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 May 11-17
Monday, May 11
Read 2 Corinthians 7:1-16
|THINK: Paul is still answering critics (vv. 2-4). Why was Paul overflowing with joy? “Fighting without and fear within” – do you relate to that? God comforts the downcast! How would a church be “grieved into repenting”? What is godly grief? Worldly grief? Why was Paul comforted (v. 13)? How can a church refresh someone’s spirit? Do you think we at Faith Baptist Fellowship are good at that? How could we improve? How could you use your abilities or spiritual gifts to refresh others around you?|
|PRAY: Are you living with fear? (Given this current world health crisis who is not?) Bring your concerns to God in prayer. Receive his comfort. Ask God to help you discern the difference between worldly grief and godly. Pray that as a church we would be open to repentance when need be. Pray that we would be the kind of body that refreshes the spirits of weary or troubled people. Know someone in need of refreshing? Pray for God’s comfort, but also pray for discernment in how you might make a difference.|
Tuesday, May 12
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-24
|THINK: Why does Paul refer to the Macedonian churches generous giving as a grace of God? What qualified the Macedonian churches (such as Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea) to give so generously? What motivated their giving? Is your giving an evidence of genuine love? Where does Titus’s earnest care for the church come from? A mystery: whom is the famous gospel-preaching brother mentioned in vs. 18? Notice how special care is taken to handle the generous gift honorably. At Faith Baptist Fellowship, we also take great care to handle your offerings in an honest, faithful way.|
|PRAY: Ask God to enable our church to excel in gracious and generous giving even during our own ‘severe test of affliction’ (Covid-19). Thank God that we have the privilege of supporting our pastors, staff, and local work in Sioux Falls, but also fine Christian partners in America and around the world! Rejoice that God gives us this grace and the joy that goes with it. Do you feel joy as you give to God’s kingdom work? If not, ask him for that joy.|
Wednesday, May 13
Read 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
|THINK: The theme of giving generously continues as Paul readies the Corinthians to give to the collection being gathered for the needy Christians at Jerusalem. He reminds them that generosity (sowing bountifully) yields a bountiful outcome for the giver. God has an ocean reservoir of grace that is inexhaustible and unending, and he will bountifully supply the needs of his children as they give generously to others and to God’s kingdom work. What are the outcomes of generous giving (vs 11-14)?|
|PRAY: Praise God that he has continued to supply all our needs here at Faith during our Covid-19 crisis. Ask God to give you a heart for generous and joyful giving, for his honor and glory and for the good of others. Pray for our SHARE Team as they respond to financial needs as they may arise during these times. If you need financial assistance, prayerfully consider contacting the church office and our SHARE Team. We want to help.|
Thursday, May 14
Read 2 Corinthians10:1-18
|THINK: How does Paul seek to be Christ-like in the way he relates to the church? What would you say are the “weapons of our warfare” that have divine power? What strongholds need to be destroyed? How did Paul’s opponents describe him? What is the weakness of their critique? Why should we not compare ourselves with others? What insight into leadership does Paul share with his readers in vv. 13-14? If we are to boast, in what (or whom!) should we boast? Where are Paul’s sights set?|
|PRAY: Ask God to help you wield the spiritual weapons he has given for spiritual battle. Ask God to increase your knowledge of his word and how to pray in light of his word (which is what these daily readings and prayer points are all about!). Think of a stronghold you are keenly aware of in your life, family, or this community, and pray about that right now, asking God to defeat it in the name of Jesus Christ. In praise, tell God that HE is your only boast.|
Friday, May 15
|THINK: What does Paul mean by “divine jealousy”? What husband is he talking about? What did Paul’s opponents, he calls them “super-apostles” with a hint of sarcasm, seem to be saying or doing? Are you aware of false gospels in our day? Do you carefully avoid them and warn others about them? What overstatement does Paul use to defend himself against the charge of profiteering? What motivates Paul? What should we not be surprised that there are deceivers?|
|PRAY: Thank God that in Jesus Christ we are a pure and holy bride, ready for our bridegroom, growing in holiness and joy by his grace. Ask God to help us be vigilant against false prophets and false gospels, warning and admonishing others who might be in danger. Rejoice that we can share in the spreading of the gospel to new lands and peoples who need Jesus. “Our Father, may we be compelled by the love of Christ to share your gospel with our neighbors and world.|
Weekend, May 16-17
|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: Note the parallels with his father Abraham:
The promise is reaffirmed.
Like his father, Isaac tells a lie about his beautiful wife.
Like his father, Isaac is protected by God and flourishes.
Isaac builds an altar and calls upon the name of the Lord.
Water is strategically important (as it still is today!).
Abimelech is nervous about Isaac’s strength and makes peace.
What strikes you about these parallels? Why does Isaac repeat the sin of his father? Why does God keep repeating his promise?
|PRAY: As we continue our journey through Genesis, with our Prevail series on Isaac and Jacob, pray for our pastors as they preach to us this Sunday. Ask God to help us trust him and his promises as we continue our Coronavirus journey as a church, as a nation, and globally. Let us continually call upon the name of the Lord our God! Pray for wisdom, discernment, and grace for our governmental leaders and for our church leaders as well. Praise God for his faithfulness, mercy, and kindness toward you and your loved ones. Pray for those who are hurting at this time.|
|FAITH GROUP: Talk together about the pattern of sin being repeated generationally (such as Isaac repeating Abraham’s pattern of fearfully lying about his wife as his sister). Note Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; and Deuteronomy 5:9 as reference points which might contribute to this discussion. How are such patterns broken? How does the gospel help us navigate this issue?
How do you practice family worship (devotions) in your home? What do you find helpful? What do you find difficult? Perhaps older believers can help younger families with sharing their own journey. Pray for a strong commitment to family worship in our Faith families and marriages. Pray for fathers to lead the way.