It’s a new year, time to get into our bibles. To help us get the most out of our daily readings using the 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan I’ve written one question for each day’s reading. At the beginning of the year, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.
Monday, Jan. 7 – Luke 5; Psalm 3
Luke expands the narrative of Jesus’ call of Peter (along with Andrew, James, and John) from the accounts in Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20. In dramatic fashion, the Lord shows Peter that he is meant for something greater than the ordinary. List the steps you notice through which Jesus takes Peter to persuade him to leave everything and answer the call “Follow Me.” At which step can you closely identify with Peter? Why? What will you do to completely surrender control of your entire life to Jesus?
Psalm 3 is a prayer for protection and deliverance rooted in the time when David fled from his son Absalom (see 2 Samuel 15-17). Here we find a strong precedent for praying out of and through life’s trying experiences. What is it about a crises that drives us to prayer? Could it be the loss of control or a sudden awareness of how powerless we really are? In this regard, why do you suppose God allows these difficult circumstances to occur?
Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Luke 6; Proverbs 1:20-33
In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus gives concrete ways to love your enemy. Write down the name of an enemy of yours (that is someone who opposes you, or tries to frustrate your aims), along with something good that you will do for them, some concrete way you will bless them, and your prayer for them. Now follow through.
In this section of Proverbs, wisdom speaks in the feminine voice (see also: 3:16-18; 9:1-12). Why do you think Solomon chose to personify wisdom as a woman? What is lady wisdom calling for you to do?
Wednesday, Jan. 9 – Luke 7; Psalm 4
In Luke 5 you meet five people with diverse backgrounds and varying approaches to Jesus. What adjective(s) would you use to describe how the Centurion, the Widow, John, the Sinful Woman, and Simon the Pharisee each interacted with Jesus? Of the five people explain who are you think you’re most like?
David is besieged with suffering, injustice, and oppression. Can you identify? As he prays to God, he moves from anxiety to assurance, ending with a note about peaceful sleep. Why does pouring our hearts out to God in pray moves us from anxiety to assurance, from fear to peace?
Thursday, Jan. 10 – Luke 8; Proverbs 2:1-9
According to the Parable of the Sower (vv. 4-8, 11-18) wherever the Gospel is preached, results vary. Reread the conclusion of each section in this chapter from Luke (vv. 8, 15, 18, 21). What lesson(s) is Jesus stressing in His repetition? Are we able to develop “ears to hear” Jesus? If so, then how?
Solomon states, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (v.6). To this we can add James 1:5, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Think of an area of your life where you need more wisdom: maybe it’s in your marriage or singleness, parenting, work, money, friendships, etc. Write out a short prayer for wisdom in this area, record your prayer on an index card or piece of paper, and refer to often throughout the next several days.
Friday, Jan. 11 – Luke 9; Psalm 5
Focus on Luke 9:43-50, which highlights three of the disciples’ problems (vv. 44-45, 46-48, and 49-50). In your own words describe each problem. What do you see as the root cause of these issues? In light of what you’ve read today examine your own life, what blind spots, or area of spiritual immaturity, do you need to work on?
David says, “O Lord, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before You, and will watch expectantly” (v. 3). David, along with Jesus our Lord (ref Mark 1:35), found it beneficial to start their day with prayer. Why do you think is it important to begin the day talking with God? How can you carry over the conversation with Him throughout your day?