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 – May 15-22

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 - PS - Reading Plan -  May 15-22.2016 - Prize Presence and Serve Hard

Questions to Guide You:

Slight change of plans this week. 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. stands for “We Prize Presence.” We value the presence of God more than all. We are not a social club or country club, we are ravenous to know and experience God. But God promises to meet us “where two or three are gathered,” and so we’re committed to being present to one another and intentionally present to our community. S. stands for “We Serve Hard.” Saved people serve people, because we were served by Christ. We want to be a people with Soft Hearts and Calloused Hands.

  • Hebrews 10, says because of Jesus, we can now enter into the very presence of God. Have you ever felt God’s presence intimately? Would you say you “know about God” or “know God”?
  • What does it mean to you to experience the presence of God? When has God felt closest to you? Why do you think that was?
  • Psalm 73 contrasts those who prize what the world values, and those who prize God’s presence, what is the difference? Is one hedonistic and one ascetic?
  • John 14, promises that Jesus will not leave us as orphans but will be present to us by the Holy Spirit. What does that mean? How do we recognize the Holy Spirit?
  • What two things does Paul share in 1 Thess 2:8? Why are both important? How can we love Cleveland and our literal neighbors with “not just the gospel of God, but our very lives as well”?
  • How can you be more present to God and present to the people God has put around you for you to love?
  • Our second principle is SERVE Hard. Why did Jesus come according to Mark 10, and how should that affect us? How does it motivate us?
  • What was Jesus’ attitude according to Phil 2, and how should we have the same attitude? What does it mean to “look to the needs of others” and “consider others before yourself”? Why don’t people do these regularly?
  • How does service result in “God being praised in all things through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:11)?
  • Where are you serving? Where can you be serving?

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.