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.
Questions to Guide You:
This week, we start a new sermon series called, “A Beautiful Mess”. At this point in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is already talking about the church. We just finished the 5 Non-Negotiables the Church believes. Now we look at the character of the Church, and what we find is that it is a beautiful mess full of people that are simultaneously sinners and saints – creating joy and disappointment. This week, we’ll see that sometimes the Church will be inept to heal, but Jesus is the solution.
- Matt 17:14-21 is right after the Transfiguration. When have you seen great trials follow great spiritual mountain tops in your life? How can this encourage you in those times? Why does God let the trials come after the mountain top?
- How do the disciples fail in Matt 17? How does/can the church fail similarly? Have you ever seen someone give up on church because of such a failure? What is Jesus’ solution?
- Jeremiah 8:21-22 inspired the old spiritual “Balm in Gliead”. What should we do when it seems that there is no healing available in the church, no “balm in Gilead?” Why does Church sometime make no difference in people’s situation?
- What signs and wonders will accompany the Church’s preaching according to Mark 16? Have you ever seen signs and wonders confirm the Bible’s message?
- Acts 20:7-12 is a funny story about very long preaching, all night long. Reminds me that preaching is very important but should be accompanied by mercy and healing. How can Oakland do this better?
- Luke 10 is the Good Samaritan Story, where all the religious folk are too busy to help and heal the victim. How can churches be like that – too busy to help? How can we be more like the Samaritan, putting aside our worship and religion to help needy people?
- Each Psalm reading affirms that God heals and delivers. How should these encourage us, even when we’re in the position of the dad in Matt 17, and no healing seems to come? How can we encourage our hearts when God doesn’t do what we think God should?
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.