Even though we’re three weeks into the new year, it’s still a good 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. 14 – Luke 10; Psalm 6
The Parable of the Good Samaritan is perhaps one of the best known and most study parables of Jesus. By couching a Samaritan as the hero, the Lord powerfully over turns traditional definitions and shatters stereotypes of what it means to be “neighbor” to one’s fellow man. Describe the Samaritan’s actions from the point of view of (a) personal inconvenience, (b) financial cost, and (c) risk. How do one or more of these factors discourage your own neighborly actions? What exactly is Jesus saying to you when He states, “Go and do likewise”?
When was the last time you sighed and asked, “O Lord – how long?” Whether it was a bad situation of your own making or someone else’s, what did you need to have happen in your life during that time? How did the issue get resolved? What did you learn from that time about the sovereignty of God?
Tuesday, Jan. 15 – Luke 11; Proverbs 2:10-22
Through two pictures with commentary, Jesus strongly urges us to pray with boldness. What image of God does Jesus draw in the first picture (vv. 5-10)? In the second (vv. 11-13)? In what ways do you need these images of of the Father to transform your prayer life?
In your own words, summarize the benefit(s) Solomon says come “when wisdom enters your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul” (v. 10). Take a long moment and ponder these benefits. Write your thoughts on an index card or piece of paper and keep them close at hand as motivation for wise living.
Wednesday, Jan. 16 – Luke 12; Psalm 7
I’ve read numerous times over the years that our Lord talks about money more than any other topic. So, it shouldn’t surprise us that He says, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed!” (v. 15a). How would you describe the experience of greed? Why is it dangerous? How does the parable of the Rich Fool illustrate that a person’s life “does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (v. 15b)?
Psalm 7 is a plea for divine vindication in the light of an oppressor’s unjust allegations and actions. David’s confidence in the Heavenly Judge’s work and timing moves him from tense anxiety to a transcendent assurance. In one way or the other, we’ve all been treated unfairly by an enemy. What happens to our spirit if we take vengeance into our own hands? But if we, like David, leave vengeance to God, in what way(s) are we free to trust in His work and timing?
Thursday, Jan. 17 – Luke 13; Proverbs 3:1-12
The Jews looked at tragedies and concluded that the victim(s) must have deserved it (ref. John 9:1-3). But what lesson(s) should the people have learned from the sudden deaths discussed in vv. 1-5? As you contemplate the brevity and uncertainty of life, what lesson(s) do you need to take away from this passage today?
Proverbs 3:1-10 contains five important lessons for living, each couched as a command and an accompanying reward (vv.1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10). Select one of the five that speaks to you current life circumstances and write it out in the space below. Pray to God asking Him to write these words on your heart.
Friday, Jan. 18 – Luke 14; Psalm 8
In the midst of a tense dinner party, a pious remark (v. 15) gives Jesus a chance to tell a parable about those who will and won’t be among the blessed at the feast of God. What is the point of the Lord’s Parable of the Great Supper? Why do you think anyone would want to evade an invitation to God’s feast? Why accept?
In this Psalm, David’s praise of God is rooted in the majesty of the creation, “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers the moon and the stars, which You have set in place…” (v. 3). Tonight (if it’s clear), go outside and gaze up to the heavens noting God’s care in His placement of the stars and moon. Allow yourself to stand in awe of the Lord’s creative power and praise Him with song or prayer, knowing that the God of creation cares for you.