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: Daily Bible Readings 2020 February 3-9
Monday, February 3
Read Luke 6:1-49
|THINK: In the two Sabbath scenes, Jewish religious authorities were seeking to upend the ministry of Jesus. How did Jesus use the OT to respond to the first accusation, that his disciples were reaping on the Sabbath? Why did the miracle healing the man with the withered hand incense these leaders? What did Jesus do the night before choosing the 12 Apostles? What stands out to you as you ponder the blessings and woes? How does Jesus describe enemy love? Why is it unique? As Jesus fleshes out the unique character of his disciples, how did that differ from the “religious” people of that time? What kind of tree are you? Where is your house built?|
|PRAY: Wow, there is so MUCH in this chapter! It paints a rather vivid portrait of the humble Christ-follower. Pray through the chapter, truth-by-truth, expressing to God your desire to be the kind of Christ follower described here. Ask God to help you love your enemies. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and help you bear good fruit. Tell God that it is your desire to “build your house” on the Rock, namely, by obeying the Lord Jesus Christ!|
Tuesday, February 4
Read Luke 7:1-50
|THINK: What was a centurion? What amazes Jesus about this Gentile leader? Why did fear seize them after Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead? How did Jesus respond to the inquiry from John’s followers? What was Jesus saying about himself? What did he say about John? (note Jesus’ use of the OT) Ponder v. 28; what was Jesus saying? What point was Jesus making about this generation of Jewish leaders? What is remarkable about this vivid scene at the Pharisee’s home? Notice the ending—faith! The woman’s brokenness and worship were evidence of faith.|
|PRAY: Reading Dr. Luke’s accounts in this chapter convinces us that all kinds of people—Jews and Gentiles, sinners of every kind—are welcome to repent and believe and follow Jesus. Jesus has the grace to save us and the power to transform us. Thank God for this! Thank him for welcoming you as a Christ-follower. Pray for those in your sphere of influence who need to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. “Father, give us the fruit of changed lives!”|
Wednesday, February 5
Read Luke 8:1-56
|THINK: Why do you think Dr. Luke makes the point that along with the 12 Apostles were some women followers of Jesus also? Note:
Read on verses 9-15. What should we with ears “hear” from this parable and its explanation? How does “the lamp” parable relate to this? Are you the family of Jesus? Carefully reflect: Jesus is Lord of the deeps, Lord over the demons, Lord over disease, and Lord over death. What does Dr. Luke want to persuade his readers to believe?
|PRAY: “Heavenly Father, how I deeply desire to be a fruit-bearing Christian! By your grace and the Holy Spirit help me bear fruit one hundredfold. May my walk with Jesus be a lamp to light the way for others who need Jesus. I rejoice in Dr. Luke’s truths about who Jesus is, that as Lord of all, nothing is impossible for him. I will not be afraid, for my Christ is Lord of the deeps, the demons, diseases, and death itself. He is risen from the dead! Lord, I believe! Amen.”|
Thursday, February 6
Read Luke 9:1-62
|THINK: Jesus sends the 12 out on a short-term missions trip. What special instructions does he give them? Why? What grabs Herod’s attention? How could 5 modest loaves of bread yield 12 baskets full of leftovers? What did Peter declare about Jesus? What does it mean to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus? Are you doing that? What does transfiguration mean? What does the Father declare about Jesus? Why couldn’t some disciples cast the demon from the boy, but Jesus could? In God’s kingdom who is the greatest? What is the cost of following Jesus? Are you following?|
|PRAY: “Leave the dead to bury their own dead” sounds extremely harsh, but Jesus is making a crucial point. What is it? Write a prayer expressing your full allegiance to Jesus Christ:|
Friday, February 7
Read Luke 10:1-42
|THINK: Another short-term missions trip, this time sending 72 followers. What role does prayer have in this? What is a “son of peace”? What lesson do the “woes” convey to the reader? For what should we rejoice? What remarkable things did the disciples get to see? What was right about the lawyer’s answer to Jesus’ question? What point was Jesus making with his parable about a Samaritan? (Note these details: the first two passers-by were Jewish religious leaders; the third a despised Samaritan.) mercy > religion
What lesson do we need to learn from the Martha/Mary account?
PRAY: Ask God to give our international workers “people of peace” who will help provide inroads for the gospel among unreached peoples. Pray for receptive hearts to believe the gospel, whether here in Sioux Falls or to the ends of the earth. Thank God for the mercy he has shown you and ask him for grace to convey that mercy on to others as God opens doors for you. His mercy is more! Thanks be to God. Pray for the heart of Mary to learn from Jesus.
Weekend, February 8-9
Read Genesis 16
|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: What falsehood has Sarai come to believe (v. 2)? How did Abram respond to this falsehood? Crucial question: what lies are we tempted to believe about God and his will? What is the unfortunate result of this failure to believe the promise of God (that Abram would have a son)? What promise does God give to Hagar? Why does Hagar call God “You are a God of seeing”? Is she right about that? More about Hagar in Genesis 21. For now, read Galatians 4 and ponder it deeply.|
|PRAY: Since there will be “some from every tribe and tongue and nation” worshipping at the throne of God in glory, we know that God is able to save both the descendants of Sarai and Hagar. Through the promise of God, the Lord Jesus would come through Sarai, but through the grace of God no people is excluded. Thanks be to God. Pray for evangelistic breakthrough in all the nations, among all the peoples. Pray for a year of harvest in our own ministry here in South Dakota. Pray for those in your sphere of influence.|
|FAITH GROUP: Discuss together the question asked above: What lies are we tempted to believe about God and his will? How do we fight against the lies of Satan? Discuss any recent examples experienced by individuals in your group. How does it help to have a daily walk with God in his word and prayer?|