Bible Readings: April 13-19 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 April 13-19

Monday, April 13

Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

THINK: What was the message that Paul preached to the Corinthians? How did he preach it? How does the preaching of “Christ crucified” relate to the power of God? Think hard for a few minutes: what is the “secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory” (v 7)? How can we possibly understand what world rulers did not understand? What does the Spirit of God enable us to do? Do you have the mind of Christ? How did/do you get it?
PRAY: It is not only preachers who should proclaim a cross-centered gospel! Christ crucified should be our daily testimony to others as well. Pray for your witness to spiritually needy people, and for courage to share with them the truth of the cross. Ask God to give you a great hunger for the solid food of God’s word, the Bible, and to give you the mind of Christ. Pray for our Faith Groups and their leaders. Pray for your Faith Group Leader.

Tuesday, April 14

Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-23

THINK: How do jealousy and strife bring division and disunity to a church? Have you seen that happen? When servants of God preach, or teach, or share the gospel, how does life changing impact happen? Does our effort matter? What would “taking care” as you build on the foundation look like? What is the foundation? Can you think of examples of poor workmanship that will burn up in the end? In what way is it necessary to “become a fool” in order to be truly wise? What should we NOT boast in?
PRAY: Since it is a major theme of this section and this book, pray again for unity and freedom from strife at Faith Baptist Fellowship. Pray that we would seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness! Pray for the people in the sphere of your life who need to be saved. Ask God to powerfully work in their lives, taking out hearts of stone and putting in hearts of flesh (believing, Christ-honoring hearts). After all, it is God who gives the increase! Ask God to give you greater spiritual wisdom through his word. Pray that Faith Baptist will build only on the foundation that is Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 15

Read 1 Corinthians 4:1-21

THINK: Are you a steward of the mystery of God? A faithful one? Why is it foolish to pass judgment on a Christian worker prematurely? How would a person “boast as if they did not receive” their ministry? Can you think of any examples of such boasting? How is a believing worker both a fool and a king at the same time? How does Paul respond to persecution? Why would he refer to himself as “the scum of the world”? Isn’t it audacious of Paul to challenge them, “Be imitators of me”? What does this “power” (v 20) look like?
PRAY: Pray that our church’s ministry and message would come with the display of spiritual power: changed lives. Ask God to help you be a faithful steward of the gospel. Delight in being a king through Jesus and rejoice that, in this world’s way of reckoning, also a fool. Pray for the persecuted church. Use this passage to pray for their courage and perseverance (North Korea, the Middle East, north Africa, east Africa, etc.).

Thursday, April 16

Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

THINK: Why is church discipline of unrepentant sin so important? What do you think it means to “deliver this man to Satan” and why would a church do this? Are there churches today that boast of their tolerance of sin? Right in the midst of his “leaven” discussion, Paul says, “For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” What does he mean by that? OK, whom do we hang out with? Which kind of sinners do we befriend, and which do we disassociate with?
PRAY: Pray for our church’s testimony, that we would be known for both love and purity. Ask God to give our Elder Council and pastoral staff wisdom in considering church discipline. [Did you know we have a policy? We do!] Thank God for sending his Son to be the ultimate Passover Lamb. Ask God for wisdom in befriending lost people, and for discernment. Pray for the children and youth of our church, and for our Family Life Director, Angela Meyers.

Friday, April 17

Read 1 Corinthians 6:1-20

THINK: Have you ever seen Christian mediation (that’s mediation, not meditation!) in action? That is where wise and experienced Christians intervene to try to settle a disagreement between two parties. Why is this better than filing a lawsuit? What did you learn in this chapter about our future as Christians? Was this news to you? What is the grand news and promise of vv 9-11? Concerning sexuality, how do we “glorify God in our body”? Did you learn anything new by pondering the clear teaching in this final paragraph?
PRAY: Tell God that you want to follow his instruction concerning mediation, forsaking the world’s way of suing in favor of peacemaking. Thank God also that you have been washed, sanctified and justified through the Lord Jesus! Sexual purity: do you find it easy to pray about, or difficult? Pray now, asking God to help you live in sexual purity, pleasing him. Pray for the married couples in our church during this Covid-19 crisis. There is much stress, tension and uncertainty. Ask God to pour out his grace into their marriages.
 

Weekend, April 18-19

Read Genesis 23    

 
  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: We reach a milestone in the life and legacy of Abraham—the death of Sarah. Where did she die? Why is that significant? Notice: Abraham grieved well. Grief is a gift from God; it is the processing of loss in light of love. A negotiation ensues: what is the nature of that exchange? From Abraham’s point of view, why do you think he refused to accept the burial site for nothing? How is this consistent with past behavior by Abraham? (see 14:21-24)  
  PRAY: At this very moment thousands of families are grieving the loss of loved ones from the COVID-19 crisis (and other causes). Pray for these families, that they would grieve well and receive the grace and peace that only God can give. Some readers will especially understand Abraham’s grief because they have lost their own spouse; God bless you! Pray for the ongoing crisis in our community, country, and world. Ask God to help us draw near to him, and to be “in the world but not of it.”  
  FAITH GROUP: What do you think distinguishes healthy grief from unhealthy? What do you think of the definition “the processing of loss in the light of love”? Share your own journey with grief. Pray for any grieving members of your group; pray for special circumstances and needs in light of our current crisis with COVID-19. Pray for families under stress, individuals struggling with job loss or other hardship, for our church’s body life during this period when we cannot meet together.