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?”