Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Nov 27 – Dec 4

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

advent-2016-reading-plan-nov-27-dec4-2016-christmas-or-christmust-count-the-cost

Questions to Guide You:

This Christmas we’re thinking about celebrating CHRIST versus accomplishing all the things we MUST do socially or culturally. With all the social obligations demanding our time, we will look at what we actually MUST do this CHRISTmas. This week we’ll “Count the Costs” of celebrating CHRISTmas.

  • Christmas is an expensive time of year. How much does it cost you and your family to celebrate Christmas? What are the financial, social, relational, and cultural costs?
  • What did the Angel tell Mary? What would it cost Mary to accept this invitation? What financial, personal, physical, cultural costs? What does she risk by agreeing to Christmas?
  • How would Mary’s family respond? How would her husband respond? How would it change her living situation and finances?
  • Does the way you welcome Jesus at Christmas cost you any of the same things? Should it?
  • Luke 14 helps us count the costs of being a disciple of Jesus. How did Mary hate her “mother and father” in order to celebrate Jesus? How might radically putting Jesus first offend your mom and dad this Christmas? How might it offend your boss? How might it altar your traditions?
  • After accepting her task, Mary flees to her Aunt Elizabeth’s house. Why might she go there? Do you think she went to celebrate or avoid anyone noticing her growing belly?
  • In her song, Mary focuses on the “humble” and “lowly” and “hungry”. How has her new life as Jesus’ mom thrust these things upon her?
  • Matthew records the same story from Joseph’s view. What did it cost Joseph to celebrate Christmas? How did it affect his traditions, family, job, and even living arrangements? How did putting Jesus Christ first affect his relationships with family and friends?
  • After Jesus is born, in Luke 2, they take Jesus to be circumcised and there a prophet, Simeon, tells Mary several things about Jesus. What does he tell her about the cost of welcoming Jesus and how people will respond to Jesus?
  • Are your holiday plans determined more by family traditions and obligations or by celebrating Jesus? Which events get put on the calendar, and which get filled in around the edges? Which are negotiable and which are granite?
  • What habits, events, celebrations, decorations, worship services, or parties might you put on the calendar right now to welcome Jesus even if it means your mom and dad and boss have to wait?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Nov 13-20 – King’s First Act

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

matt-21-12-22-reading-plan-nov13-20-2016-king-of-the-whole-world-first-act

Questions to Guide You:

In God’s providence we will read about King Jesus’ first act after his triumphant entry. He does not attack Rome rulers, but the Jewish priests. And he reminds every one of his chief purpose.

  • According to Matt 21:12-22, what was Jesus’ first act? Why is he so angry? How does Jesus’ fury marry with your imagination of Jesus?
  • They were changing money into the Jewish currency and selling sacrificial animals for people to use in worship. They were doing so in “The Court of the Gentiles,” which is the outer courtyard of the temple, but is the only place non-Jewish people can worship the Lord. It is as close as the nations can get to God. How does this affect your understanding of Jesus’ anger?
  • Lev 21:18 prohibits the blind and lame from entering the temple, and yet Jesus heals them “at the temple” (vs14), so they can worship. If they could come to Jesus sick and be healed, can you? Who is welcome in Jesus’ presence in the temple?
  • What does Isaiah 56 promise to the nations, the non-Jewish people looking for God? How is this money changing thwarting that promise?
  • Why does God care about the nations? What is his promises to Abraham regarding the nations?
  • Jesus quotes “Den of robbers” from Jer 7. What is God angry about in Jer 7, and how does it match Jesus’ anger?
  • According to Genesis 12 and Ezek 39, what is Israel’s purpose in the world for the nations? How is their faith to affect the nations? How does this culminate in Rev 7? What does it mean for us as a church? What does it mean for how we think about non-believers? Should we withdrawal or engage?
  • Psalm 9 and 99 are both proclamations to the nations. What do the authors want the nations to know? Why is the God of Israel so good, the nations need to know about him?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Nov 6-13 – King of Kings

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

matt-21-1-11-reading-plan-nov6-13-2016-king-of-the-whole-world

Questions to Guide You:

This week is Election week, and in God’s providence we will read about King Jesus entering Jerusalem. We will see that his campaign was not applauded and his platform rejected. We will pray for our government, and we will see God use rulers in the past.

  • Matt 21 is the triumphant entry, or as close as we get to one. It is the equivalent of an Inauguration ball. What seems off about it?
  • Matthew calls Jesus king in verse 5, but the actual rulers of Jerusalem are Roman occupiers. How would it feel to celebrate the 4th of July, while being under German or Japanese control (if we lost WWII)? That’s the situation here for Israel.
  • What does the prophesy in Zechariah 9 promise? What things will happen when the King comes? Matt 21 is a preview of Rev 1. What happens then?
  • 1 Tim 2 instructs us to pray for our leaders often and everywhere. Today during voting and results announcements, pray that God would bless our leaders with wisdom and humility.
  • How can God use godly leaders? How can God use ungodly leaders? If you are disappointed with the results, how can you pray for your enemies and trust God with the results?
  • Ezra 1 tells of an ungodly king, Cyrus, who does a ton of godly things. He is not a Jew and yet God uses him as a shepherd and a benefactor for his people. How does God use this unbelieving ruler? How can God use the person elected yesterday?
  • Daniel 4 shows how the most powerful ruler ever, learned humility. How did it happen? What does Nebuchadnezzar acknowledge in the end?
  • Pray our rulers learn the same lessons in your own words.
  • Psalm 2 talks about a conspiracy of worldly powers against God and God’s king. Does this world/election feel like a conspiracy against God? Transform Psalm 2 into a prayer.
  • Psalm 118 is quoted in Matt 21:9. What stands out in this Psalm? How is the Psalm good news to us?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Sept 25 – Oct 2

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

worship-together-reading-plan-sept-25-oct-2-2016-pieces-of-worship

Questions to Guide You:

This week, we will take a slight step away from Matthew in order to talk about the pieces of our weekly worship together. On Sunday, we’ll dissect our worship services, the pieces, and the intentional arrangement thereof. Our hope is that it will make us more active and receptive worshippers this fall.

  • Over and over, the Psalmists exhort us to “Worship the LORD,” and specially to do so “in the congregation.” Why do you think it is important to worship together and not just alone? Why do you think Jews and Christians have always intentionally worshipped together?
  • When the Psalmists are at their best, they don’t just tell us what to do, they tell us why we should want to worship. What reasons does Ps 11 and Ps 89 give to make us want to worship? When you don’t feel like worshipping what things do you remind yourself about God?
  • Every week, we take time to confess our sins together. Why is this so important? Why not just jump right into worship and preaching? What happens to Isaiah when he comes into God’s presence in Isaiah 6?
  • What does 1 John 1 tell us happens when we come in the light? What must we do?
  • 1 Timothy 4 contains instructions for a pastor/elder, Timothy. What does Paul tell Timothy to do with his congregation? Why does he talk so much about teaching and teaching correctly? Why do you think Christians have always emphasized teaching/preaching in their time together?
  • Acts 6 talks about the appointment of people to manage the collection of funds and the distribution of help for the church. Why is worshipping God with our moneys so important? Why do we wait to give our gifts until after we’ve preached the Gospel?
  • What is the last thing Pastor Andrew does each week? Why is this so important?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Sept 18-25

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

matt-19-13-15-reading-plan-sept-18-25-2016-gift-of-children

Questions to Guide You:

This week, 

we will turn from the gift of singleness to the gift of children. Christianity honors children as a gift and as members of the community of faith. We will look at a theology of kids and our privileges as parents and members of the Church.

  • How does Jesus interact with kids? Why do you think the disciples tried to chase them away? How are their difference actions indicative of different thinking about kids?
  • How can we as parents, a society, and a church spend more time rebuking kids rather than welcoming, blessing, and celebrating them? How can we as parents and a community bless our kids?
  • What does Psalm 127 and Prov 17:6 call children and grandchildren? How does viewing kids as “gifts from the LORD” change our relationships with them? How would we interact with them if we believed that all kids whether ours, others, or orphans were gifts from God to creation? How would our society change?
  • How does “gift” language change our view of unloved or unwanted kids?
  • Prov 22 and 19 tell us how we are to instruct our children? Children are not just a “gift” they are also a “calling.” That means they are a mission from God? What should we do for kids?
  • Ps 8 talks about kids worshiping and praising God, and Deut 11 talks about teaching kids to worship. How do we teach kids and how do they teach us?
  • Isaiah 54 is one my favorite chapters. How is it good news for those who are childless or wrestle through infertility? What is God’s promise to those who have no bio-kids here? What will he do through them? 

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – September 11-18

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

matt-19-11-12-reading-plan-sept-11-18-2016-gift-of-singleness

Questions to Guide You:

This week, we will turn from the gift of marriage to the gift of singleness. Christianity honors both single and married people as fully human and holy, but our society often stigmatizes or at least fails to celebrate singleness as a beautiful gift from God.

  • How might you define “eunuchs”? Who are people “born eunuchs”? “those made eunuchs by others”? and those “who chose to live as eunuchs”?
  • What might these 3 groups of people teach us about being single and joyfully so?
  • Why do you think the disciples conclude, “it’s better not to marry?” Are they right or wrong? (I don’t know yet).
  • 1 Cor 7 is the longest teaching on singleness and its blessedness in the Bible, but it is a bit confusing. Why is Paul so passionate about people choosing to be single? What does he love about his singleness?
  • What unique gifts, opportunities, benefits, and blessings do single people have that married people forfeit in a marriage? How is a single person’s schedule, budget, habits, hobbies, failures, and decisions different from a married person’s?
  • What challenges do single folk face that married folks avoid to a degree? How does singleness affect friendships, intimacy, goals, and maturity?
  • 1 Sam and 2 Sam describe David and Jonathan’s friendship. How might this inform the levels of intimacy still available to unmarried people’s friendships? How does David and Jonathan’s relationship differ from marriage?
  • Isaiah 56 is a blessing on Eunuchs (all 3 classes). How does it comfort single folk, and what does it promise? Are these consolation prizes or legit gifts?
  • Acts 8 describes one of the earliest and most influential converts to Christ. How might his status as a eunuch explain the historical fact that the Ethiopian Church is the oldest continuously active church in the world?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – August 8-15

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

Matt 18.21-35 - Reading Plan -  Aug 6-13.2016 - A Beautiful Mess - The Forgiving Church

Questions to Guide You:

n this series, “A Beautiful Mess”, we learn the Church is full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints. This week, we’ll see that in church, we’re going to get hurt. People will sin against us, and we will have to forgive more times than we ever thought possible. This is how we learn grace.

  • “Brother or sister” refers specifically to fellow Christians, so why does Peter ask, “How many times,” if no one hurts one another in church? What does the huge number “7 times 7” or “77 times” tell us about the number of times we’ll have to forgive?
  • Can you think of times, when people in church hurt you? When you hurt them or disappointed them or neglected them? Where you forgiven?
  • How do we process the anger that comes with being hurt according to James 1:19-20?
  • Neh 9 is a prayer of confession, cataloguing Israel’s sin? How many times does God forgive Israel in Neh 9? How does God practice James 1:19-20 in his relationship with humans? How would you respond if you were God? When would you have given up?
  • Who does the King represent? The debtors? Why does the first servant extort the next? What would have prevented this? How are we like the first servant?
  • How does our awareness of God’s forgiveness impact our ability to forgive? How much has God forgiven you? Try to think about the ways God has spared you from consequences?
  • In Luke 7, Jesus says, “Whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Why is this? How can we remind ourselves of our great debts so that we can be more willing to forgive others.
  • In Matt 18 and Luke 7, we see the true nature of forgiveness. When the debt is “forgiven” it is really paid by the king. Forgiveness means I will pay the consequences of your mistake. I will bear the cost, and I will not force you to pay the price. How is forgiving another human for lying, cheating, etc. like paying another’s debt?
  • Write Jeremiah 50:20 out? Where has the record of our guilt and debt gone? How does Jesus pay the debt that was mine to pay?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – July 24-31 – One Church One Mission

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

Matt 18.10-14 - Reading Plan -  July 24-31.2016 - A Beautiful Mess - One Church One Mission

Questions to Guide You:

In this series, “A Beautiful Mess”, we learn the Church is a beautiful mess full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints. We learn that the most common reasons people give up on church are the very reason church works. Jesus wasn’t surprised by any of these.

This week, we’ll hear from our Mission Team during service.

  • Prov 31 mentions “those who cannot speak for themselves” and the “poor and needy”. Who do you think that refers to in our day and time? How can we speak for them and defend their rights?
  • Isaiah 58 is a long sermon about proper religious life. Isaiah is indicting the people for doing a bunch of religious stuff but not prioritizing the poor. Is 58:10 is his summary. How can you and we better shine?
  • Try to pray 1 Thess 3:12-13 in your own words as a prayer for you and for Oakland. Why is it so important for love to increase and overflow? Who do you think “each other” and “everyone else” refers? How is this overflowing love connected to a strengthened heart?
  • Try to rewrite 2 Thess 1:11-12 as a prayer for yourself and for Oakland. What is Paul praying for the church in Thessalonica? What does it mean that God would bring to fruition our every desire for goodness and deed prompted by faith?
  • What is the eternal encouragement and good hope 2 Thess 2:16-17 mentions, and how does Jesus and God our Father personally encourage us? How has God encouraged you in every good deed and word?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – July 17 – 24

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

Matt 18.6-9 - Reading Plan -  July 17-24.2016 - A Beautiful Mess - Stumbling Church

Questions to Guide You:

In this series, “A Beautiful Mess”, we learn the Church is a beautiful mess full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints. We learn that the most common reasons people give up on church are the very reason church works. Jesus wasn’t surprised by any of these. This week, we’ll see that our selfish sin, even secret sin has community consequences.

  • Matt 18 started with the self-promoting question, “Who is the greatest?” and now turns to the dangers of self-pleasuring. In Matt 17, we talked about things that are not sins, but might cause others to sin (like drinking, attire, and dance). Here we’re talking about things that are sin (lust, drunkenness, adultery, etc), and cause others to sin too.
  • How can we cause others to sin? How can we put a stumbling block before them?
  • How does my sin, even secret sin, affect and infect others? What sins have you committed this week that involved others or led others astray?
  • What does Paul say should happen to those who lead others astray?
  • In Gen 20, 2 Sam 11, and 2 Kings 21 ask, “How does _____ sin? How does it affect/infect others? Why does he sin? Have you ever sinned for the same reasons? What would have happened if he acted from faith instead of fear? How does each sin replace God with something/someone else, and how is God the better option for protection, pleasure, or provision?
  • Rev 2 is two letters to churches? What is God concerned about in each church? What does he ask? What does he threaten? What does he promise?
  • How does Church community show us our sins and consequences? How is that good news for our spiritual growth? If you never saw the affect of your sin on others would you ever quit? Likewise, if there were no consequences or punishments, what sins would commit? That is why we need the church and more so repentance and Jesus.
  • What does our potential to trip others say about our potential to grow others? How does church help us mentor and influence others?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – July 10-17

The center column holds the main text for each day, while the right column includes secondary texts.

Basic Tips:1.) Use a translation you can understand. If new to the Bible, try the NIrV or The Message, which are both available online. 2.) Use a kids Bible with kids. 3.) Keep a pencil and notebook around to write down questions, observations, and conclusions. 4.) Have fun. Use your imagination and your brain.

Matt 18.1-5 - Reading Plan -  July 10-17.2016 - A Beautiful Mess - Ego Church

Questions to Guide You:

In this series, “A Beautiful Mess”, we learn the Church is a beautiful mess full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints – creating joy and disappointment. And we learn that the most common reasons people give up on church are the very reason church works. Jesus wasn’t surprised by any of these. This week, we’ll see that sometimes the Churches fight of position, prestige, and greatness.

  • Matt 18:1-5 is a corrective teaching. What is Jesus correcting in the disciples? What are the disciples asking? How does Jesus unend their thinking?
  • What does it mean to be child-like? Is Jesus encouraging us to be “childish”? How is spiritual maturity like a child?
  • When have you seen churches fight over “greatest-ness” (childishness)? When have you seen “Childlike-ness”?
  • What does the Proverb tell us about pride and arrogance?
  • What does it mean to “humble thyself”?
  • Try to transform Psalm 131 into a prayer in your own words? Try to imagine the scenario described in the Psalm? When has the Psalm been most true of you?
  • Why does James tell us to turn our laughter to mourning? And our joy to gloom? How does the presence of God do that, and then how does it lift us up higher than we were?
  • Isaiah 2 promises that the Lord’s Presence and Glory will displace our pride and our idols. How does this help us understand what it means to be humble or humbled? How does God’s glory put us back in right perspective?
  • Luke 1 is the Magnificat, what is Mary celebrating? How is her song connected to our reading in Matt?
  • 1 Cor 13 is famous but not often examined. How is love the cure for the disciples? What is the loving opposite of pride and self-seeking?

If you are new to reading the Bible and would benefit from a brief orientation, download this How To Use This Book. If you want dig a deeper into the Bible, download this Guide to Inductive Bible Study.