Bible Readings: Mar 23-29 2020



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 Mar 23-29

Monday, March 23

Read Galatians 1:1-24

THINK: Who are the Galatians? What was it that astonished Paul? What strong words did he have for those who preached a gospel contrary to the one he preached? Who is Paul seeking approval from? What makes the Gospel Paul preached unique? Paul shares a brief testimony. What do we learn about Paul before Jesus was revealed to him? How did his life change after he met Jesus? What did he begin to do? How did people respond to his preaching?
PRAY: Pray for wisdom and discernment to be able to recognize a false gospel when it is preached. Can you clearly explain the Gospel to someone? How do you know you are right? How have you been impacted by the Gospel message? Pray for opportunities to clearly share how Jesus has changed your life. Pray for boldness to take advantage of those opportunities when they come. Pray for wisdom to share the Gospel clearly that people may glorify God. Pray for our Pastors, Elders and teachers to be faithful to preach and teach the true Gospel message.

Tuesday, March 24

Read Galatians 2:1-21

THINK: After fourteen years Paul returns to Jerusalem. Why did Paul feel the need to return? What was the main issue that concerned him? Who were the ‘pillars’, those who seemed influential? What was the result of Paul’s meeting with the church leadership in Jerusalem? What was Paul eager to do? Later, back in Antioch, Paul had to confront a fellow apostle on an issue of behavior. Who is Cephas, and what was the issue? On what basis are we justified before God? What does it mean to be ‘justified’?
PRAY: “Justified” means “declared righteous” or in other words, “not guilty”. We cannot earn this condition by doing enough good works of the law. This was Paul’s whole argument, that circumcision and doing the works of the law does not justify us in God’s sight. We cannot do enough good works. God demands perfection and only Christ did all those good works perfectly in our place. We place our faith in Christ’s good works, not our own. Have you placed your faith in Christ’s good works? Pray a prayer of faith, placing your trust in Christ. Praise God for sending Jesus to take our place in doing good works and in paying the penalty for our sin and disobedience.

Wednesday, March 25

Read Galatians 3:1-29

THINK: Paul continues with some rather harsh words for the Galatians. How does he describe them? How do we receive the Spirit of God? Since we have been preaching through Genesis, we should recognize Paul’s illustration of Abraham. How was Abraham declared righteous (justified)? Who are the true descendants of Abraham? Who are those who are under a curse? Why was the law given? (See Romans 3:20).
PRAY: Those of us who have placed our faith in Christ are considered descendants of Abraham. But more than that, through faith we are descendants and heirs of God (vs26, 29)! Many of us have family trees, where we can trace our ancestry back generations. Have you ever considered your spiritual family tree? Who introduced you to Christ? Who led them to Christ? Pray for them now, if they are still living. Who have you introduced to Christ? Pray for them and their descendants.

Thursday, March 26

Read Galatians 4:1-31

THINK: Paul uses several word pictures and allegories to show the difference between one who has placed their faith in Christ and those who try to earn God’s approval through works of the law. What is the difference between an heir and a slave? What will the heir inherit? What is the slave enslaved to? What are the elementary principles of the world? How does Mount Sinai, Hagar and children of slavery compare to Jerusalem above and children of freedom? You may need to refer to some footnotes in your study bible.
PRAY: Paul continues to draw contrasts between being children of promise and children of slavery. Whose are you? Its important to recognize who we belong to, otherwise we will be tempted and drawn back under the influence of legalism and other worldly principles. Reflect on what it really means to be a child of God, an heir of a heavenly kingdom. Romans 12:2 encourages us not to be conformed to this world but transformed by renewal of our mind. Pray for God’s protection against enslavement to this world’s principles.

Friday, March 27

Read Galatians 5:1-6:18

THINK: There is much deep theology and perhaps some challenging questions that arise in these verses. Paul continues to encourage the Galatians to “stand firm” in placing their faith in the work of Christ, not their own efforts. If they turn and accept circumcision and try to do good works, they are revealing that they haven’t truly placed their faith in Christ and have no relationship with Him. (ESV Study Bible). What is the true evidence (fruit) of having the Spirit in you?
PRAY: In Matthew 7:16-20 Jesus said you will recognize them by their fruit. Here in Galatians Paul lists the fruit that comes from being in a faith relationship with Christ. Are you bearing good fruit? Pray as David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Weekend, March 28-29

Read Genesis 21:22-34

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.
THINK: Abimelech reappears in this passage. Note his concern with Abraham in verse 23. Why would he be suspicious of Abraham? (Refer to Genesis 20). What was the issue this time? Being in the desert, having access to a well of water would be a significant issue. How did they settle this issue? What was the significance of the seven ewe lambs? Why was the place of the well called ‘Beersheba’? What was the significance of Abraham planning a tree in Beersheba? Note the word used to describe God in vs 33.
PRAY: Based on past events, Abimelech had trust issues with Abraham, therefore the repeated emphasis on covenants and swearing oaths. Planting a tree in the desert would imply there will be a constant source of water; perhaps it was an indication of the faith Abraham placed in the covenant he made with Abimelech. There he called upon the name of the Lord; perhaps another indication of the faith he had in God. Have you called upon the name of the Lord? Are you trusting in His faithfulness to provide, even at times like these? Ask God to provide for those who might be affected financially due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
FAITH GROUP: Due to our current restrictions on groups of 10 or more, your Faith Group may not be meeting. But please keep in touch and check up on one another. Perhaps you can set up an online meeting. Perhaps a simple phone call is best. What needs are you aware of within your group? Are there serving opportunities your group can get involved in?