Bible Readings: May 4-10 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 May 4-10

Monday, May 4

Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-24

THINK: What are two benefits of going through hard times in your life (vv. 3-4)? What can we infer about the Corinthians current situation from vv. 3-7? When we feel overwhelmed and truly “at the end of” ourselves, what should we do? Are you thankful when you see God’s work of grace in other people? Can you think of a recent example? Why is the boasting Paul talks about here not sinful? How is the Lord Jesus Christ glorified in vv. 17-22? What assurance do we gain from this? When good things happen in our lives, who is actually doing the good work (v. 21-22)?
PRAY: Thank God that he considers you a saint. Tell God about hard times you are going through, especially in light of our current Covid-19 crisis. Express how you rely on him completely, hope in his promised deliverance and help, and then pray for others also going through difficulties. Thank God for his work of grace evidenced in other Christians you know. Celebrate his goodness and lovingkindness. Rejoice in prayer that all of God’s promises in Jesus Christ are YES!

Tuesday, May 5

Read 2 Corinthians 2:1-17

THINK: Note: if you have a study Bible, such as the ESV Study Bible, it would be helpful to read the ‘purpose and occasion” for this letter in the introductory material. How have circumstances now changed in Corinth? What would Satan prefer they do? Why was Paul’s spirit “not at rest” when he arrived at Troas? What picture comes to mind when Paul writes that God “in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession” (v. 14)? Do you think of yourself as the fragrance of Christ? Do you think of our church that way? People respond to that aroma in two ways; what are they? Who is sufficient for these things? Where does ‘sufficiency’ come from? Are there peddlers of God’s word today?
PRAY: Rejoice in gospel blessings such as reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace. Pray for our pastors and elders at Faith, who sometimes bear burdens unknown to the rest of the body. It can be a lot to bear. Rejoice that in Christ we are part of his parade of victory! How do you think we smell to those around us? Pray for our Christ-scentedness (yes, that’s a made-up word). Pray that we remain faithful to Scripture and to the gospel of Christ.

Wednesday, May 6

Read 2 Corinthians 3:1-18

THINK: Think of it: your life is a letter written for others to read by the Holy Spirit of God! What impact is your letter having? Where does our sufficiency come from? Verses 7-18 compare the old covenant and the new covenant. What is the letter written on stone? How does the letter kill? How does the gospel give life? Continuing the point, which will have greater glory, the commandments that produce death (because they cannot save) or the Spirit that gives new life? JESUS > LAW of Moses.
PRAY: Thank God for the letter he is writing with your life. Ask him to use you powerfully to testify to others of the grace and power of Jesus Christ. Thank him for saving you! Pray for the personal witness of hundreds of Christians serving through the Corona Help Sioux Falls Initiative (coronahelpsf.com) as they help with food distribution and delivering necessities to those who are homebound. Pray that the Gospel will be put on display and give life!

Thursday, May 7

Read 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

THINK: What are some disgraceful, underhanded ways false teachers try to draw a religious crowd? At Faith we are committed to the open statement of the truth. This is what we preach and teach: Jesus Christ as Lord. What enemy blinds the minds of unbelievers? Only God can turn the light on! Are you a jar of clay? Why does God work through jars of clay? Read Psalm 116:10. Why does Paul quote it? How does grace increase thanksgiving? Does it do so in your life? Why do we not lose heart? What kinds of “light momentary affliction” are you suffering now? Why will it be worth it in the end? 
PRAY: Pray for our city to be filled with pastors who preach only the truth of Jesus in a straightforward manner. Read vv. 7-10 several times. Then read the entire section again. Submit your “jar of clay” to God for his good use. Are you afflicted? Pray! Are you facing a situation that perplexes you? Pray! Are you feeling persecuted or struck down? Pray! Praise God that his Grace is Sufficient for every situation!

Friday, May 8

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-21

THINK:   Why should we always be of good courage? What does it mean for you to walk by faith and not by sight? What should be our aim? Evidently some critics were saying things about Paul and other leaders. How does he respond? Do you live for yourself or for Jesus Christ who died for you? Where does new life, being a new creation, come from? How is it possible? What is reconciliation? Do you consider yourself an ambassador for Christ? How can we be the righteousness of God?
PRAY: Is it your desire to persuade others to follow Jesus Christ? Pray for those close to you who don’t know Christ. Ask God to help you reach out to them. Confess the tendency to live for yourself and tell God of your desire to live for Christ. Praise God for his life-transforming power and thank him for his great grace-work in your life. Where do you see reconciliation needed? Ask God to do it for his glory! Submit yourself to God as his ambassador. Rejoice in Christ’s imputed righteousness.
 

Weekend, May 9-10

Genesis 25:19-34  

 
  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.

Oops! Last weekend’s readings erroneously included questions about the birth of Jacob and Esau and the selling of Esau’s birthright. Those should have been for this weekend. We regret the error. However, it’s worth thinking about twice!

 
  THINK: After a period of barrenness, Rebekah was to have twins! What does God prophesy to Rebekah regarding these two boys? How is each boy described? What rivalry is noted? What drove Esau to sell his birthright to Jacob for a pot of lentil stew? Consider the enormous implications this will have going forward! Is there a lesson for us in that incident?  
  PRAY: An international crisis that is impacting lives all over the world is not a healthy time to make impulsive decisions. It IS a good time to draw nearer to God and consecrate your life to him. Pray for someone who is going through a hard time currently. Ask God for wisdom yourself in handling the present circumstances. Thank God that he is at work to fulfill his plan and purpose through these days, especially spreading the truth of the gospel to all peoples. Pray for our local and national leaders and for those dealing with this Covid-19 crisis from a medical and economic standpoint. Ask God’s blessing on our two worship services.  
  FAITH GROUP: Discuss other “bowl of soup” moments in world history that have changed the course of nations. Having a history major in your group might help! What helps you keep calm and trust your Heavenly Father in a time like this? Share with the group Scriptures, songs, or other encouragements that are of great blessing to you these days. Pray for one another, and especially for anyone in your group facing special difficulties currently. How might the group help?