Bible Readings for June 13-19

Hebrews 12

What weight of sin do you need to get rid of to better run your race of faith?

Who do you look to for help in growing and perfecting your faith? In what ways is looking to humans for help a perilous task?

In what way have you seen the kingdom of God be unshakable?

Hebrews 13

How are you showing brotherly love to others? How can you do this more?

Lift up a sacrifice of praise today: acknowledge God and his goodness to someone you know.

How can you encourage the leaders who watch over your soul today?

James 1

How do you react when you face trails? Is it with joy? Why not?

For what things do you need to ask God for wisdom? How have you already experienced his gift of wisdom?

How can you be a “doer” of the word today, rather than just a hearer?

James 2

In what ways have you seen partiality shown in the church? What steps can we undertake to ensure we avoid doing this?

We often hear that a person cannot work their way into heaven, so we focus more on faith than on our works. Why does James say that works are important?

James 3

How have you seen teachers take seriously their responsibility of teaching the word to others?

Have you ever experienced a time when a slip of the tongue had huge, devastating consequences? In what ways are you working to control your tongue?

Describe the characteristic of someone you know who has wisdom from above. What sort of thing do you do to gain this kind of wisdom in your own life?

Bible Readings for June 6-12

Hebrews 7

Have you ever obtained perfection at something? What about in spiritual life? Why is perfection so difficult to attain?

How does Jesus, the great high priest, bring about perfection for us?

Why is it important that Jesus the high priest was: “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens”?

Hebrews 8

What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says that the covenant Jesus mediates is better because it is enacted on better promises?

In what ways have you sensed God’s laws put into your mind and written on your heart?

Hebrews 9

Do you ever feel as if God is too perfect to be approached? How does this chapter address that feeling?

What are ways you are willing to sacrifice for others? In what ways does the extent of your sacrifice depend on who you are making the sacrifice for?

In what ways are you eagerly awaiting Christ’s second coming?

Hebrews 10

What are some examples of people trying to “make up” for the sins they committed or the wrongs they have done? Why do these attempts typically fail?

Do you feel confident to “enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus”? How is this confidence demonstrated in your life?

How can you stir others to love and good works today? Have you met with other believers and encouraged them today?

Hebrews 11

How’s your faith? Assured? Convicted? How can you have more faith today?

When you read through this list of people who demonstrated faith, which one stands out to you? Why?

Who are people you have met in your life who have demonstrated faith to you?

How do you feel knowing that all these people of faith did not receive what they had been promised, but they receive that promise with us because God promised something better for us?

Bible Readings for May 30 – June 5

Hebrews 2

How are you making sure to pay closer attention to the message you have heard on order that you may not drift away?

Why did Jesus have to take on or become “flesh and blood”?

What reactions do you have to knowing that because Jesus suffered while being tempted, he can help us when we are tempted? In what ways have you found this to be true in your life?

Hebrews 3

Based on what you know about high priests, what does it mean that Jesus is “the apostle and high priest of our confession”?

How have you felt confidence and hope from that knowledge that Christ is God’s son?

Who have you exhorted today to avoid the deceitfulness of sin?

Hebrews 4

How does knowing there is a Sabbath rest for God’s people comfort you? In what ways does it make a difference as you approach your crazy, hectic schedule?

What are you doing to be intentional about finding God’s rest in your routine?

How do you draw near to the throne of God with confidence?

Hebrews 5

How do you learn obedience through suffering? What specific lessons have you learned that might benefit others?

Do you feel like your faith is living on milk or solid food? What might you do to “grow up” into more mature food … and faith?

Hebrews 6

How are you laying a foundation of repentance in your life?

In what ways is God’s unchangeable nature significant for your faith?

Demonstrate today the hope you have to be able to enter the holy place of God, the hope set before you through Jesus Christ.

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?

Hebrews 11.1-40 – August 11, 2020

Hebrews 11:1–40

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”  For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

(Hebrews 11:1–12 , NIV)

“I like all of the examples of faith.”

Thought Questions:

As you read through the list of individuals of faith in Hebrews 11, which individual stands out the most to you and why?

If someone were to list you on their “List of Great Men and Women of Faith,” what sort of things would you be commended for?

In what ways is being a great man or woman of faith less about what you do than it is about trusting in God? How can you trust him more?

Hebrews 11.1-40 – July 30, 2020

Hebrews 11:1-40

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;  they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.  (Hebrews 11.1-2, 32-40 , NIV)

“The whole chapter is good, but 32-35 reminds me that my faith in him can overcome anything.”

Thought Questions:

When you read the list of things these individuals did by faith, what is your reaction? How do these things compare to the things you do in your own life?

Do you think faith alone would be enough for you to accomplish some of these things listed? Why or why not?

How does knowing God had something in store for them that only came together with us increase your faith?

Hebrews 11.1 – July 14, 2020

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  (Hebrews 11:1 , NIV)

For many of us, we trust only that which we know with certainty. That’s what makes faith faith – it is being confident in God even though we cannot see him.

Thought Questions:

Finish this sentence: “I have faith that _______.” What sort of things did you use to fill in the blank? Why do you think you used these things?

If you could see God and all the things he is doing, do you think it would increase or decrease your faith? Why do you think this to be the case?

In what ways has God’s faith proven to be certain in your life?

Hebrews 12.14-15 – May 14, 2020

Hebrews 12:14–15

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:14–15, NIV)

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

Thought Questions:

How hard is it to live at peace with everyone? How hard do you try to live at peace with everyone?

Why is holiness an important characteristic to see the Lord?

How do people fall short of the grace of God?

Hebrews 13.6 – May 11, 2020

Hebrews 13:6

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, NIV)

Thought Questions:

In what ways has the Lord helped you?

What is the relationship between God being a helper and us being without fear?

Even knowing that God is Sovereign, why do we fear those around us? How can we trust God’s help more and fear less?

Hebrews 1.1-14 – January 27, 2020

Hebrews 1.1-14

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1.1-4, NIV)

“The reminder that Christ has spoken God’s love to us, through the gift of His son, spoken to us through his son.”

Thought Questions:

How does watching the life of Jesus help us know better God and his love for us?

How does being an “exact representation” of something help demonstrate the “real” thing?

How important is it for us to recognize that purification for our sins comes from God through his son, Jesus?