, the unrest and upheaval over injustice is often frightening and raises our anxiety. PRAYER is the best response! What promises of God can you cite as you pray? What record of faithfulness by our Father to you? Is there anything in your life currently over which you are wrestling with God? Tell God all these things! Pray with faith in God’s promises, delight in his faithfulness, and joy for his grace and mercy toward you. On this 4th of July weekend, pray for our nation, its leaders, and for spiritual awakening. 
FAITH GROUP: Have a lively discussion of Jacob’s wrestling match with God. Then talk about times you have wrestled with God as well. What was that like? What was the outcome? Share with your Faith Group how God’s faithfulness has brought you through hardship and difficulty and fear in the past. Then pray for one another to have a growing and deepening faith in the One who is always near to us! Ask God to move mightily in our church, our community, our nation, and our world.