Bible Readings: April 20-26 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 is not 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 20-26

Monday, April 20

Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-40

THINK: Sexual desire and affection are part of God’s design, to be expressed within the covenant of a permanent marriage relationship between a man and a woman. How are vv. 10-11 counter-cultural to our times? How would an unbelieving spouse be “made holy” by the couple remaining together? Vs 22-40 are rather difficult, so some comment is in order. Paul was speaking in a time of distress for Christians. Here he is saying, “Live first of all for the Lord, in these distressed times, and if you can live without the distractions marriage brings, do it.” Yet, do not abandon a spouse.
PRAY: If you are single and would like to be married, pray about that. If you are married, call upon God to help you have a growing, intimate marriage. If you have children, pray now for their future spouses. If you know of couples unequally yoked (one a believer, the other not) pray for that couple right now, that by the believer’s testimony and life the unbeliever would be converted. Pray for widows and widowers also, that Jesus Christ would be their comfort and companion.

Tuesday, April 21

Read 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

THINK: Sometimes food that had been offered to pagan “gods” (idols really) was then available in the market at a lower price, or for dining in the pagan temple. Was Paul’s view to eat this meat, or not to eat it? What was to determine the believer’s decision in such a matter? What parallel issues of today also tax our balance between “freedom” and “the conscience of others”?
PRAY: Ask God to give you great sensitivity concerning the exercise of freedom in Christ versus a tender concern for the conscience of your brothers and sisters in Christ. After praying this for yourself, pray then for our entire congregation at Faith Baptist Fellowship. May we be known for our love for one another and for our neighbors (Loves #3 & #4). “Father grant us a vibrant testimony of wholehearted faith in Jesus Christ and compassionate love for others! Amen.”

Wednesday, April 22

Read 1 Corinthians 9:1-27

THINK: Review 8:13. Paul would not eat meat if it caused a brother to stumble, though he could have. Now he begins a series of “what ifs” to say, I am free to, I could, but for the sake of the gospel I will not, because I care so much for you, the fruit of my apostleship. Paul had the right to eat freely, to marry, and to be supported by the churches he planted. But he showed care with eating, did not marry, and was a tentmaker to earn his living, all for the flourishing of their faith. What a high view of gospel preaching! What was Paul’s objective (v. 19)? What one word would you choose to describe Paul’s attitude in vv. 20-22?
PRAY: Ask God to give you a love for the gospel as large as Paul’s! Ask him to help you share the gospel freely with those in your sphere of influence. Are you willing to put on hold certain “rights” you have in order to protect your gospel witness and influence? Would you stop doing something if you thought it might hinder your witness? Ask God to maximize your gospel witness by helping you be both adaptable and self-controlled. Tell God of the people you long to see won to Christ.

Thursday, April 23

Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-33

THINK: What historical example does Paul use to warn his readers? What is the warning? Verses 12-13 are wonderful to memorize! How does Paul use the Lord’s Supper to argue against partaking in pagan rituals? Who is behind pagan rituals and idolatry? Why is God jealous for his glory? Paul is saying this: though it is within Christian freedom to eat meat that had previously been used in a pagan ritual, and you may on occasion do so, ask “is it helpful? Will it build up?” What is Paul’s (our) ultimate goal?
PRAY: Ask God to help you keep your eyes on the eternal prize, and not fall into idolatry. Plead with God to help you stamp out pride. Ask him to help you see and take advantage of every escape route. Thank God for these temptation escape routes! Ask for God’s wisdom in knowing what freedom allows and ministry to people requires as well. Ask God to help you determine what will help others and build them up in their faith in Christ. Pray v. 31 several times, asking God to enable you by his Spirit to determine what will bring him maximum glory in every situation.

Friday, April 24

Read 1 Corinthians 11:1-34

THINK: Paul shifts to some contentions that the Corinthian church must have had with Christian worship practices (there will be three contentions in a row: husband-wife, the Lord’s Supper, and spiritual gifts). Cultural expressions of marriage (head-covering then, ring-wearing and name changing today) ought to reinforce the headship responsibility and servanthood of husbands. To whose authority must the husband submit? To whom does Jesus Christ submit? Ponder: what is the danger when a culture eliminates all symbolic norms related to marriage, as some prefer to do today?
PRAY: Thank God for godly, holy role models who imitate Jesus Christ. As our culture eliminates male and female roles in marriage and marital symbols, pray for a renewal of godliness in our marriages in the church. Ask God to help you take these biblical teachings seriously. Husbands ask God to help you serve your wife and family and point them again and again to Jesus Christ. Wives support your husband’s desire to be a godly leader in your home.
 

Weekend, April 25-26

Read Genesis 24

 
  If you have 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 a saga! As the story of Isaac getting a wife unfolds, we see again and again the providence of God. Record here at least 5 ways you see the hand of God in this account:

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  PRAY: What a mighty God we love and serve! He is able to accomplish all his plan and purpose. We can trust him to be doing so in our present circumstances. Pray a prayer of praise to God for his providential care for his people. Praise him for fulfilling every promise made to Abraham, and now to us. Praise him for sovereignly guiding us through the long journey of life now, as well as preparing us for future glory in the place Jesus is preparing for us. Continue to pray for our church family, our community and its leaders, our state and its leaders, our nation and its leaders, and the global family of God as we navigate the troubled waters of the Covid-19 crisis.  
  FAITH GROUP: How does the evident hand of God’s providence in Isaac’s life encourage you in your current walk with God? In what circumstances do you find it difficult to trust God? How would you say you are doing currently, trusting God during these challenging Covid-19 days?

Share prayer requests and earnestly pray for one another. These are difficult days (schooling at home, working at home, figuring out previously simple tasks like grocery shopping and finding toilet paper). Encourage one another through prayer.