Bible Readings for July 25-31

Luke 18

Why is it at times easier for us to act more like the Pharisee than the tax collector when it comes to reflecting on our faith?

In what ways might we hinder people from coming to faith—people who most need God or perhaps are most like him?

What are some things that are impossible for you, but happen because of the power of God?

How have you asked God to show you mercy today?

Luke 19

How has your faith in God or at least your desire to know him better caused you to do some things that might be seen as shocking or socially unacceptable?

How do you think you would have reacted to Jesus as he was walking into Jerusalem? How do you think the people seeing this event knew to react?

In what ways is your response to unbelieving people similar to Jesus’ reaction to Jerusalem? In what ways can you respond like this more?

Luke 20

If someone came into our time of worship and began disrupting things, how do you think we would react? Why would you say this is the case? Would you say our response is similar or different than the response of the Jewish leaders?

If Jesus offers salvation to people, why do they spend so much time trying to trap him in “wrong doings” or even kill him?

Luke 21

Why do we tie the importance of gifts to the amount given instead of the value of the gift?

In what ways have you had to demonstrate endurance in your faith, doing so even while facing hardships and persecution?

Why do you think people show more concern about when Jesus is returning than they do about the fact that he is returning?

Luke 22

Why were the Jewish leaders so afraid of the crowds?

How do you think your participation in the Lord’s Supper would be different if you had been in the upper room with him during the Last Supper? How can we remember this event more when we take the Lord’s Supper?

Knowing what you know about Jesus’ disciples, are you surprised that immediately following the Lord’s Supper they are arguing about who is the greatest? Why or why not? In what ways are we also (inappropriately) focused on how great we are?

Bible Readings for July 18-24

Luke 13

What is the meaning of the parable of the barren fig tree? Why is bearing fruit so important?

A repeated theme throughout the gospels is the Pharisees placing their rules about the Sabbath over helping people in need. Why was this such a difficult concept for them to grasp?

Do we prefer the narrow or wide door when it comes to faith? How does your life demonstrate your answer to this question?

Luke 14

In what ways can we choose the “lower places” in our daily interaction with others, similar to Jesus’ story of the wedding feast?

What criteria might someone use to assume they deserved a higher place at the table of God’s banquet? How do Jesus’ words refocus our priorities and what should these new priorities be when it comes to choosing our place?

In what ways have churches cheapened the cost of discipleship? Why do you think this is the case? How can we correct this thinking?

Luke 15

How important are lost things, especially in a disposable society like ours?

When you compare these three “lost things” stories, what stands out as unique or different in each one? How does these differences help you understand the point of this chapter better?

Which character do you most resonate with in the parable of the lost son and why?

Luke 16

Do you agree that you cannot serve two masters—God and money? How have you seen Jesus’ statement to be true in your life?

What things does the world exalt that can be considered an “abomination before God?” How can we be sure we are not holding these things valuable in our own lives and the life of the church?

What does the story about the rich man and Lazarus teach us about our love of money?

Luke 17

What strategies can you use to prevent leading others into sin?

Why is it so difficult for us to imagine forgiving someone more than once or twice, much less seven times or more? What ideas or values must be changed in order for us to be able to do this?

How can you be sure to express your thanksgiving for God’s healing today?

Bible Readings for July 11-17

Luke 8

Why do you think Luke made a point to tell his readers about the women who were following Jesus?

Do you think people today would be confused by or prefer the message of Jesus to be taught in parables? Why might parables make his message easier to understand? Why might parables confuse the message?

How well are you shining your light?

What storms have you experienced that challenged your faith, but it turned out to be that faith proved to be the only way you got through that challenge?

Luke 9

How willing do you think you would have been to go on a journey with no staff, bag, money, etc.? Would it matter if it was a journey for Jesus? Why or why not?

How do you confess every day that Jesus is the “Christ of God?”

In what ways is Jesus’ call to be a disciple—deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him—different than what churches sometimes portray as what it takes to follow Jesus? How can we make sure this is the message we are preaching?

Luke 10

Pray today for the Lord to send out workers into the harvest … and be prepared for him to send you.

Why would our names being written in heaven be something to rejoice more than seeing Satan fall like lightning from heaven?

Are you a neighbor to those in need of mercy? How can you be more neighborly?

Luke 11

Spend time today praying the Lord’s prayer.

Do you trust that God wants to give you gifts that exceed the good gifts given by earthly fathers? Why or why not?

Would you agree with Jesus that the ones who are blessed are the ones who hear the word of God and do it? How have you seen this to be true in your own life?

Luke 12

Someone once sang: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I would argue that what doesn’t kill you still hurts! Is Jesus thinking right when he says do not fear those who can kill the body? Why or why not?

How are you working to acknowledge Jesus before others?

How have your focus on the Kingdom of God reduced anxiety in your life?

Bible Readings for July 4-10

Luke 3

In what ways does John the Baptist point to Jesus, deflecting praise and attention away from himself? Do you think John might have ever wanted at least some of that attention for himself? Why is it so difficult to play to role John did?

Do you think the people who came to see John in the wilderness actually did what he told them to do? Why or why not?

What stands out to you about Luke’s genealogy of Jesus, especially when you compare it to the one found in Matthew 1?

Luke 4

What are ways you would sat you have been tempted? How have your experiences compared to Jesus’ temptation?

How well are you prepared to answer challenges you face with scripture, similar to Jesus’ response during his temptation? What can you do to be more prepared to do this?

Describe the Kingdom of God? How does Jesus’ description of the Kingdom compare to yours? How do you think you would have responded to his message about the kingdom he was kicking off?

Luke 5

What does it take for you to recognize the power of God … and your own sinfulness? Do you think you would accept that power or be afraid of it? Why?

Would you touch someone with leprosy? How accepting are you of individuals who need healing, even if you are not required to touch them?

How faithful are you to friends in need?

Luke 6

What does it mean that Jesus is Lord of the harvest?

In what ways do we hold to spiritual rules more than we seek spiritual healing for those who need it? How can we change this?

How well do you love your enemies? Why is this such a challenging teaching? How can we be a people others describe as people who love their neighbors?

Luke 7

What does the reaction of the Jews towards the centurion say about his character … and theirs? Why would you say this is the case and why is it important for Luke’s story?

Jesus often shows compassion to those who need it most. What other examples in the gospels can you think of where Jesus helped someone, similar to his care for the widow who lost her son?

Why might John the Baptist have been confused about whether Jesus was really the “one who is to come?”

Bible Readings for June 27 – July 3

Galatians 4

How does the knowledge that you are God’s son or daughter and his heir affect how you view your relationship with him?

What is the difference between knowing God and being known by God?

Is there anyone you care so much for their spiritual well-being that watching their progress is like being in the “anguish of childbirth” until Christ is formed in them? Is this an unusual way to describe this process? Why or why not?

Galatians 5

What does it mean for you to be free in Christ?

What are things that hinder you from obeying the truth? What are ways you can get rid of those things in your life?

As you view the list of the flesh and the list of the Spirit, what stands out to you? Which of these two lists best describe you? Why?

Galatians 6

Describe a time when you were able to restore someone who was in sin? Who in your life needs similar restoration today?

Are you weary of doing good? Do you know someone who is? How can you encourage someone so they can continue to do good, but do it in a refreshed way?

In what things do you boast?

Luke 1

In what ways have you found Luke’s gospel to be an “orderly account”? How has this order been helpful for you as you work to strengthen your faith?

How do you think you would have reacted had you been Zechariah and an angel appeared to you?

How can you say to God today: “Let it be according to your word”?

Read the songs of Mary and/or Zechariah as a time of praise today.

Luke 2

How does the birth of Jesus compare to how one might imagine the coming of the savior of the world?

How has the birth of Jesus been “good news of great joy” for you and the people you know?

How are Jesus’ actions as a boy consistent with what you might expect from him? How are they different than what you would have expected?

Bible Readings for June 20-26

James 4

What does it mean to be a friend of the world and how does that make you an enemy of God, according to James?

In what ways are you working to ensure you show humility in your life?

Sometimes we act as if there is nothing we can do to avoid Satan and his schemes but James seems to think otherwise. How are you resisting the devil today? What specific things can you do to accomplish this?

James 5

Why is it at times difficult for us to be patient as we wait for the coming of the Lord?

How often do we confess our sins to one another and pray for each other? How can we do this more?

Galatians 1

In what ways might Paul accuse us today of turning from the gospel of Christ?

Why is it so easy for good followers of Jesus to find themselves caught up in trying to please the people around them, versus God? Why do we worry so much what others think?

How do we receive a “revelation” of the gospel of Christ? How can we work to make sure it is God’s message, not our own?

Galatians 2

How does your story of coming to faith and your involvement in ministry compare to Paul’s?

Have you ever had to call out someone who was not living consistent with the message of Christ (and perhaps they thought they were)? How’d it go?

Does your life show that you have been crucified with Christ and that he lives in you, through faith? In what ways?

Galatians 3

How does our answer to Paul’s question about whether we received the Spirit by the works we do or the faith we have affect our life and actions today?

Why did Christ have to be a curse for us in order to redeem us from our own curse? What sort of gratitude do you feel for him doing so?

How can we live out Paul’s statement that there is “neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for we are all one in Christ” today? In what ways are you working to build up the unity of the Christ’s body, the church?

Bible Readings for June 13-19

Hebrews 12

What weight of sin do you need to get rid of to better run your race of faith?

Who do you look to for help in growing and perfecting your faith? In what ways is looking to humans for help a perilous task?

In what way have you seen the kingdom of God be unshakable?

Hebrews 13

How are you showing brotherly love to others? How can you do this more?

Lift up a sacrifice of praise today: acknowledge God and his goodness to someone you know.

How can you encourage the leaders who watch over your soul today?

James 1

How do you react when you face trails? Is it with joy? Why not?

For what things do you need to ask God for wisdom? How have you already experienced his gift of wisdom?

How can you be a “doer” of the word today, rather than just a hearer?

James 2

In what ways have you seen partiality shown in the church? What steps can we undertake to ensure we avoid doing this?

We often hear that a person cannot work their way into heaven, so we focus more on faith than on our works. Why does James say that works are important?

James 3

How have you seen teachers take seriously their responsibility of teaching the word to others?

Have you ever experienced a time when a slip of the tongue had huge, devastating consequences? In what ways are you working to control your tongue?

Describe the characteristic of someone you know who has wisdom from above. What sort of thing do you do to gain this kind of wisdom in your own life?

Bible Readings for June 6-12

Hebrews 7

Have you ever obtained perfection at something? What about in spiritual life? Why is perfection so difficult to attain?

How does Jesus, the great high priest, bring about perfection for us?

Why is it important that Jesus the high priest was: “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens”?

Hebrews 8

What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says that the covenant Jesus mediates is better because it is enacted on better promises?

In what ways have you sensed God’s laws put into your mind and written on your heart?

Hebrews 9

Do you ever feel as if God is too perfect to be approached? How does this chapter address that feeling?

What are ways you are willing to sacrifice for others? In what ways does the extent of your sacrifice depend on who you are making the sacrifice for?

In what ways are you eagerly awaiting Christ’s second coming?

Hebrews 10

What are some examples of people trying to “make up” for the sins they committed or the wrongs they have done? Why do these attempts typically fail?

Do you feel confident to “enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus”? How is this confidence demonstrated in your life?

How can you stir others to love and good works today? Have you met with other believers and encouraged them today?

Hebrews 11

How’s your faith? Assured? Convicted? How can you have more faith today?

When you read through this list of people who demonstrated faith, which one stands out to you? Why?

Who are people you have met in your life who have demonstrated faith to you?

How do you feel knowing that all these people of faith did not receive what they had been promised, but they receive that promise with us because God promised something better for us?

Bible Readings for May 30 – June 5

Hebrews 2

How are you making sure to pay closer attention to the message you have heard on order that you may not drift away?

Why did Jesus have to take on or become “flesh and blood”?

What reactions do you have to knowing that because Jesus suffered while being tempted, he can help us when we are tempted? In what ways have you found this to be true in your life?

Hebrews 3

Based on what you know about high priests, what does it mean that Jesus is “the apostle and high priest of our confession”?

How have you felt confidence and hope from that knowledge that Christ is God’s son?

Who have you exhorted today to avoid the deceitfulness of sin?

Hebrews 4

How does knowing there is a Sabbath rest for God’s people comfort you? In what ways does it make a difference as you approach your crazy, hectic schedule?

What are you doing to be intentional about finding God’s rest in your routine?

How do you draw near to the throne of God with confidence?

Hebrews 5

How do you learn obedience through suffering? What specific lessons have you learned that might benefit others?

Do you feel like your faith is living on milk or solid food? What might you do to “grow up” into more mature food … and faith?

Hebrews 6

How are you laying a foundation of repentance in your life?

In what ways is God’s unchangeable nature significant for your faith?

Demonstrate today the hope you have to be able to enter the holy place of God, the hope set before you through Jesus Christ.

Bible Readings for May 23-29

Titus 1

In what ways do you feel like the message of God has been “entrusted” to you? Does such language alter the value you place on that message? In what ways?

Why would being an “empty talker and deceiver” be such a challenge to a life of faith for Titus? For us?

Why do you think people find it so challenging to take up Paul’s instruction to rebuke those who are not being faithful? How easy is this for you and to what extent might you think you need to do this more?

Titus 2

If you were going to teach “sound doctrine,” what sort of things would you teach?

How has the appearance of Christ redeemed and purified you?

What changes in your life can you point to that were the result of this redemption and purification?

Titus 3

How well are you submissive to rulers and authorities? Do you think Paul would continue to hold this stance today? Why or why not?

How hard are you working to prove how right you are in your relationships with others? If Jesus saved you because of his mercy—and not your rightness—how should your focus about being right change?

How comforting is it to know that we have the hope of eternal life? Who can you share that hope with today?

Philemon

What would be a modern-day situation like the one we find here in the book of Philemon?

How bold would one have to be to request someone to take back a runaway slave when that slave’s action merits a much different reaction? What would give someone that boldness?

How has someone coming to faith created a change in your relationship with them? In what ways were you able to celebrate that change?

Hebrews 1

How has a study of Jesus and his life served to clarify for you the message of the prophets?

Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and an exact imprint of him, according to the writer of Hebrews. What have you learned about God through your examination of the life of Jesus?