Bible Readings: Feb 17-23 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: Daily Bible Readings 2020 February 17-23

Monday, February 17

Read Luke 16:1-31

THINK: The opening parable is not an easy one to discern. Ponder it in the light of the closing statement in v. 13, “You cannot serve God and money.” Perhaps we could sum up the chapter this way: “Love God, not money. Use money wisely, but don’t make it an idol. God knows your heart; know his word and walk with him. Be faithful in marriage; be faithful as a steward of money; be faithful to God’s word and his kingdom.” Recognize that Jesus did rise from the dead, and still most Jews did not believe in him (v. 31).
PRAY: Above there are a series of simple statements that sum up this chapter of Jesus’s teaching. Pray through the statements, one at a time, asking God for grace and the fulness of the Holy Spirit to help you be a faithful steward in his kingdom. Talk to God frankly about money. Talk to God frankly about marriage. Pray for the marriages of those you love, of those in our church family (including leaders), and those in your sphere of influence. Rejoice that in fact Jesus rose from the dead, conquering sin and death and Satan, and that he will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Tuesday, February 18

Read Luke 17:1-37

THINK: Warren Wiersbe: Faith is like a seed. It seems small and weak, but it has life in it, and if it is cultivated, it will grow and release power. We need faith for many areas of life: faith to forgive; faith to serve our Master; faith for believing prayer and then thanksgiving to God; faith to be ready when Christ returns. (adapted from Wiersbe’s With the Word, p. 681). What warning opens the chapter? Why is it important to note that the leper who returned to thank Jesus was a Samaritan? Ponder this remarkable statement from Jesus, “whoever loses his life will keep it.” Live with a kingdom perspective!
PRAY: Pray about your faith. Ask God to strengthen it. Ask for wisdom to nourish it. Ask God to stretch your faith by opening doors for ministry and service in his kingdom, opportunities to use your spiritual gifts, time, and resources to impact others for the gospel. Is there someone you struggle to forgive? Tell God about that. Have you thanked God for answered prayer? THANK HIM NOW! Ask God to help you live daily in the light of Christ’s return, walking in faith and seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness in all things.

Wednesday, February 19

Read Luke 18:1-43

THINK: A remarkable and vivid parable opens the chapter and calls us to persistence in prayer. Combining insights from v. 1 and v. 8, we learn that “the key to persistence in prayer is faith.” Are you like this widow? In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, what is Jesus condemning? What is he lifting up? What do you think “receiving the kingdom of God like a child” looks like in everyday life? Why is it challenging for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom? How is it possible? Embrace the promise of v. 30! How clearly Jesus foretells his death! Why do you think they didn’t get it? Ponder the question of v. 41, “What do you want me to do for you?”
PRAY: Answer by prayer to God the question you’ve just been thinking about, “What do you want me to do for you?” What do you want God to do for you? Ask, seek, and knock! Those who ask receive. Ask God to help you persist in prayer, by faith. Humble yourself before your heavenly Father, confessing any pride. Ask God to increase your childlike faith. Rejoice and praise God that with him all things are possible, including saving you!

Thursday, February 20

Read Luke 19:1-48

THINK: As children, many of us sang about the “wee little man who climbed up in a sycamore tree for the Lord he wanted to see.” But neither his size nor the tree is the main point of this story. What is? Reflecting on the parable of the ruler giving out minas, how are you using the time, gifts, and treasure given you by our Father for his kingdom? Are you investing yourself in that which will last forever? Why did Jesus refuse to rebuke his disciples for praising him? What made Jesus weep? What made him cleanse the temple of sellers?
PRAY: Back in Luke 3:8 Jesus said, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” Ask God to help you do that, as Zacchaeus did in our passage. His heart was changed! Thank God for changing yours. Ask God to fill you with his Spirit and help you be a kingdom-minded investor of your life. Pray a prayer of praise to God and rejoice that the Lamb of God came to be your Redeemer. Pray for a spiritual harvest in Jerusalem and throughout the world. Ask God to help us as a church be a “House of Prayer for all nations.” Amen!

Friday, February 21

Read Luke 20:1-47

THINK: It’s not wise to try to corner Jesus! What dilemma faced the religious leaders who tried to question his authority? Who is the cornerstone? Who is Jesus confronting with this parable of the wicked tenants? What does this parable foretell? Meditate on the brilliance of Jesus’s teaching, “Render to Caesar…and to God.” [Note: the Sadducees were “sad, you see” because they didn’t believe in the resurrection.] What proof of the resurrection does Jesus give? Jesus poses a kind of riddle regarding King David and the Messiah. What is his point?
PRAY: This chapter was a series of extraordinary and powerful teachings from Jesus. Thank God for his word! Thank him for Jesus, the Cornerstone and resurrected Son of God and Savior of the world! Take each teaching to heart. Ask God for wisdom in your daily walk with the Savior: wisdom to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s, the wisdom to trust God for life everlasting and hope of glory no matter how difficult your personal circumstances might be.

Ask God to open a door of opportunity to share your faith today.

 

Weekend, February 22-23

Read Genesis 18:1-15

 
  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 “the Lord” appears to Abraham in the form of three men. Abraham treats them with great respect and kindness. What does the Lord prophecy? Why did Sarah laugh? Ponder the marvelous question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Why is it unwise to laugh about what the Lord has promised he will do? The intercession of Abraham on behalf of Sodom (and his nephew who lived there, Lot) is an amazing exchange and worthy of much consideration. What can we learn from it?  
  PRAY: Pray for the pastors who will speak on this chapter today. Pray that our church has a growing sense that truly “nothing is too hard for our Lord!” “Father, grant us great faith, for with you all things are possible!” For whom would you like to intercede today? Pray for loved ones and friends who need Jesus Christ, pray for the grand success of the gospel around the world, and for our missionaries specifically. Pray for an outpouring of God’s grace and the Holy Spirit upon our ministry in this region and for our troubled nation. Pray for spiritual renewal.  
  FAITH GROUP: Do we ever laugh at the Lord? Are we tempted to scoff at his power and authority to accomplish all he has promised? What causes us to doubt his promises?

   Do you practice intercessory prayer on behalf of others? What makes that challenging? What makes that a blessing?

Take time for intercessory prayer as a group. Who in the group especially needs our prayers today?