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?


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?

Publish This

20161225-letters-1hbsPublish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
(Psalm 96.3, NLT)

If there was a fantastic event happening in your city this weekend, how would you know where and when the event was being held? Let’s say the circus was coming to town. You and your family love the circus and would love to attend, but how would you get the information you needed to do so?

Easy, you say. What with newspaper, radio, television, the Internet and social media, it might be hard NOT to be aware of the upcoming circus.

And while this has not always been the case, you would be right. The movable type printing press has been around since the mid-1400s, but recent technologies have created ways to more easily share a wealth of information:

  • The first radio news broadcast was aired in 1920.
  • The regularly scheduled news you watch nightly has only been around since 1950.
  • The first publicly available use of the Word Wide Web happened August of 1991.
  • Facebook, perhaps the most common way of receiving information today, first went online in 2004. (Twitter followed in 2006, Pinterest and Instagram in 2010, and the latest rage, Snapchat, has been around since 2011. By the time this is published, something else will probably be the “in” thing.)

It is no wonder people talk about information overload. Dissemination of information used to be in the hands of only a few, but now it can be accomplished by anyone. Today there will be over 3 million blog posts published from around 175 million blogs. If you checked Facebook today, you did so along with 1.6 billion other individuals. During the 10 seconds it takes you to read this sentence, over 60,000 tweets will have been published, which equates to roughly 500 million tweets per day.

The issue, therefore, is not finding something to talk about. It is talking about those things that really are important. It is about finding the good stuff in the midst of all of the other noise.

That’s why the psalmist’s words in Psalm 96 are so significant. Publish THIS news: God’s glorious deeds and his presence are among us. “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!” (96.4)

When you think about the weight of these words on this day, Christmas Day, their significance becomes even more important. Away in a manger, as we sing, a small child was born who to anyone passing by might have seemed just another child or incredibly insignificant in a world full of newborns. Stop the presses, however. This child is important. He is the light that shines into the world (Isaiah 9.2) and the hope that brings salvation to all humankind (Titus 2.11). In a time when (too) many things are said, creating a distracted environment of indistinguishable noise, the birth of child needs to be the center of our conversation.

Indeed, he has done amazing things. Publish them to the entire world … and to the person sitting next to you. Praise his name.


•How has the movement from expecting the light to come to the birth of Jesus to the salvation he offers impacted how you live your life today? How can you share this story of faith with others?

•Share with one another the ways you have seen God’s marvelous deeds in your life. How can you share these deeds with someone else today?

•Think of all of the names you can think of that are used to describe Jesus. Which one means the most to you and why?

•Share with one another your salvation has allowed you to say “No” to ungodliness. Why does the appearance of Jesus Christ give you hope?

•What is the most unexpected thing about Luke’s story of the birth of Jesus?