Bible Readings for June 20-26

James 4

What does it mean to be a friend of the world and how does that make you an enemy of God, according to James?

In what ways are you working to ensure you show humility in your life?

Sometimes we act as if there is nothing we can do to avoid Satan and his schemes but James seems to think otherwise. How are you resisting the devil today? What specific things can you do to accomplish this?

James 5

Why is it at times difficult for us to be patient as we wait for the coming of the Lord?

How often do we confess our sins to one another and pray for each other? How can we do this more?

Galatians 1

In what ways might Paul accuse us today of turning from the gospel of Christ?

Why is it so easy for good followers of Jesus to find themselves caught up in trying to please the people around them, versus God? Why do we worry so much what others think?

How do we receive a “revelation” of the gospel of Christ? How can we work to make sure it is God’s message, not our own?

Galatians 2

How does your story of coming to faith and your involvement in ministry compare to Paul’s?

Have you ever had to call out someone who was not living consistent with the message of Christ (and perhaps they thought they were)? How’d it go?

Does your life show that you have been crucified with Christ and that he lives in you, through faith? In what ways?

Galatians 3

How does our answer to Paul’s question about whether we received the Spirit by the works we do or the faith we have affect our life and actions today?

Why did Christ have to be a curse for us in order to redeem us from our own curse? What sort of gratitude do you feel for him doing so?

How can we live out Paul’s statement that there is “neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for we are all one in Christ” today? In what ways are you working to build up the unity of the Christ’s body, the church?

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?

James 1.19 – March 31, 2020

James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

(James 1:19, NIV)

Another one of those verses that is easy to understand what James is calling us to do … it is just much harder to actually do it.

Thought Questions:

How well do you listen? Why would listening be a challenge for people?

Publilius Syrus is quoted as saying: “I often regret that I have spoken; never that I have been silent.” When have you found this to be true in your own life?

Why do we become angry and what things can we do to NOT react in anger? What things help you be slower in angry?

James 4.17 – February 1, 2020

James 4.17

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4.17, NIV)

“Submit yourself to God”

Thought Questions:

Where do you discover those things you are to do versus those things you are to not do? What set of criteria are you using to determine this?

Why do people so often do things they know they shouldn’t do? Why does the knowledge of what they SHOULD do not prevent them from doing it?

What things do you know you should be doing … but are not? How can you do those things today?

A Careless Word – November 19, 2019

Ezekiel 39.1-40.27; James 2.18-3.18; Psalm 118.1-18; Proverbs 28.2

It slips up on even the best of us … one careless word spoken in haste, without thought. The end result, however, can be disastrous. Perhaps even life-changing. How have you seen a word spoken in haste change lives forever? How do you work to ensure you “tame” your tongue?

Questions:

How does God’s blessings or punishment show his glory to other people?

In what ways is your faith so strong that good deeds are a result?

What reasons do you have to give thanks to the Lord?

How do wise and knowledgable leaders bring stability?

Consider It Joy – November 17, 2019

Ezekiel 35.1-36.38; James 1.1-18; Psalm 116.1-19; Proverbs 27.23-27

One of the biggest challenges any of us who follow Jesus faces is the struggle to reconcile how bad things happen to us, even when we are seeking to follow him as closely as possible. It would seem our lives would get better … and easier when we follow him. James writes when we face troubles, we should consider it joy. Say what!? What we discover is that as with most things, our faith grows when challenged and stretched. Facing troubles? Know you have an opportunity for growth!

Questions:

Why would it be important for God to give the people of Israel–and us–a new heart and a new spirit?

When was the last time you asked God for wisdom?

How well do you realize that God hears you? Does your life demonstrate love for him as a result?

How well do you care for those you are able to influence and help follow God more?