Week of November 5 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of November 5 are as follows:

Psalm 43
Micah 3:5-12
1 Thessalonians 2:9-20
Matthew 23:1-12

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

November 6 – Psalm 56, 57, 58; Nehemiah 6:1-19; Revelation 10:1-11; Matthew 13:36-43

November 7 – Psalm 68:1-35; Nehemiah 12:27-47; Revelation 11:1-19; Matthew 13:44-52

November 8 – Psalm 72; Nehemiah 13:4-22; Revelation 12:1-12; Matthew 13:53-58

November 9 – Psalm 71, 74; Ezra 7:1-26; Revelation 14:1-13; Matthew 14:1-12

November 10 – Psalm 69; Ezra 7:27-8:36; Revelation 15:1-8; Matthew 14:13-21

November 11 – Psalm 75, 76; Ezra 9:1-15; Revelation 17:1-14; Matthew 14:22-36

Growing

20170910 - 1HBSTherefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice…
(Romans 12.1)

Today’s Passages:
Psalm 119.33-48
Ezekiel 33.1-11
Romans 12.9-21
Matthew 18.15-20

One of the hardest things for me to discover is what I need to do to continue to grow in my faith. I want to follow Jesus and I know there are some things people say will help you be a better follower, but sometimes I find the practical, “Here’s what this should all look like” missing. I know being a part of a church and reading my Bible is important, but what changes should these activities bring in my day-to-day life.

This is what I love about the list we find in Roman’s 12. Now, I want to be the first to say that I do not in anyway think Paul wrote this list as a checklist to be graded by our spiritual mentors. (“Good! You completed 7 out of 10 tasks. That’s a passing grade in most places!”) But while we may not use this to ensure a winning percentage, I think it is helpful to evaluate our lives through the lens of these things. As we read and pray more, our lives should take on the things Paul lists here, so in that way, this is a helpful passage for me.

Let me encourage you to spend some time reading through this list. Ask yourself: Does my life show the fruit of these activities? Has my desire to follow Jesus produced these sorts of things in my day-to-day activities?

  • Love must be sincere.
  • Hate what is evil.
  • Cling to what is good.
  • Be devoted to one another in love.
  • Honor one another above yourselves.
  • Never be lacking in zeal.
  • Keep your spiritual fervor.
  • Serve the Lord.
  • Be joyful in hope.
  • Be patient in affliction.
  • Be faithful in prayer.
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.
  • Practice hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you.
  • Bless and do not curse.
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice.
  • Mourn with those who mourn.
  • Live in harmony with one another.
  • Do not be proud.
  • Be willing to associate with people of low position.
  • Do not be conceited.
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
  • Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Do not take revenge.
  • Leave room for God’s wrath.
  • “If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
  • If your enemy is thirsty, give him something to drink.
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Questions:

•The first few verses of the Psalm 119 passage we are reading today appeals to the power of God to direct us. How would you compare seeking God’s power for understanding and direction with trying to tough your way through learning about and following God? How can you remind yourself to see God’s guidance more?

•Who is a watchman for you? Who keeps you accountable and keeps alert to ensure you are following God? For whom are you a watchman?

•When you see the list Paul writes in Romans 12 (listed above), what has he left off? What on this list surprises you? What from this list helps you follow him best?

•How comfortable are you at helping another see his or her sin? Why is this so difficult for many of us? Why is it important, however, that we do this, even beyond the fact that Jesus mentions it in this passage from Matthew?

 

Week of September 10 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of September 10 are as follows:

Psalm 119:33-48
Ezekiel 33:1-11
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 18:15-20

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

September 11 – Psalm 44; 1 Kings 13:1-10; Philippians 1:1-11; Mark 15:40-47

September 12 – Psalm 45; 1 Kings 16:23-34; Philippians 1:12-30; Mark 16:1-20

September 13 – Psalm 49, 53; 1 Kings 17:1-24; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 2:1-12

September 14 – Psalm 118; Numbers 21:4-9; 1 Peter 3:17-22; John 3:11-17

September 15 – Psalm 51; 1 Kings 18:20-40; Philippians 3:1-16; Matthew 3:1-12

September 16 – Psalm 55; 1 Kings 18:41-19:8; Philippians 3:17-4:7; Matthew 3:13-17

May the Lord Bless You

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May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us.
(Psalm 67:1)

Today’s Passages:
Psalm 67
Isaiah 56:1-7
Romans 11:13.32
Matthew 15:21-28

When you think about God blessing you, what do you want to receive as the result of that blessing?

It’s hard not to have a desire for a better life, which we often describe as fewer troubles—in our jobs, our marriages, our families, and our finances. At times, perhaps we assume that God’s blessing translates into our “team” winning. Obviously, winning could be defined in a multitude of ways, many of them having nothing to do with sports or games. Maybe God’s blessing for you is for a desire for peace in your life. The Old Testament writers would have called this “Shalom” and it referred to more than peace as an absence of war, it meant something along the lines of everything being just like it was created to be.

Psalm 67 begins with an echo of the priestly blessing found in Numbers 6:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace. (Number 6:24-26)

Nothing in this blessing would cause us not to think of the ideas we first mentioned about what a blessing would (or perhaps we might say should) look like for us.

But in verse 2, the psalmist turns an unexpected corner:

“so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all the nations.

It would seem that the blessing of God has little to do with what we receive, or at least in this moment, the writer of the psalm understands that more important than what he receives is the awareness (publicity is probably an appropriate word, although we may find ourselves uncomfortable using it) that God receives because of the great things he has done.

Which brings up a question: What if we asked God to bless us in ways that we could use to share his glory with others? What if, instead of asking for better jobs, marriages, families, or more money, we asked God to give us what we need to be a mouthpiece for him?

 

Questions:

•Spend a few minutes writing down all of the things you would like to “ascribe” to God, that is, list the great things that God has done in your life.

•How does your life communicate to others that “Salvation comes from the Lord?” How can you do a better job telling others this?

•Describe a time when you have felt intense grief for those you love who have turned their back on God. How have you expressed this grief to them and also to God?

•It is interesting that Jesus chose to spend time alone praying to God. Why do you think this was so important to Jesus (who came from God, after all) and what does his actions say about how we should also approach God in prayer?

•When have you heard Jesus tell you to “Take courage!” and really needed the courage that only he can bring?

Week of August 20 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of August 20 are as follows:

Psalm 67
Isaiah 56:1-7
Romans 11:13-32
Matthew 15:21-28

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

August 21 – Psalm 106; 2 Samuel 17:24-18:8; Acts 22:30-23:11; Mark 11:12-26

August 22 – Psalm 120, 121, 122; 2 Samuel 18:9-18; Acts 23:12-24; Mark 11:27-12:12

August 23 – Psalm 119:145-176; 2 Samuel 18:19-23; Acts 23:23-35; Mark 12:13-27

August 24 – Psalm 84; Isaiah 52:7-10; Revelation 21:1-14; Mark 12:28-35

August 25 – Psalm 141; 2 Samuel 19:24-43; Acts 24:24-25:12; Mark 12:35-44

August 26 – Psalm 104; 2 Samuel 23:1-17; Acts 25:13-17; Mark 13:1-13

 

Man Overboard

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In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.
(Jonah 2.1)

Today’s Passages:
Psalm 29
Jonah 2:1-9
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:22-33

What do you do when the bottom falls out and everything goes wrong?

I do not mean necessarily when you see evil in the world around you, although “What do you do and say?” is a highly appropriate question, especially today.

I mean more what do you do when your choices have created in your life a scenario where there is nowhere to go but up, although you are not convinced up is even possible.

If you have spent time as a part of a faith community growing up, chances are good that at some point you have turned your back on what you know you were taught to do and when you examined the wreck of your life, you thought: “Wow! I have made a mess of things and I know exactly why I am in the place I am.”

If you have never had that instruction of faith to serve as a foundation for your set of beliefs and actions, you still probably have found yourself in a place where you know things are not good and have an inkling that you wrong choices or lack of choices have somehow played a role in your life.

Imagine how you would feel if you were Jonah. Told to go serve as God’s messenger (and from that, I am going to assume he knew what God expected of him), Jonah decides to run as far away from God as possible. Get a map and find the city of Ninevah and the city Tarshish. Spoiler Alert: they are on opposite ends of the map. If you have read Jonah 1, you discover that Jonah’s decision to run did not end well. It involved a storm, being thrown overboard, and a very large fish.

Given the circumstances, how would you have reacted if you were Jonah? His prayer in Jonah 2 is a fascinating insight into how to handle that moment when you fully realize your decision to run away from God, rather than toward him and the implications that decision holds.

Instead of breaking it down for you, let me ask you to do this. Spend time every day this week praying Jonah’s prayer. Whether you find his prayer misses the mark of where your life is at this moment or if you are looking around waiting for someone to throw you overboard, I believe you will find this prayer a powerful testimony to the goodness of God, especially when wonder about your own goodness.

 

Questions:

•Spend a few minutes writing down all of the things you would like to “ascribe” to God, that is, list the great things that God has done in your life.

•How does your life communicate to others that “Salvation comes from the Lord?” How can you do a better job telling others this?

•Describe a time when you have felt intense grief for those you love who have turned their back on God. How have you expressed this grief to them and also to God?

•It is interesting that Jesus chose to spend time alone praying to God. Why do you think this was so important to Jesus (who came from God, after all) and what does his actions say about how we should also approach God in prayer?

•When have you heard Jesus tell you to “Take courage!” and really needed the courage that only he can bring?

Week of August 13 — Text List

The 1 Home Bible Study texts for the week of August 13 are as follows:

Psalm 29
Jonah 2:1-9
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:22-33

Daily Bible Reading Texts are:

August 14 – Psalm 89:19-52; 2 Samuel 13:23-39; Acts 20:17-38; Mark 9:42-50

August 15 – Psalm 113, 115; Jeremiah 31:1-14; Acts 21.1-14; Mark 10:1-16

August 16 – Psalm 119:121-144; 2 Samuel 14:21-33; Acts 21:15-26; Mark 10:17-31

August 17 – Psalm 105; 2 Samuel 15:1-18; Acts 21:27-36; Mark 10:32-45;

August 18 – Psalm 102; 2 Samuel 15:19-37; Acts 21:37-22:16; Mark 10:46-52

August 19 – Psalm 108:1-13; 2 Samuel 16:1-23; Acts 22:17-29; Mark 11:1-11