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 – 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.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – May 29 – June 5

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.

Our PSALM - A - Reading Plan -  May 29 - June 5.2016 - Leave Legacy

Questions to Guide You:

We’re stepping away from Matthew for 6 weeks to remind ourselves of Oakland’s Vision and Values, which we abbreviate our P.S.A.L.M. because it is our worship of God in action. P. =“We Prize Presence.S. = “We Serve Hard.” A. = “We’re Always Growing.” L. stands for “We Leave Legacy.” We received a legacy, and we want to leave one for the next generation. So we hone the heart of our traditions and update their dress, telling the old, old story in modern words. Everything we do is for the next generation of believers.

  • 2 Tim 2:2 is one of my favorite verses. What does Paul tell Timothy to do? To pass on tradition, but for what? How many generations is Paul thinking about?
  • How can you tell who are “reliable people” who will pass the gospel to the next generation? Why is a heart for generations of believers so important? How does it keep us from becoming a Me-First church all about my tastes, what I like, and what I want?
  • Rom 14 talks about weaker and stronger brothers. What should stronger brothers do to strengthen and bless their younger brothers? Why must older/stronger brothers subjugate their wants to their lil’ bro’s needs?
  • Where at Oakland can you submit your wants/tastes to the needs of younger Christians or not-yet-Christians? Where do you see people do the opposite?
  • Psalm 78 celebrates the opportunity to “tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD.” The Millennial generation (1984-present) is giving up on Church and Jesus in unprecedented numbers. Rather than give up on them, what ways can we be better at telling them of the LORD?
  • Acts 15 is a pivotal moment in Church History, where Christians decided that new, non-Jewish converts to Jesus do not need to become culturally Jewish to follow Jesus. What do they decide is cultural and what do they decide is essential? What are the modern equivalents?
  • In Acts 17, Paul preaches to a bunch of Stoic Philosophers. In his sermon, he references their culture (statues) and their favorite philosophers (quotes) in order to explain Jesus in a way they can understand. What metaphors, images, heroes, etc. exist in our culture to explain the importance of Jesus? How can you use a pop-culture touch point to explain ideas like “sin”, “redemption”, and “savior”?
  • 1 Cor 9 summarized Paul’s prerogative – same message, different dress codes.

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.

Which Bible Do You Recommend for a Middle Schooler?

Which is the best Bible?

THE ONE YOU READ.

No matter how good the translation is, how pretty the cover is, how scholarly the notes are, how relevant it is, NO Bible is any good if you don't read it. But if you do read it, any Bible is good enough. So the Best Bible is a READ BIBLE.

Recently, I was asked to recommend a Bible for a rising 6th Grade Student. These are some of my favorite questions, but also hard to answer. If you're looking for a Bible for a Young Teen or Tween (4th-7th grader), maybe my advise to them, will help you out. For young elementary kids, I'll have to write another blog, but for now, I like The Jesus Storybook Bible, though it is not technically a Bible, it will help young students learn the whole story of Scripture and learn to see Jesus on every page.  

41LMG+8cE+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A couple of our younger youth (6th and 7th graders) have this Teen's Quest Bible, and I think it is really cool. It is probably one of my first choices since it is designed with questions that teens/tweens ask. Really good at those things. It may or may not lack some of the more advanced features like cross-references and a concordance, but should be pretty good. 
287706An older youth, 17 years old, really likes this Revolution Teen Guy Bible, but I think it is more for 16-18 year olds. It helps students think about dating relationships, sex, peer pressure, school performance, family dynamics, alcohol/drugs, gossip, etc.
411LjKlkk4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_My old reliable, i.e. what I give to people when they ask for a Bible and give to High School Graduates is this Zondervan Life Application Bible - it is simple and yet has everything you need to do deep study. I started using it at age 18 and it was awesome. I used it until I was probably 21, and it taught me to read the Bible and apply it to my life. Claire still carries it to church weekly. At some point, a Life Application Bible and especially the footnotes may feel “too simple” like “Sunday School answers,” but that is a sign of growth in you not failure in the commentators.
Of them all, I'd probably go with the top one, QUEST, for a 4-7th grader. Just seems like a good age appropriate Bible if they are going to start using it and reading it immediately. If you think he or she will put it on the shelf for 4 years, then maybe the middle one, and if you want to give him a Bible he can carry to church for the rest of his life, then the last one. 
Personally, I think a Bible should only last 3-5 years, because if you use it regularly, carry it around, mark and study it, they fall apart, even the leather ones and hardback ones. That or they’re so full of highlighting and underlining that they’re hard to use. That’s ok. That’s what’s supposed to happen. I have my old Bibles on the shelf (except for the ones I gave away to someone who I led to the Lord). My prayer is that the next Bible you buy will be worn out in 5 years, and you’ll be emailing me again about Bibles for college students or young adults or mothers or dads or business men.

Weekly Bible Reading Plan – Nov 29 – Dec 6

Greater Than - 11.29-12.6 - Weekly Reading Plan Slide

Questions to Guide Your Study:

  • Why do you think the Serious religious folk wanted signs so badly? Had Jesus given them signs previously? Instead of signs what should they be focused on? How are we like the sign-craving people?
  • How is Jesus is Greater than Jonah? We read Jonah earlier this year, but it might be helpful to reread Jonah 1-4 to compare Jonah with what you know of Jesus?
  • How would you describe Jonah’s attitude? His preaching? His follow-up with the Ninevites? How does this compare to Jesus?
  • Hebrews is a book about Jesus being Better than everyone in the Old Testament. Heb 1:1-4 says we have the clearest picture of God, and so how are we “more guilty” if we ignore God’s gospel according to Heb 2?
  • How does Hebrews 3 compare Jesus to Moses? What are the major differences? How is Jesus greater than Moses?
  • What benefits do we have because of Jesus that the Ninevites didn’t have with Jonah and the Israelites didn’t have with Moses? How should this change our celebration of Christmas? Do you celebrate Christmas like you’ve been given the clearest, greatest gift ever given to humanity?
  • How can we soften our hearts and encourage one another to hold firmly to Jesus this Christmas?

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 – October 25 – November 1

For the Joy Reading Plan Part 1

Questions to Guide Your Study:

  • This week, we want to think about the GENEROSITY OF GOD, by remembering all the things he has given humanity. So as you read these passages, make a list of the things God has given.
  • What has God given to humanity in general and you specifically?
  • In Titus, Jesus gives his life to ransom us. What was his motivation according to Titus and Hebrews?
  • Why does God give to us? Why is God repeatedly generous?
  • What does God give to human beings in Genesis 1? I can think of at least 5. Which of these is the most impressive?
  • Ezekiel 20 is a recap chapter in the Bible. What gifts did God give to Israel? What promises did God give? Why did God give the law and commandments?
  • How do people respond to God’s gifts most often? In the Old Testament, how did people respond to God’s generosity?
  • What is the greatest display of God’s generosity? What does God give in John 3:16? Why?
  • What does Jesus give in John 20?
  • What is the right response to a give given in love? What are the wrong ways to treat or approach gifts? How do you generally treat God’s gifts?

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 – October 4-11

The Kings Driving Passion - Weekly Readings Oct 4-11

 

 

 

 

Questions to Guide Your Study:

  1. This week, we will take a break from Matthew and focus on several passages of God’s guidance.
  2. What is the difference between trusting the LORD and leaning on your own understanding? Specifically, how have you been doing one or the other or both?
  3. Where in your life, do you need God to make a straight path?
  4. What does Psalm 14 say about the nature of human beings and about God’s plan for people?
  5. What does Psalm 16 say about God and those who follow his ways? Ps 16:2 and Ps 16:11 are astounding? How would we live if we believed them absolutely?
  6. When have you felt the joy and excitement expressed in Ps 84? Have you ever just really wanted to worship God with God’s people? If not, pray for that desire.
  7. According to Psalms 16 and 84, why is God worthy of our praise? Why is God worth celebrating? How can you celebrate God?
  8. What does Psalm 93 compare God to? How is God like or different than those things? different? Where does nature show you God’s attributes most often?

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 27 – October 4

The Kings Driving Passion - Weekly Readings Sept 27 - Oct 4

Questions to Guide Your Study:

  1. Who are you afraid of? Who are you afraid to share Jesus with? Why are you afraid? 
  2. What does it mean to FEAR THE LORD? What should we be afraid of?
  3. How would your life change if you were more afraid of God and less afraid of people?
  4. How does it make you feel that God knows the # of hairs on your head?
  5. God is so in control that he knows every bird’s death, does that make you angry with things that have happened or hopeful that God knows what he is doing?
  6. Acknowledge or disown, why is publicly owning or disowning Jesus so important?
  7. Have you ever disowned Jesus? Me too. Let’s ask God for forgiveness and boldness. 
  8. When can you claim and promote Jesus’ goodness this week?
  9. How do you feel when you read John 3:35-36 and 1 John 2:20-25? Why? Why is a rejection of Jesus the same as rejecting God?

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.