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?

Bible Readings for May 16-22

1 Timothy 6

How do you ensure you are teaching (and being taught) the “sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ”?

Why do you think people are attracted to words of controversy or conflict? How can we work to avoid these, especially in the church?

How content are you? How do you seek even more contentment in your life?

2 Timothy 1

Who do you remember in your prayers day and night? Why is this person or these people so important to you?

Have you ever been ashamed of the testimony about God? Why might people be ashamed of this and how do we avoid it?

Have you ever thought about the message of Christ in you as a deposit? How does such a view change or affect how and why you go about sharing that message?

2 Timothy 2

How would knowing that Paul is in prison because of his preaching change the way Timothy might hear his message? How does it change how you hear it?

Several times Paul mentions avoiding quarrels about words or irreverent babbling. Why do you think these things were so important to Paul?

How have you pursued righteousness, faith, love, and peace today?

2 Timothy 3

Last days or not, how have you seen people act in the ways Paul describes in this chapter? How do we deal with people like this?

Are you persecuted? How are persecution and godly lives connected?

If all scripture is God-breathed, what should our response and attitude be toward the reading and study of it?

2 Timothy 4

In what ways do you preach the word?

How well are you fighting the good fight and finishing the race?

Bible Readings for May 9-15

1 Timothy 1

Who calls you their “true child in the faith?” Who is your child in the faith? What are ways you can develop intentional relationships to help individuals grow in their faith, much like a parent would their child?

In what ways do you recognize that Christ Jesus came to the world to save you, the foremost of sinners? How has he shown his patience through you?

Has there been a time in your life when people have encouraged you to live a life of service for Christ? How have you gone about doing that?

1 Timothy 2

Pause today to spend some time giving prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for others.

How is leading peaceful and quiet lives a demonstration of a Godly life and how does it help others come to know salvation?

How might this life described here be related to Paul’s statement about men and women?

1 Timothy 3

As Paul describes qualifications for elders and deacons, who are the people who come to mind? How have these people helped you grow in your faith?

In what ways have you experienced church as the “household of God”? In what ways have you experienced the living God through church?

1 Timothy 4

What things in your life might you be tempted to reject, forgetting they are to be accepted from God with thanksgiving? Why is this the case and how can you avoid doing this?

How do you train yourself for godliness … and avoid silly myths?

What are some of the ways you have set your hope on the living God?

In what ways do you devote yourself to “the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching”?

1 Timothy 5

How do we treat people within the church who are older and younger than we are? How can we continue to do this even more?

How do we treat widows within our congregation? How should we treat them?

Bible Readings for May 2-8

1 Thessalonians 4

In what ways are you living your life to please God? How can you do that even more?

How do you work to maintain purity and holiness? What specific strategies do you—or could you—use to avoid impurity in your life?

Who can you encourage to remember the Lord will return and we will join him? And how might you do so?

1 Thessalonians 5

Does the idea that the Lord will come like a thief in the night cause you fear? How can the life you live for him eliminate any fear of his return?

How does knowing that God destined us to receive salvation through Jesus Christ give you comfort and joy?

How have you rejoiced today? And for what have you given thanks?

2 Thessalonians 1

Have you ever suffered because of your faith? What was your response to this suffering? Do you ever see your suffering as an indication that you are worthy of the kingdom of God? Why or why not?

Who can you pray this prayer for today: May the name of our Lord Jesus be glorified in you?

2 Thessalonians 2

Why would the Thessalonians have been worried that the day of the Lord came and went and they missed it? In what ways do you fear that you might miss Christ’s return?

How are you standing firm in the things you have been taught by those who are examples of faith to you?

What good words have been established in your heart and how do you act upon these words?

2 Thessalonians 3

Pray for those sharing the message of Jesus with others, that they will be delivered from those who are evil.

Have you ever grown weary of doing good? How can you avoid such a thing in your life?

Bible Readings for April 25 – May 1

Mark 15

Why do you think Jesus responded to Pilate’s question by simply saying: “You have said so”? How do you think you would have responded if you found yourself in that situation?

How do you think Simon of Cyrene was affected by his role in Jesus’ crucifixion? Why do you think Mark (as well as other gospel writers) chooses to mention Simon?

Why did it take courage for Joseph to request the body of Jesus?

Mark 16

We often begin Easter Sunday in full joy and celebration. How does this mood compare to what we see demonstrated by Mary, Mary, and Salome? How can we remember not only the joy of the resurrection, but also the fear his followers had immediately after his death?

What reasons did the women have to be afraid?

If we assume the gospel of Mark ended with verse 8, do you think this was intentional and if so, why would Mark have ended his story here?

1 Thessalonians 1

Who are people in your life that you give thanks for their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of home”?

In what ways have you seen God’s message demonstrated in you with power and conviction?

How can you be such a person of faith that you are imitated by others?

1 Thessalonians 2

Describe a time when you have had to be bold in your proclamation of the gospel. In what ways did you encounter conflict as a result of your boldness? Did this conflict cause you to consider not being bold?

What sort of life must you live to demonstrate a “motherly affection” for the people you are trying to reach for Jesus? Would you say you often have this sort of attitude? Why or why not?

1 Thessalonians 3

Has there ever been a time when you were worried sick over the spiritual health of someone? How did you respond to this worry?

Pray this prayer for someone today: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as I do for you.”

Bible Readings for April 11-17

Mark 5

Why do you think people were afraid to see the healed demoniac sitting calmly in his right mind? How do we typically respond to a demonstration of the power of God?

How desperate was the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak? What do you think you would have done if you had been in a similar situation and why?

What power or authority does Jesus NOT have? In what ways should our lives be different knowing the power he has?

Mark 6

Why do you think the people of Nazareth went so quickly from amazement at Jesus’ teaching to taking offense at what he was saying? How do you respond to Jesus’ teaching?

What would have been going through your mind if Jesus sent you out with nothing for your journey except the clothes on your back?

What does it tell you about Jesus that he had compassion on the crowd hearing him teach? And that he feed them?

Mark 7

What traditions might we hold that cause us to focus more on the tradition than on honoring God? How can we focus more on honoring Him?

Why do you think Jesus spends so much time telling people not to tell others about the healing and miracles he was doing?

Mark 8

Why do people want signs from God even in the midst of all of the great things Jesus is doing? How have you seen Jesus’ actions at work in your own life?

Do you think Peter knew what he was saying when he said that Jesus was the Christ? What does it mean to you that Jesus was not just a man, but was actually the Christ, the Messiah?

Mark 9

In what ways are you listening to Jesus? How do you make an effort to hear him better?

Do you think you would have understood Jesus’ saying he was going to be killed if you had been one of his disciples? Why do you think this is the case?

Why do we care so much about being the greatest … at almost everything!? In what ways do you seek to serve others instead of trying to be the greatest?

Bible Readings for April 4-10

2 Peter 3

In what ways might it be easy for us to assume that the promise of Christ’s return might have been overlooked? What reminder do you hold on to in order to not forget Christ’s coming return?

How does the slowness of Christ’s return and the desire of God to see people come to repentance motivate you to help people find faith in Jesus?

What are you looking forward to most about God’s promise of a new heaven and a new earth?

Mark 1

As you read through Mark 1, what is different about the start of this gospel in comparison to the other three? Why do you think this is the case?

Are you surprised at the first recorded words of Jesus here? What might you have expected if not these words? How would you have started your public ministry if you were in Jesus’ shoes?

Why do you think Jesus—the Son of God—felt compelled to go off to a solitary place and pray? How can you schedule more time for solitude and prayer in your life?

Mark 2

What sort of relationship do you think the paralytic had with the four men carrying him? Why do you think this is the case? How does this compare to the relationships you have with others?

Three (at least) of the stories in this chapter involve the Pharisees. Why do you sense the Pharisees were so focused on rule-keeping and maintaining holiness versus Jesus’ desire to call to him those who were lost? Which of these categories would you say you fit into?

Mark 3

The story of the man with the withered hand is the only place in the gospels where we are specifically told that Jesus was angry. What’s it take to make Jesus angry? How does this compare to what makes you angry and what might need to change in your life based on this reflection?

We often talk about belonging to the “family of God.” What does Jesus say it takes to be a part of his family? How “family” are you and how can you be even more so that way?

Mark 4

In what ways have you felt like each of the four different soils Jesus describes in this parable? What are you doing to try to be as healthy a soil as possible?

How is it that Jesus could sleep in the middle of this storm?

Why do you think “do not fear” is one of if not the most often used command Jesus tells others? How has knowing Jesus reduced fear in your life?

Bible Readings for March 28-April 3

1 Peter 3

Why is the respect and love husbands and wives show each other so important for the life of believers, but also unbelievers? How have you seen this to be true?

What things are you doing to cultivate the inner beauty of your heart?

Although it seems difficult to do, how can you bless those who act out of evil motives toward you?

What is the reason for the hope you have in Jesus Christ? How can you share that hope with someone today?

1 Peter 4

How do you live self-controlled and sober-minded lives in preparation for the end, which Peter says is near?

In what ways can you demonstrate earnest love for others?

Do you remember to glorify God in everything you do? How can you do this better?

1 Peter 5

What does it look like to be subject to the elders?

What anxieties are you dealing with today? How can you give them to God, who cares for you?

2 Peter 1

Do you ever feel ineffective and unfruitful in your faith? How might focusing on virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love help those feelings?

How can you in turn help others remember and think more about these qualities?

2 Peter 2

Do you think Peter would identify false prophets in our world today? Who would these people be and what would be the focus of their message?

How comfortable are we reading about God’s punishment on those who do not follow him? Why is God’s punishment an important part of his judgment and even his grace?

Bible Readings for March 21-27

Colossians 2

Using practical and easy steps, describe a life that walks in Christ Jesus, rooted and built in him, established in faith, and abounding in thanksgiving.

When you think of Jesus, how often do you think of his being the fullness of deity, the fullness of God? What might help you think of this more often?

Colossians 3

What advice would you give someone seeking to set their minds on things above? How would you tell them to successfully accomplish this?

Read through Paul’s list of earthly things versus his list of spiritual things. How can you consistently focus on the latter, while avoiding the former?

Colossians 4

How can you be about keeping steadfast in prayer?

Is your speech always gracious, seasoned with salt? Why or why not?

1 Peter 1

What hope have experienced in living for Jesus?

What does it mean to prepare your mind for action?

In what ways does it seem impossible to be holy like God is holy? What do you think Peter means by this statement?

1 Peter 2

Malice. Deceit. Hypocrisy. Envy. Slander. All of these things are way too common among God’s people. Why do you think this is the case and what can we do about it?

How is your life different knowing you have been chosen and set apart by God?

What does it mean to be an exile? Why is Peter’s description of God’s people here so appropriate, especially today?

 

Prayer for the week: “Lord, help us to make our minds ready for action and may we hope fully in the grace that comes from you through Jesus Christ.”

Get a full 2021 Reading List HERE.

Bible Readings for March 14-20

Philippians 1

For whom do you thank God when you remember them?

Paul writes that his arrest actually served to help spread the gospel of Christ. How do you think you would react to being imprisoned for your faith?

How can a struggle or challenge you are going through help spread the good news of Christ?

How can you live your life in such a way that it is “worthy of the gospel of Christ”? What specific actions or attitudes might this include?

Philippians 2

In what ways do you remember to live your life for others, without an attitude of “selfish ambition?”

How easy or difficult do you find it to have the same mindset of Christ? Why do you think this is the case?

Why is it easier to grumble or complain than it is to put others before yourself?

Philippians 3

What causes you to rejoice? What about rejoicing in the Lord?

What sort of things might someone be willing to give up to fully know Christ Jesus? How does this compare to Paul’s statement that he would give up everything to know Christ?

What keeps you focused on the goal of Jesus Christ and pushing forward toward that goal versus always dwelling on what’s behind you?

Philippians 4

Why do you think Eudia and Synthyche were having trouble getting along? How does this disagreement impact the message of this entire letter?

We often hear Philippians 4.13 used in a variety of situations where we need strength or power to overcome some challenge, which is not really the context of how Paul uses this passage. What do you sense Paul is saying in this verse/paragraph? Why is this important to know?

Colossians 1

We find here the third or fourth intercessory prayer—prayers on the behalf of others—of Paul’s so far in this year’s readings. What stands out to you in these prayers, especially the one here? How do these prayers compare to what we typically consider intercessory prayers?

How important for following God is knowing Jesus, given that the “fullness of God” dwelt in Jesus?

How hard do we work to present people “mature in Christ”? How can we work harder to do this?

 

Prayer for the week: “Lord, may we be people who speak boldly in your name.”

Get a full 2021 Reading List HERE.