Bible Readings: April 27-May 3 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 27-May 3

Monday, April 27

Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

THINK: What can we know about a person who says, “Jesus is accursed”? Or about one who says, “Jesus is Lord”? Who is the one Source of spiritual gifts? Why are gifts given? List the gifts mentioned here. Do you think “tongues” here refers to the speaking of known languages (see Acts 2:8-11) or some kind of angelic or unknown tongue (13:1)? For what purpose does Paul use a body metaphor? How does this metaphor help you? Does v. 26 describe our church?
PRAY: Thank God for giving spiritual gifts to our church and every church. Thank him for giving you gifts for the building up of the body. Ask him to help you discern and find the very best use of your spiritual gift(s) for the building up of Faith Baptist Fellowship. Are you thankful for those in the church who are different from you? Tell God, and then tell them! Pray that during the current global crisis the body of Christ would shine like the sun (like the Son!) in the darkness, reaching out to the hurting, the lonely, the needy. How are you helping others right now? Pray about that use of your spiritual gifts. Pray for our church’s spiritual leaders.

Tuesday, April 28

Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

THINK: What is the more excellent way? (see 12:31) Paul mentions using spiritual gifts without love; describe what that might be like. What is love? List here:

 

What is love not? List here:

 

Which of these (whether positive or negative) is most challenging for you? Memorize 13:13. When will “the perfect” come? How is love a challenge for you during this present social distancing time?

PRAY: Who is the epitome of this love? Pray carefully through this Love Chapter, asking God to help you love in a Christ-like way. Tell God how much you need his help in aspects of love you find most difficult. Ask God to help you love those EGR people in your life (Extra Grace Required). “Father, help me exercise my spiritual gifts in love, always desiring to build up the body of Christ. Help me lovingly impact the life of someone in need of care during this Covid-19 crisis time.”

Wednesday, April 29

Read 1 Corinthians 14:1-40

THINK: A challenging chapter, certainly! Several aspects are often debated today, such as what was the nature of the prophecy being exercised at that time? What was the nature of the tongues being spoken at that time (human language? Angelic? Ecstatic?). How was the gift of interpretation exercised? This note shines forth from the midst of these disputable matters: “strive to excel in building up the church” (v. 12). Note: we do not believe Paul is referring to complete silence by women in church (see 11:5) but rather to authoritative preaching and teaching (doctrinal instruction).
PRAY: Whew! This chapter is not easy. Perhaps it would be wise to pray this way: “Father, help me obey the parts of this reading I clearly understood, and please help me understand the parts of this Scripture I do not fully grasp.” Pray that our Elder Council and pastors would be wise in shepherding our church “decently and in order” (v. 40). Pray that all of us would exercise our spiritual gifts in a way that strives to excel in building up the church.

Thursday, April 30

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

THINK: What was the core truth that Paul preached? How do vv. 5-8 prepare the way for Paul’s question in v. 12? Why is our faith and preaching in vain if Christ did not rise from the dead? Let the utter sadness of vv. 16-19 settle over you. Ponder. Then counter that “low” with the “high” of the following paragraph! V. 29 introduces one of the NT’s toughest passages to interpret! Here is one attempt: It is one false doctrine to believe the dead are not raised; it is another to believe that one can be baptized “on behalf of” the dead. But only those who believe in resurrection would bother with this false practice! That is Paul’s point. Not to endorse the practice, which he does NOT. But to point out that truly, the dead will be raised, and our faith is not in vain. As for what our resurrection bodies will be like: How does Paul answer that question? Do you look forward to bearing “the image of the man of heaven”? What is far more important than the details of what our bodies will be like? Memorize v. 58 and rejoice in it.
PRAY: Simply pray your way through verses 50-58, phrase by phrase and line by line, rejoicing in resurrection truth and anticipating the wonders to come for the believer in Christ. Thanks be to God! Ask God that by grace and the Spirit v. 58 would be true for you and for the body of Christ at Faith.

Friday, May 1

Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-24

THINK: What were Paul’s instructions for collecting a gift for needy saints, and what can we learn from it? Notice how Paul wanted to spend an extended period of time with them at Corinth. How did he describe his current Ephesian ministry? Isn’t much ministry a combination of opportunity and adversity? How is that true in our current crisis? Summarize the instructions found in vv. 13-14. Are there Christians who “refresh your spirit”? What is marana tha?

PRAY: Rejoice in the opportunity we have to give to the work of the Lord in Sioux Falls and around the world. Celebrate in prayer our opportunity as a church for ministry during the Covid-19 crisis. Ask for grace and strength in adversity. Pray through each of the summary instructions (vv. 13-14). Tell the Lord that you desire to refresh the spirits of Christians in your sphere of influence. Pray for some struggling believer(s) you are concerned about.

 

Weekend, May 2-3

Read Genesis 25:1-18

 
  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: A time of great change. What detail of note is related with regard to burying Abraham (v. 9)? Special mention is made of Ishmael’s sons. How many were there? (see 17:20 – another promise is fulfilled) After a period of barrenness, Rebekah was to have twins! What does God prophecy to Rebekah regarding them? How is each boy described? What rivalry is noted? Ponder the incident of the lentil stew. It will have enormous implications.  
  PRAY: This present international crisis with the coronavirus serves to remind us that God is fulfilling his grand purpose in our world. An illness that began halfway around the world is impacting life in Sioux Falls, SD, just as the sale of a bowl of bean soup has impacted all of world history. God’s plans are his own! He is Lord over history. Prayerfully express your trust in God and total dependence on him. Ask for grace and peace in this present hour of world history. Express to God your confidence that he will fulfill every single promise he has made to believers. Ask him to use you to impact others around you with the love of Jesus.  
  FAITH GROUP: Discuss other “bowl of bean soup” moments in world history that have changed the course of nations. Having a history major in your group might help!

How have you struggled to trust God in this present moment? What promises from God’s word have helped you and given reassurance? Share them with the group.

Pray for those in your group and in our church who are going through challenges, whether physical illness, emotional upheaval, or economic uncertainty.