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.

Colossians 1.24-29 – November 5, 2020

Colossians 1.24–29

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.  (Colossians 1.24–29, NIV)

Who gives you the power to do what you do?

Thought Questions:

How often do you think of gratitude or rejoicing when you are suffering? Why do you think Paul can react in this way?

What–or who–gives you hope?

Do you find sharing your faith with others an easy task or one that causes you to be fatigued? How can working through Christ’s power help you share your faith with others?

Colossians 2.6-7 – September 19, 2020

Colossians 2:6–7

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness  (Colossians 2:6–7, NIV)

Thought Questions:

What does it mean to receive Christ as Lord? How has taking on Christ as Lord affected how you view not only him, but also the life you live among others?

What are some ways you work to be rooted and built up in Christ? Does that happen naturally for you or do you have to put forth a conscious effort?

What are you thankful for today and how have you let that overflow into everything you do today?

Colossians 1.15-20 – July 28, 2020

Colossians 1:15–20

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  (Colossians 1:15–20 , NIV)

Being a Christian is not just about following a bunch of rules or attending services/classes when they are offered, it is about committing ourselves to Jesus, the head of the church, the supreme one.

Thought Questions:

What does it mean for Jesus to be the head of the body? How does this affect or perhaps even alter the way you look at “church?”

In a world that typically demands their rights and wants everything to be fair, how do we communicate the importance of the supremacy of Christ?

When you see Jesus, you see the fullness of God. In what ways has Jesus helped you understand God and his desire for you to live for him?

Colossians 2.13-15 – July 10, 2020

Colossians 2:13–15

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  (Colossians 2:13–15 , NIV)

You have been made alive!

Thought Questions:

For many of us, we have never felt “dead” in our sins. In what ways does Paul mean for us to understand this “death in our sins?”

How often do you pause to reflect on the fact that God forgave your sins–you did not do some sort of hard work to eliminate or overcome them?

How does being made alive in Christ change how you live your life towards others? How does it help you share the good news of this change in your own life?

Colossians 3.1-17 – May 28, 2020

Colossians 3:1–17

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 (Colossians 3:1–17, NIV)

“Speaks of God’s will and guides for holy living”

Thought Questions:

What does it mean to set your heart and mind on things above? What specific actions would you say constitute these things?

Paul has a list of characteristics we should have as people who follow God. In what ways do you find these characteristics to be a part of your life? In what ways can you make them more of your life?

How has knowing God lead to peace in your life?

Colossians 1.9-14 – March 13, 2020

Colossians 1.9-14

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,  10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9–14, NIV)

“Speaks of God’s will and guides for holy living”

Thought Questions:

Who prays for you that you would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will? Who do you pray this prayer for?

What reasons do you have to give “joyful thanks?”

How is your life different knowing that God has rescued you and brought you into his kingdom? In what ways do you share this with others?

Holy and Blameless – October 5, 2019

Jeremiah 4.19-6.15; Colossians 1.18-2.7; Psalm 77.1-20; Proverbs 24.23-25

One of the challenges those who follow Jesus face is an acceptance of the forgiveness we receive through Jesus’ reconciliation. We know ourselves too well to believe that we can be considered holy. (Does God even KNOW what I have done?) I think this is why all throughout Paul’s writings (a guy who knew what it was to do bad things, by the way) he reminds people: You stand before God without a single fault because of what Christ has done. How does such truth affect how you live for God?

Questions:

Some people assume the God of the Old Testament (Really the same God, he just seems different!) had no grace, but a close reading shows that not to be the case. Where do you see the hope of forgiveness in today’s reading from Jeremiah?

How hard do you work to present others perfect or mature before God?

What do you do when you find yourself in deep trouble? Where do you turn?

In what ways do Christians today show favoritism?

Hope in the Lord – October 4, 2019

Jeremiah 2.31-4.18; Colossians 1.1-17; Psalm 76.1-12; Proverbs 24.21-22

Watching a movie a second time is not nearly as exciting as seeing it the first time through, yet there is something exciting about being able to enjoy a movie because you know the outcome. Life can be the same way. If you know the outcome of your life, if you are confident in the hope you have, you have a much different perspective on your life. How is our confidence in the hope we have in God able to create a better lived life for us?

Questions:

“Fickle Israel.” What did Israel do to gain such a moniker and how would you like to have to live that reputation down?

Pray Colossians 1.9-12 as your prayer for others today.

What vows do you make to the Lord and how do you work to keep them?

Why does disaster hit rebels suddenly? Why would we want to follow them in the first place?