Bible Readings: Mar 2-8 2020


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 Mar 2-8

Monday, March 2

Read Acts 2:1-47

THINK: The promised Holy Spirit now comes to the disciples of Jesus (Pentecost). What characterized his coming? What surprising miracle, related to the Great Commission, resulted? According to Peter, what OT prophecy was fulfilled? These gospel essentials are evident in Peter’s sermon: from v. 21, the gospel invitation; v. 23, the cross as God’s plan; v 24. the resurrection. Peter preached that the resurrection fulfilled Psalm 16:8-11. When the people cry out, what does Peter tell them to do? When they believed, they were baptized. What 4 things did these believers devote themselves to (v. 42)? Notice how generosity and sharing characterized their new lives!
PRAY: For those who have repented in faith, we have so much for which we thank and praise God! Praise God for the gift of his Spirit; ask God to fill you today with his Spirit. Thank God for the cross and the resurrection. Praise God for his marvelous salvation plan. Ask God to give you a generous heart and willingness to share with others. Tell God you are devoted to the apostle’s teaching (sound doctrine and the gospel), to fellowship with other believers, the breaking of bread (the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

Tuesday, March 3

Read Acts 3:1-26

THINK: What were alms? In whose name did Peter instruct the man to rise and walk? In our day, when money and earthly wealth are coveted by many, what is far more important? What was the man’s response to being healed? What was the heart of Peter’s message to the astounded people who quickly gathered? What gospel essentials are included in Peter’s message? Notice that for Peter, the cross was the fulfillment of God’s prophesied plan. Notice also the tie to our current sermon series on Genesis, “Number the Stars!”
PRAY: Pray through this tremendous chapter, line-by-line, praying with praise, thanksgiving, hope, and intercession. Praise God for his saving and life-transforming power! Thank God for transforming your heart and life through Jesus Christ! Think of those in your sphere of influence who have not repented and believed the gospel, and as you pray through so many gospel essentials, pray for those people by name, asking God to give them heart transplant surgery.

Note: pray for the Prayer Gathering going on today at Faith South!

Wednesday, March 4

Read Acts 4:1-37

THINK: What annoyed the religious leaders? Arrest did not hinder many from being saved! Peter pulls no punches in his appearance before these leaders! What did he accuse them of doing? By what name was the crippled man healed? Memorize v. 12! It is more precious than gold! Ponder v. 13 as well: these common men “had been with Jesus.” What dilemma faced the religious leaders? How did the believers pray after the men were released? Notice v. 28: this was all the plan of God! They prayed for boldness and were filled again with the Holy Spirit and evangelized courageously. Generosity continued to be characteristic of their walk of faith.
PRAY: There is so much to learn about prayer from this glorious prayer in Acts 4. Reflect on it for some time. They prayed to a Sovereign God. They prayed Scripture. They were confident of God’s eternal plan. They asked not for protection from harm but for boldness in witness. They prayed and were filled with the Spirit and were generous in sharing. Pray through this prayer. Make it your own. Take it to heart. Ask God to teach you more about prayer through this grand example. Pray for the activities tonight at South.

Thursday, March 5

Read Acts 5:1-42

THINK: This chapter picks up on the spirit of generosity that closed the previous chapter. There is a sobering example of immediate judgment on a deceptive married couple. (This will relate to our message text for this coming Sunday, God’s judgement on Sodom.) What was their sin? How did it impact the church? During this period of time the early church experienced extraordinary power and growth. What motivated the arrest of the apostles? What did the angel instruct them to do when they were delivered? Reflect on Peter’s response in v. 29. Notice also the clarity of Peter in speaking the gospel truth to these religious leaders. What sense did Gamaliel bring to the council? Take to heart vv. 41-42.
PRAY: God takes sin more seriously than we do. We learn that with today’s reading on Ananias and Sapphira as well as Genesis 19 this Sunday. What is the state of your own heart toward sin? Take time now to confess before God any known sin. Express to God your desire to stamp out hypocrisy in your life and walk in holiness. Ask God for a time of spiritual harvest at Faith, with many coming to Christ and others being renewed in their faith by the power of God. Pray that Christ be magnified in our life together as the church.

Friday, March 6

Read Acts 6:1-7:60

THINK: As the church grew, what did the apostles want to protect in their own ministries? What were they looking for in new leaders? How easy it is for pastors and elders to get so caught up with the “trellis” of ministry (the day-to-day stuff) that they neglect the “vine” (God’s word and prayer for discipleship and growth). How was God using Stephen? What false charges were brought against him? Reflect on his amazing speech. What angered and riled the crowd against him? What did Stephen see before he was martyred?
PRAY: Pray today for our Faith Baptist Fellowship elders and pastors. Pray that they not lose sight of their primary commitment to God’s word and prayer as they shepherd our congregation. Pray for our ministry teams and their leaders, and for all the helpful people who carry out our daily ministry. Thank God for all. Ask God to help you discern how best to use your spiritual gifts to build up and strengthen our church body. With Stephen, we would see Jesus!!!

Weekend, March 7-8

Read Genesis 19  

  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: So much wickedness, we might be tempted not to believe it, except similar gross actions are reported commonly in our news today. Lot foolishly and ignorantly tries to bargain with these evil people; thankfully the angels sent by God rescue him. Sadly, Lot’s future sons-in-law refused to believe the warning. Calling to mind last week’s reading, not even 10 righteous people can be found in Sodom. Read II Peter 2:4-10 and Jude 17-23.

     Jesus saves.

   PRAY: “O the wonderful cross!” Ask God to help you walk in holiness. Thank God for his gracious and divine rescue from the power of sin. Thank God for the help of his word and the Holy Spirit and fellow believers. Pray for our pastors as they preach this awful but truth-filled text concerning God’s judgment and God’s mercy. Pray for your lost loved ones and friends.  
   FAITH GROUP: [Group leaders, you may want to include in your discussion of Sodom the story of Ananias and Sapphira from Thursday’s reading.]

   This chapter describes such horrendous sin. Where does such wickedness come from? Why would Lot be so foolish in his useless bargaining with the gnarly crowd?

How do you respond to the Bible’s teaching on the judgment of God? Does this teaching cause you to love Jesus and the cross all the more? To love God more or perhaps love him less?

Do you find the NT passages mentioned above helpful in thinking through Genesis 19?

Pray for lost loved ones and friends. Pray for revival in our sin-sick nation and world.