Bible Readings: May 25-31 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 25-31

Monday, May 25

Read Mark 4:1-41

THINK: What are the four types of “soils” – or responses – to the spreading of the seed in this parable? Ponder each of the four. Compare your thoughts with the explanation Jesus gives in 14-20. Are you a fruit-bearing Christian? Why does Jesus teach in parables? Jesus continues with agricultural themed parables. What point is he making? Why did the disciples become afraid in the storm when they knew Jesus was in the boat with them? Why are we sometimes afraid when we know to whom we belong and what our destiny is?
PRAY: Ask God to open the eyes and hearts of friends and family who don’t know Christ, that they may hear the word of the Lord and see and understand. Ask God to help you grow and become a more fruitful Christian. Ask God to help our church be fruitful, with people coming to Christ and growing in him. Rejoice that the kingdom reign of Jesus is spreading around the world, far more than we even know, and that God’s Spirit cannot be stopped. Ask God to free you from debilitating fear: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!”

Tuesday, May 26

Read Mark 5:1-43

THINK: How does the author describe the torment of this man? What do we learn about these unclean spirits in this account? Why would the townspeople want Jesus to leave after doing this? Do you tell others what Jesus Christ has done for you? What specific point is Mark making to the reader in the healing of the diseased woman and the raising of Jairus’s daughter? What is the state of your faith currently? What does Talitha cumi mean?
PRAY: Who in the sphere of your life is hurting today? Pray for them by name right now. This chapter revealed that Jesus is truly the source of healing, whether spiritual, emotional, or physical. What hurts or torment do you have? Bring it to the throne of grace. Ask God to help you grow in faith, believing every promise of God and living out that faith today and every day. Rejoice in the transforming grace and power of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 27

Read Mark 6:1-56

THINK: What made Jesus marvel in his hometown? Why did those people reject Jesus? Why would Jesus tell his disciples to take nothing for their journey? What is the “shake the dust off” business about? Why was Herod’s corrupt heart pricked about John the Baptist? How could five small loaves of bread and two fish feed five thousand? Why didn’t Jesus get in the boat with his disciples? What was he doing? How can a man walk on water? According to Mark, why didn’t the disciples fully understand?
PRAY: This life is not about how much you can carry or how many people admire you. It is not about how many resources or talents you have. It is about walking with Jesus and trusting in him. Mark reveals him to be a fully adequate (miraculous!) provider. Tell God of your desire to trust completely in him. Offer him your resources and abilities. Confess areas of doubt or unbelief. “Soften my heart, O God!”

Thursday, May 28

Read Mark 7:1-37

THINK: What is wrong with washing your hands? Explain the “Corban” business. What is that all about? (A good study Bible should help.) What was the point Jesus was making about external vs. internal? Was Jesus actually calling the Syrophoenician woman a dog? Explain. How did her reply exhibit great faith and understanding? Mark continues to emphasize vivid, lively language and life changing encounters with Jesus. As a careful reader, of what is Mark trying to persuade you? Have you born witness to anyone this week about what Jesus Christ has done for you? 
PRAY: Thank God for the cross, where Jesus died to pay the penalty for those corrupt things that come out of your inner life. Tell God, “I’m done with externals and forms; I want nothing less than a life transformed by your grace and the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ.” Pray for your witness to those you know who don’t know Christ, and for the Spirit’s drawing work in their lives.

Friday, May 29

Read Mark 8:1-38

THINK: Why would Mark record a second “feeding thousands” occasion? Hasn’t Jesus been doing signs all along? The disciples kept missing the point—what was it? Another life-altering miracle! How many of these have now been recorded by Mark? (Yes, go back and count!) Now, through Peter, Mark records very clearly for the reader who Jesus is—the Christ. Further, he makes clear to the reader that this Messiah is to suffer, and die, as well as the cost of discipleship (vv. 34-38).
PRAY: What needs do you have? Bring them to the throne of grace. Express to God your joy at having a day to day, life-altering relationship with him through faith in Jesus Christ. “Thank you, Father, for revealing to me your Messiah, Jesus Christ, your Son, and for all that he has done for me. Praise be to your name! Amen.”
 

Weekend, May 30-31

Read Genesis 28

 
  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: What are the circumstances of Jacob’s journey? What motivates Esau to take a third wife? Was this a wise move on his part? What are the details of Jacob’s dream? What promises are included in this dream? What does “Bethel” mean? Compare Jacob’s vow to the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-33. What a transformation! From deceptive schemer (ch. 27) to fully devoted child of God, “the Lord shall be my God” and giver. Can you say the same?  
  PRAY: Thank God for calling you into relationship with him and changing you from the inside out, so that your own heart is now “Bethel: the house of God.” Say with Jacob, to the Lord, “You, Lord, are my God!” Thank God for the ministry of his angels. Ask God for wisdom and discernment to make choices that are pleasing to him. Pray for our pastors preaching on this divine “ladder” this Sunday.  
  FAITH GROUP: How would you respond to a dream like this one? What would it be like to see the angels ascending and descending from heaven? Have you ever felt a deep sense of being in the very presence of God? Tell the group about that experience. Talk about the fact that in Christ, by the Holy Spirit, God dwells in you today, so that we are daily in the very presence of God! Thank God for his presence in our lives.