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.”

1 Thessalonians 5.16-18 – August 25, 2020

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NIV)

In a world that feels very shaky, there may be no better advice as we continue to live for God.

Thought Questions:

What are reasons you have to rejoice today? In what ways have you expressed that rejoicing to others?

How can a person pray continually? What advice would you give to someone just starting out a life of faith that might help them learn how to pray continually?

How can you give thanks during difficult circumstances … like, the world we live in today, perhaps?

1 Thessalonians 4.1-18 – May 27, 2020

1 Thessalonians 4:1–18

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body  in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.  The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 
(1 Thessalonians 4:1–12, NIV)

“A healthy reminder to live pleasing to God.”

Thought Questions:

If you were going to list the ways you should live to live a life “pleasing to God,” what sort of things would you put on your list?

What specific actions can you do to day to demonstrate your love for one another?

How does your life win the respect of those who do not know God yet?

The Potter’s House – October 11, 2019

Jeremiah 16.16-18.23; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-5.3; Psalm 81.1-16; Proverbs 25.6-8

We like to assume we know what is best for us and we are more than willing to tell God how he should act in our lives for that “best” to come to fruition. Unfortunately–at least from our way of thinking–God does not work that way. He is the potter and we are the clay. He, as the potter, has every right to form us in the way he deems best. (To even start over if he needs to!) And truth be known, his way really is better than our way of thinking. How how you wrestled with God’s acting on your life, only to discover that his way really was better?

Questions:

In what ways do we attempt to create our own gods? How has that worked out for us?

What do we need to do to live in a way that please God?

How has God taken a load from your shoulders or a heavy task from your hands?

Why are we so prone to push our way in amongst great people rather than waiting for an invitation, as God suggests?

Repentance – October 10, 2019

Jeremiah 14.11-16.15; 1 Thessalonians 2.9-3.13; Psalm 80.1-19; Proverbs 25.1-5

When one reads through the Old Testament, particularly the prophets such as Jeremiah, one is struck about harsh they tend to sound. God sounds really, really grumpy, doesn’t he? Yet a closer look reveals two things. First, there is grace scattered all the way throughout the prophets. God wants to restore his people. The second thing you see, related to the first, is that God wants his people to turn to him. Return to me and I will restore you, God says. How important is it for us to repent to God for our actions and attitudes that are contrary to Him?

Questions:

How bad do you have to be if even Moses or Samuel cannot plead your case and get God to listen?

What sort of people would be considered your spiritual “pride and joy?” Describe the relationship you have with them.

Why is it only through God turning us to Himself that we are saved?

How can we go about removing the impurities of our life?