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 Mar 30-Apr 5
Monday, March 30
Read Acts 17:1-34
|THINK: An extraordinary chapter! Wow! Write a brief description of what takes place in each locale:
What stands out to you about Paul’s Areopagus sermon?
|PRAY: Ask God to help us turn the world upside down (v. 6)! Tell him you want to be an eager student of the Scriptures, a Berean. Pray through the Areopagus sermon, praying its truths and praying for many people today to meet Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Pray by name for someone God brought to mind as you read this sermon.|
Tuesday, March 31
Read Acts 18:1-28
|THINK: Why were Aquila and Priscilla in Corinth? What common ground did they have with Paul? How was Paul spending his “free” time at Corinth? What was the result? How does this section seem to align with the main themes of the book of Acts? How should vv. 9-10 build our own confidence in sharing with others about Jesus and the good news? As we read of the legal issues surrounding the gospel, Jewish religion and Roman rule, etc. we are reminded of our own day, when our freedom as believers is under legal attack.|
|PRAY: Isn’t it remarkable how God used pagan law to move Aquila and Priscilla to the place where they could best serve him! During our current pandemic crisis, politicians and government leaders are making decisions restricting travel and movement. But God is not limited by that and can use it also for His glory. Ask God for opportunities to serve others and share the Gospel message where you are. Pray for wisdom and boldness to grab those opportunities when they come. Praise Him that He is not restricted in any way!|
Wednesday, April 1
|THINK: Paul is confident and thankful that the Thessalonians are chosen by God for eternal life. What does Paul mention to support his confidence? What does it look like to be an imitator of the Lord? In chapter 2 Paul describes his ministry to the Thessalonians. Consider some of the aspects he mentions in verses 3-8. As you seek to share the hope that is in your heart with others, can the same things be said of you? Do you see the very important distinction he makes in verse 13?|
|PRAY: Express thanksgiving to God: for His sovereignty, for His love, for His grace, for His promises, for your faith, for Faith Baptist. Pray that you will be an imitator of the Lord and an encouragement to others as such. Pray for the ministries that Faith Baptist supports, particularly the international missions. Consider some of the descriptors that Paul uses in this section as you pray. Pray that the hearers would accept the gospel not as words of man, but as the word of God.|
Thursday, April 2
|THINK: Why did Paul send Timothy to the Thessalonians, and what does that tell you about how Paul viewed his work? Paul is comforted to hear good news about the Thessalonians’ faith. Are you similarly encouraged to hear good news from Faith’s missionaries? What does Paul urge the Thessalonians to do in chapter 4? What is God’s will for them? Why is it important to be sanctified? What instruction does Paul give on how to cope with death? What does grieving without hope look like?|
|PRAY: Pray for outreach opportunities in your life – at work, at home, in the community, nationally, or internationally. Ask God for help in striving to live a holy life in the midst of the temptations of the world we live in. Ask God for creative ideas of how to show brotherly love to our friends and neighbors during our current crisis. Ask God to unite Faith Baptist and the surrounding communities in brotherly love. Thank God for the hope that only He can provide us.|
Friday, April 3
|THINK: What might the imagery “like a thief in the night” suggest about the day of the Lord? Ponder the phrase “peace and security” in verse 3. How much do you desire that in your life, and at what cost? Is it worth having delusional peace and security, if sudden destruction comes next? Paul puts forth a powerful recipe for Christian living. What are we “To Be and Not To Be”? What does verse 18b say the reason is for doing these things?|
|PRAY: Pray that you would not seek peace and security above all else. Pray that you would seek first the kingdom of God and know that He knows the day of the Lord. Pray that the people of Faith Baptist will not become complacent but remain vigilant as children of light. Ask God for the energy to faithfully work on the “To Be’s”, and the strength to resist the temptations of the “Not to Be’s”. Thank God for his faithfulness in sanctifying you and keeping you for His own. Take comfort that “He will surely do it”.|
Weekend, April 4-5
Read Genesis 22
|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: One of the greatest chapters in the OT! According to v. 1, what was God doing with Abraham? Notice the “only son” and “love” in v. 2 (think John 3:16!). According to v. 5, what were the two going to do on the mount? Note the rich gospel imagery in:
Once again in vv. 15-18 God’s promise to Abraham is repeated. The whole world will be impacted through Abraham’s family.
|PRAY: Genesis 22 is the very heart of the gospel: God’s one and only Son died as our substitute on the cross to save us from the penalty of our sins. Praise God for this grand truth! Thank him for not withholding his only Son. Thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Rejoice in hope because Jesus rose from the dead! Pray for our missionaries who are proclaiming God’s gospel to the peoples of the world, for truly by this gospel of Jesus Christ shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Pray for the gospel to spread more quickly than this corona virus to the whole earth!|
|FAITH GROUP: Why do you think God asked Abraham and Isaac to display the gospel of love in such a vivid way hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ? Discuss the truth that Jesus is truly the “ram in the thicket” and our substitute. What is the doctrine of substitutionary atonement? What does it mean to you that God is our “Jehovah Jireh” – our Provider? How is Genesis 22 a missionary text?
PRAY FOR THE MISSIONARY ASSIGNED TO YOUR FAITH GROUP.