Bible Readings: May 18-24 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 18-24

Monday, May 18

Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-21

THINK: Paul seems to have had a remarkable (perhaps apostolic) vision that took him to paradise. He didn’t himself fully understand how it happened. What did he receive from God and why? How is our weakness designed to magnify God’s power? What does Paul mean by “I seek not what is yours but you”? As Paul continues his defense, what do you notice about how he defends himself? What sins does Paul see in those whom he desires to repent? Can you think of a time when deep repentance brought a true change of focus and direction in your life?
PRAY: Have you a thorn in the flesh; something physical or emotional which keeps you humble before God and relying fully on him? Thank him for it! Praise him for his grace that is sufficient for every situation! Express your desire to be content with your weakness and any accompanying hardships, asking only that Christ be magnified through your life. Thank God for this vision of Paul which allowed him to write this amazing passage.

Tuesday, May 19

Read 2 Corinthians 13:1-14

THINK: Paul lays down a guideline for the confrontation with detractors that is looming. What is that guideline? How does it apply to conflicts in the church today? What should be the goal in processing conflict in the church, or in any human relationships? Why does Paul tell them to examine or test themselves? Do you ever “test yourself” as to your current walk with God? To what end does Paul pray? After all that’s been said, how can he tell them to rejoice?
PRAY: Ask God to help us as a church, and all the churches faithful to the gospel and Jesus Christ, process conflict in a Christ-glorifying, Spirit-filled and Spirit-led way. Tell God of your willingness to test yourself as to faithfulness in your current walk with Jesus. Be open to correction by his word, the Bible. Pray that those out of fellowship be fully restored by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray through the “one anothers” of vv. 11-13.

Wednesday, May 20

Read Mark 1:1-45

THINK: The ultimate purpose and theme of Mark is to present and defend Jesus’ universal call to discipleship. It’s a fast-paced account of Jesus life, note how many times the word ‘immediately’ is used. Note where Mark starts his gospel as it relates to Jesus’ life. Note all the significant events that are recorded in just this first chapter. Who does Mark focus on in each event? What observations do you make about Jesus? Why did Jesus get baptized? What was the essential elements of the Gospel that Jesus proclaimed?
PRAY: If the theme of Mark is a call to discipleship, it appears that Jesus is modeling that discipleship—baptism, evangelism, proclaiming a gospel of repentance and faith, discipling others, serving others, etc. Please pray that in the middle of our Covid-19 pandemic we find creative ways to continue our ministries here at Faith. Pray for the re-launch of our Sunday morning worship services this coming Sunday at both the South and West Campuses.

Thursday, May 21

Read Mark 2:1-28

THINK: In Mark 1:14 we see Jesus proclaiming a Gospel of repentance, in this chapter we see Jesus preaching the word (vs 2). Jesus’ proclaiming and preaching was not without controversy. There are at least four controversies in this chapter, can you find them? What were the issues? Was there a common theme here? What do you learn about Jesus? What is the ‘new wine’ and what are the ‘old wineskins’? What does it mean that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?
PRAY: Jesus seemed to be breaking all the “rules”. He was forgiving sin, eating with sinners, not fasting, and not obeying Sabbath traditions. Preaching and teaching a Christ centered, Gospel focused message may seem controversial to some. Pray for our Pastors as they preach and teach the Gospel. Pray for boldness and steadfastness in the face of opposition.

Friday, May 22

Read Mark 3:1-35

THINK: Jesus creates yet another controversy in the synagogue. What was the issue this time? Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? (see Mark 12:29-31). How did the Pharisees and Herodians react and why? How did the rest of the crowds react to Jesus ministry? Why did Jesus not want the unclean spirits to declare that He was the Son of God? Why did Jesus choose twelve disciples? What were they supposed to do? What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Why is it serious? Who is Jesus’ mother and brothers?
PRAY: Remember the theme of Mark? …Jesus call to discipleship. Up to this point Jesus had been showing what a disciple should do, now He chooses twelve to go and do what He did. All of us are called to be Christ’s disciples and to disciple others. Ask God to help you grow in this area. Is there someone who you could ask to help mentor or disciple you? Pray about that. Is there someone you could mentor? Pray about that. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not a one-time act but an attitude of defiant hostility toward God that rejects his saving power. Pray for someone you know who refuses to trust God. Pray they would repent and receive God’s forgiveness.
 

Weekend, May 23-34

Read Genesis 27:1-46

 
  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: Conniving, deceiving, and stealing—oh my! What a drama unfolds here, skillfully told to full effect. Isaac’s family is dysfunctional to the max. What surprises you about this account? What questions does it raise for you? Ponder the motivation of each person, the cultural context, and then most importantly the question, “How does this drama fulfill the prophesied will of God?”

Why couldn’t Isaac just remove the blessing from Jacob and then give it to the older son, Esau?

 
  PRAY: Indeed “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform” as the hymnwriter has written. Pray for our pastors as they preach on this famous and intriguing passage from Genesis. Ask God to speak to you through this, to build your faith and give you greater vision for how God is at work fulfilling his will. Pray for your family! Tell God that you want to be more and more like Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Pray especially for our first gathered services in the global pandemic of Covid-19. Pray for believers gathering all over the world!  
   

FAITH GROUP: There is here an amazing and mysterious intersection between God’s sovereign will and the sinful actions of people. Discuss this mysterious intersection. Have you ever experienced the amazing grace of God doing something wonderful despite the sinful actions of people? Tell your group about it. Talk about the challenge of trusting God with your whole heart (Proverbs 3:5-6) when people are being sinful and conniving to hurt you.

   Pray about these things. “Lord we believe, help our unbelief.”