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.

Philippians 1.9-11 – August 24, 2020

Philippians 1:9–11

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.  (Philippians 1:9–11, NIV)

 

How do you pray for others?

Thought Questions:

Describe what you would consider a typical “intercessory” prayer you might hear during a time of worship today? How does this compare to the prayer here in Philippians 1?

What does it mean for someone to have their love abound more and more?

What would our world look like if we spent more time praying the prayer above for other people, requesting that God would fill them with everything they need to follow him better?

Philippians 4.4-9 – April 6, 2020

Philippians 4:4–9

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

(Philippians 4:4–9, NIV)

Even during a time that may seem difficult or even impossible to find something for which to be grateful … rejoice!

Thought Questions:

What are the reasons you most often think of for rejoicing? How do the things you think of compare to life as you know it right now?

How do you see gentleness and rejoicing as related to one another? How does the Lord’s presence help this comparison make sense?

How does prayer help you find reason to rejoice?

Philippians 4.6-9 – April 2, 2020

Philippians 4:6–9

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
 (Philippians 4:6–9, NIV)

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

Thought Questions:

We are living in an anxious time. What specific things do you worry about? How have you given these concerns to God?

How have you found peace in God?

What things in your life would you call true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable? In what ways do you keep these things at the center of your focus?

Philippians 2.1-11 – March 26, 2020

Philippians 2:1–11

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. 
(Philippians 2:1–11, NIV)

“It forms me. I think and act more like Christ when this scripture is on my heart.”

Thought Questions:

In what ways do you find yourself doing things out of “selfish ambition?” Why do you think it is so easy for people to do this?

What are ways you remind yourself to look to the interests of others, rather than your own interests? What suggestions would you have for someone trying to live this way?

How does Jesus’ giving himself for you help you better seek humility in your own life?

Philippians 4.13 – February 18, 2020

Philippians 4.13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

“I like the fact that it mentions that we can always lean on God.”

Thought Questions:

What sort of things would you like to do for God if you knew that you could not fail in doing so?

When we read through Philippians 4, we discover Paul is focused on being content in any and every situation. How does God’s strength allow us to be content and do “all things” for him?

In what ways have you been strengthened by God?

Philippians 4.6-8 – January 21, 2020

Philippians 4.6-8

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4.6-8, NIV)

“God’s got us no matter what, so there’s no reason to fear or be worried about anything. He’s working for our good.”

Thought Questions:

What things are you anxious about on a regular basis? Do you think Paul really means for you to be not anxious about these things? Does Paul have exceptions?

Describe a time when you felt peace, even when you were undergoing times of anxiety or struggles. To what do you credit as the cause of such peace?

Spend time today praying specifically for those things which cause you the most anxiety.

I Can Do All Things… – October 3, 2019

Jeremiah 1.1-2.30; Philippians 4.1-23; Psalm 75.1-10; Proverbs 24.17-20

One of the most popular verses in scripture may also be one of the most misused. Philippians 4.13 is used to encourage us to do any sort of major task that we face, it is the pep-talk of pep-talks from Scripture. Yet if you go read the entire chapter, Paul is not writing about the major tasks he can accomplish, but rather the ways he can be content in any circumstance. How does your thinking change, and the actions that follow improve, when you know that any situation you face–good or bad–you can overcome it?

Questions:

How cool is it to know that God knew you before you were even formed in the womb? How does this change your understanding of your value and worth?

Why is it so easy for people who belong to the Lord to get crossways with one another and why does Paul see unity as such an important aspects of being a part of God’s people?

In what ways are you thankful for God who is near.

Why is it so easy for us to rejoice when our enemies fall? Why would the proverb writer instruct us not to do so?

You Can Go Your Own Way – October 2, 2019

Isaiah 66.1-24; Philippians 3.5-21; Psalm 74.1-23; Proverbs 24.15-16

Fleetwood Mac were not the first to point out one can go their own ways; the prophet Isaiah wrote similar words back in his day. The challenge with Isaiah’s words are that even though you can chose your ways, the results will not be good. Look at what Isaiah writes. How do his words compare to your own results when you have tried to go at it on your own?

Questions:

If everything on heaven and earth belongs to God, how should our actions reflect this?

Use Philippians 3.10-11 as your prayer for today.

Have you ever felt rejected by God? How did you respond?

Why does it only take one disaster to overthrow the wicked?