Week 7 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan

Activists Protest Arizona's Controversial Immigration Law In Phoenix

Until I put together the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan, I had never really given much time to the psalms. As I’ve been reading them and writing daily questions I’ve discovered something… The psalms offer us the gift of expression and the courage to honest with God. These sacred verses give us permission to talk to God without holding back and to be exactly where we are and who we are with God. If you haven’t given the psalms much attention, join me as we enter the world of the psalms where we’ll come into God’s presence as the vulnerable, honest, needy, spontaneous, joyful child He made us to be.

Monday, Feb. 11 – Acts 6; Psalm 18

With vv. 1-7, Luke wraps up his snapshots of the early days in the life of the Jerusalem church with an example of internal problem solving and a practical working out of fellowship. From 2:42-47, 4:32-37, and 6:1-7, summarize what mattered most to the early believers. What one insight from these three passages would you like to apply to your life this week or to your church community? What specific action(s) can you take toward apply this insight?

As the title indicates, David wrote this psalm “when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.” Life in a fallen world is hard, unfair, and unpredictable but then there is our God who is exactly the opposite! The psalm starts with a series of powerful titles and allusions for God each beginning with the personal pronoun “my.” List the descriptions David gives for God in vv. 1-2. Now pick one or two of these statements, describe how God fulfills this role in your life? [For extra credit: write out these “my” statements on an index card or piece of paper and keep them close at hand for times when your “enemies” press hard against your spirit.]

Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Acts 7; Proverbs 5:1-6

Stephen’s speech is the longest recorded in Acts. As he answers the charges made against him (ref. 6:13-14) He demonstrates that: (1) God has acted outside the Temple, (2) God works with Gentiles, and (3) Jews have always rejected God’s message, men, and now they have rejected the Messiah! Throughout this whole passage we see in Stephen the evidence of being full of “faith [or grace] and power” (6:8) along with “wisdom and the Spirit” (6:10). What are the evidences today of being full of these qualities? In what aspect(s) of your life would you like to reflect more Stephen’s example?

Times have changed, but people haven’t. Ever since The Fall, humanity has struggled with sexual purity. The problem is catastrophic in our modern cultural, so Solomon’s wisdom in this area is all the more relevant. Our next three readings from Proverbs deal with the consequences of sexual sins. First (vv. 1-6), wisdom reveals the ugliness under the surface of the attractive seductress. Using vv. 3-4 as your guide, describe how at first the gratification of illicit sex seems pleasurable but how below the surface lies troubles. Why do you think that above all other evils, sexual sins are so appealing? When have you seen the truth of vv. 3-4 play out in your own life, or the life of someone else?

Wednesday, Feb. 13 – Acts 8; Psalm 19

Clearly Luke intends for us to see that Simon the sorcerer was a Christian, noting that he “believed, and [was] baptized” (v. 13; cf. Mark 16:16). The story of Simon demonstrates that becoming a Christian doesn’t instantly resolve all of one’s problems and character flaws. List all the ways you see Simon’s request connecting back to his sinful life before becoming a believer? How would you describe Peter’s response? What results do you see in Simon? Look at your own life, what problems and character flaws do you still struggle with as a believer? Enlist the help and prayers of a mature Christian to help you overcome your struggles.

David observes in this wisdom psalm that the majesty of the heavens declare, without “speech” or “words,” the glory of God to humanity. Likewise, people learn of God’s plan to bless humanity through the word of God, or in our modern vernacular the Bible. Write out vv. 7-8, slowly considering each statement. How does your current view of the scriptures match David’s? In what way(s) has your appreciation of the Bible changed over the years? What have the practical manifestations of these benefits from God’s word looked like in your life?

Thursday, Feb. 14 – Acts 9; Proverbs 5:7-14

In Acts 9, Luke records the dramatic conversion and call of Saul of Tarsus (later on we’ll know him better as Paul). This unlikely convert to Christ will spearhead the mission to take the gospel to the Gentiles as well as writing thirteen of the twenty-seven New Testament books. His contributions to the church can’t be underestimated. In your own words, why was Saul an unlikely convert? (ref. 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-2) What does Saul’s conversion teach you about those in your life who are most likely not to believer? What role(s) did Ananias and Barnabas play in Saul’s conversion and acceptance by other believers? Consider the people in your life who are most antagonistic to Christianity. How might God use you to bring them to Christ?

In the second part of Solomon’s warning about illicit sex he clarifies the cost of marital unfaithfulness (vv. 7-14). The price of infidelity is so high that it is unreasonable. Therefore one is wise to avoid the temptation altogether (compare v. 8; 1 Corinthians 6:18a). One commentator put it this way, “If you want to avoid the devil, stay away from his neighborhood.” Consider the areas of your life such as relationships, or entertainment, or social activities, etc. that pose (or have the potential to pose) as a sexual temptation. How do these warnings to flee sexual temptation apply to you? What safe guards do you have in place to keep yourself from going unnecessarily going close sexual temptations?

Friday, Feb. 15 – Acts 10; Psalm 20

The conversion of Cornelius along with his relatives and close friends is the longest narrative in Acts. The importance of the story is highlighted through three references to it chs. 10, 11, and 15. The conversion and full acceptance, of not only a gentile, but a Roman army officer sets the stage for a widespread mission to the Gentile world. Focus in on the great truth that Peter learns through this experience, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him” (vv. 34-35). Why is it important for you that God doesn’t show favoritism? When (or with whom) are you most tempted to act as though God does favor certain ethnic, national, economic, social or political groups? In what ways do you most need to grow in relating to people of other cultures and races? Be sure to pray about it.

Psalms 20 and 21 are generally viewed as twin psalms; the first being a prayer before battle, the second being a thanksgiving for victory. It is crucial that every Christian understands that he or she is in a spiritual war (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 6:11-18, and 2 Timothy 2:3-5). The spiritual battle is quite personal for each Christian and the need for aid from fellow-soldiers is great. This psalm is a good example of what it means to intercede for another, especially as we fight against the wicked one. Look around at your circle of friends, coworkers, and family members and select someone in a crisis. It would be especially good if you can identify someone who is going through something difficult that you’ve overcome. Write out a prayer for that person, modeling your thoughts off of Psalm 20, particularly vv. 1-5. Then do two things: 1) Pray your prayer often for the person you’ve selected. 2) Give or mail the person a hand written note (not an electronic message but a real-old school handwritten note) sharing with them your prayer you are praying on their behalf. Repeat as necessary.


Week 6 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan

young persom with well worn bible

If you resolved to regularly read your Bible this year and you’ve fallen way behind or just fallen off the wagon. This is a great week to start back! Monday we’ll start the book of Acts in our 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan. From the tiny beginnings among Jesus’ disciples, the church exploded into a worldwide force in just a few years. How? Jesus left His followers with a mission, and the Spirit of God moved mightily through them to fulfill it. Acts is an important book for us today because it confirms that the power of the Holy Spirit, which transformed the disciples’ lives, is the same power that can transform out lives today! Keep reading and blessings to you friends.

Monday, Feb. 4 – Act 1; Psalm 15

Luke begins his second work for Theophilus with a brief summary of the forty days Jesus spent with His disciples following the resurrection; ending with our Lord’s ascension into Heaven. Imagine that you were there looking up into the sky. How do you think the followers of Jesus were affected by the promise that He would return? Even though this pledge was made two-thousand years ago, how does the promise of Jesus’ return affect your life today?

Whereas the previous Psalm (14) focused on the way of the wicked, Psalm 15 is a celebration of the way of the righteousness. Our psalm offers a sequence of responses to the ultimate question, who will be welcomed into God’s dwelling. While the first line of the psalmist’s answer is rather generic, the following stanzas spell out specific examples. One striking feature of the psalmist answer is that it centers on matters of character, focusing on how one promotes the well-being of others. Does any part of David’s answer to the question in v. 1 surprise you? Why or why not? Of the examples David list, which one(s) are the hardest for you? Confess this to God and ask for His strength to be the person He wants you to be so you can dwell with Him.

Tuesday, Feb, 5 – Act 2; Proverbs 4:10-19

In Acts 2, Luke shows us the birth of the church. With so many people gathered together, Peter seizes the moment and delivers a sermon that first defends the events that are occurring (vv. 14-21) and second proclaims Jesus as the long foretold Messiah (vv. 22-36). Convinced of the truth about the Savior and the truth about themselves, the crowd ask, “What shall we do?” (v. 37). Peter’s response is for them to “repent and be baptized” (v. 38). Baptism is something we will see new believers do throughout the book of Acts (i.e. 8:36-38; 16:31-34; 22:16). Going beyond the idea that he commands it, why would Peter call for these new believers in Jesus to be baptized (ref. Romans 6:1-11)? If you’re a believer, write out your baptism story. Does your commitment to Christ that day still resonate in your heart? Explain.

In our reading today from Proverbs, two paths again lie before us, the way of wisdom and the way of folly or wickedness. What contrast does Solomon draw between the “way of wisdom” (v. 11) and the “way of the evil” (v. 14)? How does one walk in wisdom and avoid the way of the evil person?

Wednesday, Feb. 6 – Act 3; Psalm 16

Seeing the astonished crowd’s response to the healing of the lame beggar, Peter capitalized on an opportunity to talk about Jesus. The most remarkable feature of his sermon is its Christ-centeredness. He directs the crowd’s attention away from both the formerly lame man and the apostles to the Christ. List the titles and adjectives Peter uses to describe Jesus (note vv. 13, 14, 15, 18, and 22-23). How do each of these speak to the uniqueness of Jesus? How do these truths shape the way you view the Lord? Plan to share your thoughts with a friend. Write their name below. Along with what you plan to share with them and why they need to hear this about Jesus. Be sure to follow through.

In the first two verses of Psalm 16, David seeks divine protection because of his loyalty to God. What follows is David’s praise of God for his rich blessings, as he expresses a contentment in his life rooted in its providential order. Overall, would you describe yourself as a content person? Why or why not? Focus in on vv. 5-8, in what way(s) does/should your trust in God’s ordering of your life fill your heart with contentment?

Thursday, Feb. 7 – Act 4; Proverbs 4:20-27

A disabled man becomes abled and a one-time burden to society, a beggar, becomes functional and a contributing citizen. Instead of expressing gratitude, the religious leaders become extremely upset and strictly warn Peter and John to stop preaching in the name of Jesus; which they gladly refuse to do. Then Peter and John along with the other believers, respond to the Sanhedrin’s threats with prayer (vv. 23-31). What does their prayer tell you about their faith in the character, power, and faithfulness of God? Looking at what you’ve written, how does this view of God enable believers to respond to persecution with prays for boldness? Describe at least one way in which you can apply the apostles’ / believers’ example in your own dealings with belligerent authority or unbelievers.

Solomon exhorts his readers to “keep [his sayings] in your heart for they are life to those who find them, and healing to one’s entire body” (vv. 21b-22). What follows is an exhortation to apply the teachings of wisdom to the whole body. In your own words, restate his advice on using various body parts wisely: the “heart” (v. 23), mouth and lips (v. 24), “eyes” (v. 25) and “feet” (vv. 26-27).

Friday, Feb. 8 – Act 5; Psalm 17

Luke doesn’t idealize his portrait of the early church but paints an accurate picture, warts and all with the account of Ananias and his wife Sapphira. How does this story demonstrate the high value that God places on truth and unity with the body of Christ? In what way(s) might we lie to each other today within the church? Let’s spiritualize this for a moment, how does not telling the truth with each other bring about death, in a spiritual and/or emotional sense within a church community?

This is the first psalm we’ve encounter that is simply entitled, “A prayer of David. His “prayer” brims with petitions, (as many as seventeen depending on the translation you’re using) as he pleads for God’s protection. Verse 8 is one of those verses that makes for a nice embroidered pillow, “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wing.” Do a little research and explore the meaning of these two phrases. Record your findings. As a believer, living for God, what hope do you get from understanding God’s protection in these terms?

Week 5 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan


We’re now in the fifth week of our 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan. On Friday, we’ll complete the New Testament’s longest book, the Gospel of Luke. Thus far we’ve traced Jesus’ story from birth, through His ministry in Galilee and His training of the disciples on the way to Jerusalem. Now we’ll see His submission to the crucifixion and His ultimate triumph in the resurrection. So let’s keep reading together this week and have our faith fortified.

Monday, Jan. 28 – Luke 20; Psalm 12

This chapter of Luke features a sequence of three carefully coordinated attacks on the Christ by the Jewish leaders. Their strikes come in the form of a series of questions designed to entrap Him. Compare and contrast the insincere query in vv. 1-8 (you can also see this in Luke 11:14-32) to a more sincere and honest inquiry from Luke 7:18-23. Did Jesus handle insincere and sincere questions differently? If so, can you suggest reasons why? How might this be a model for you?

Psalm 12 is a lament of David’s where he grieves the hurt caused by smooth-talking sinners (vv. 2-4) while on “every side the wick prowl” (v. 8). What anguish do you read into these verses? How does David hope in the word of the Lord to sustain him in times of trouble? We live in times when evil seems so prevalent and where it seems “the faithful have vanished from among the children of man” (v. 1). During these troubling times, what promises from the Lord give you the most hope to carry on in the faith?

Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Luke 21; Proverbs 3:27-35

In contrast to the rich contributors to the temple treasury, why did Jesus praise the widow in vv. 1-4? Can you think of any way in which you could follow her example? If yes, describe how you might do so. If not, pray about how you might imitate this worthy widow.

Throughout Proverbs, Solomon will catalogue right and wrong character traits. His first list is in vv. 27-32. Read this list and for each statement (vv. 28, 29, 30, 31-32), jot down a word or two that describes the trait he says you should avoid. How would you summarize the kind of person the wise man is exhorting you to be? Are you this kind of person? Explain.

Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Luke 22; Psalm 13

This section of Luke’s gospel takes us into the saddest time of history with Jesus’ agonizing death on the cross. But these days are also the greatest days on earth, because with His resurrection Jesus accomplishes His salvific mission for all humanity. To aid us in remembering His life, death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus left us a simple memorial of bread and wine. What was going on in your heart the last time you participated in the Lord’s Supper? Can you recall a moving celebration of the holy memorial? What made it so moving? How can you capture that heartfelt devotion more often?

“How long?” In this two-word question, the psalmist captures the human agony of waiting for a trial to be over. Psalm 13 launches with an explosion of four “How longs?” indicating this is another lament from David. Nevertheless, David will shift radically from turmoil to tranquility in the space of six short verses. “I will sing to the Lord,” David proclaims, “because He has dealt bountifully with me” (v. 6). During the trials and tribulations of life we are quick to cry, “How long?” but when we’re delivered we’re slow, if not negligent, to give thanks to God. Reflect on a trial you have gone through recently. Do you believe your thanksgiving was greater than, equal to, or less than your pleas for help? Why? Regardless, take this opportunity to sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God for bringing you through you trial. (If you can’t quickly think of a hymn try Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, it’s one of my favorites.)

Thursday, Jan. 31 – Luke 23; Proverbs 4:1-9

Since Luke is a physician (ref Colossians 4:14), we might naturally expect him to focus on the physical aspects of Jesus crucifixion. Nevertheless, he says very little in regards to the Savior’s physical condition. Instead, he focuses on people’s attitudes to the man on the center cross. List the various people who interact with Jesus while He is on the cross. What attitude does each group or individual reveal about themselves? Now turn to yourself. How has reflecting on your Savior’s death today affected your heart?

Because we are so prone to spiritual laziness and moral laxity, Solomon uses intimate terms to encourage us to pursue a relationship with Lady Wisdom. Practically speaking, how do you think one would go about loving, prizing (or exalt[ing] as the NKJV says) and embracing wisdom (see vv. 6, 8)? What are the benefits of this relationship? How would you characterize your relationship with Lady Wisdom?

Friday, Feb. 1 – Luke 24; Psalm 14

Luke alone records Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance to the two disheartened and confused disciples on the road to Emmaus. In fact, it’s one of the longest scenes in his whole gospel narrative. In His rebuke, Jesus identifies the root cause of the disciple’s despair – a reluctance to accept the Scriptures about the Messiah’s suffering (v. 25). It’s not uncommon for believers to feel disheartened and confused, especially when we struggle to understand and apply some teaching from our Savior. When was a time you felt this way? Where did you find understanding? Like these two disciples, who else did you tell or help in understanding God’s word?

In Psalm 14, David laments the fact that humans in general do not seek after God and thus they treat God’s people cruelly. From your perspective, why is it foolish to say, “There is no God” (v. 1)? What all does David say happens when one believes “there is no God” who will hold people accountable for his or her actions? In contrast to foolish unbelievers, what hope does David say believers have?

Week 4 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan


Tomorrow, January 21st, is the third Monday of the month. Aside from being Martin Luther King Day, it’s also Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I know it’s considered pseudoscience, but one idea about it stuck with me. By this time in the month, you’re either still following through with your New Year’s resolutions or you’ve given up. If you’ve given up, and too many people do, it’s enough to make you blue. If one of your resolutions was to get into God’s word this year and you’ve not been as persistent as you wanted to be don’t give up but rather start back up on Monday. Just pick up with Luke 15 and Psalm 9 and get into God’s word and turn this Blue Monday into a Red, or Orange, or Yellow Monday. Be my guest and take your pick for a happy color. Remember, there’s nothing more important in our lives than knowing God. There’s no way to know God than through His word. Blessings friends and keep on reading.

For those who are just finding this blog we’re following my 2019 New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs Reading Plan. I’m writing one question for each day’s reading to help us get the most out of our time in God’s word. As always, I pray that God will richly bless you as dig into His holy word.

Monday, Jan. 21 – Luke 15; Psalm 9

In these three parables about lostness – the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son – Jesus sets his ill-disposed opponents straight about God’s welcoming attitude toward lost sinners. How do you think knowing that God diligently seeks the lost and rejoices over their return should affect the way you view the Father, yourself, and others?

Four “I will’s” launch Psalm 9 with David’s dedication to exuberant worship of the Lord. Write out the “I will” statements. How often do you live out these four proclamations in your daily life? If not often, how would your life be different if you did? Resolve today to follow David’s example. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable.

Tuesday, Jan. 22 – Luke 16; Proverbs 3:13-18

Once again we find Jesus discussing money. For many different reasons, Christians have mixed feelings and opinions about money (maybe it’s based on a common misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10, money is not the root of all evil). Clearly from Luke 16, Jesus did not have any issues with money. The Lord never condemns riches, only their misuse. How can you, at times, be guilty of misusing your money? What principles of money management can you draw from this chapter (especially from vv. 10-13)?

In this short hymn to wisdom (note the section begins and ends with “blessed”), Solomon praises wisdom and understanding. Why is wisdom and understanding worth more than silver, or gold, or jewels, or for that matter anything else you could desire? What are you doing to gain such godly wisdom and understanding?

Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Luke 17; Psalm 10

All ten lepers had enough faith in Jesus to ask for healing (vv. 12-13) and obey Him before they had proof of their healing (v. 14). Yet, only one returned to thank Him. What’s unique about the Samaritan’s response to Jesus? (If it’s not immediately clear ref. John 4:9) What about the other nine, what was odd about their responses? Do you thank the Lord often for your blessings? Why or why not?

In Psalm 10 injustice and evil is rampant and to the psalmist God seems disinterested. However, the psalmist’s despair at the start shifts to hope by the end of the psalm. When you endure extremely difficult circumstances how do you move from “Why, O Lord do You stand far away?” (v. 1) to “O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted” (v. 17)?

Thursday, Jan. 24 – Luke 18; Proverbs 3:19-26

Don’t give up praying is the message of Luke 18:1-8. What are some reasons that people (maybe even you) give up praying? To encourage persist praying, Jesus draws a portrait of a helpless widow stubbornly appealing to a heartless judge. But how is God different from the judge? In what way(s) does this picture of God encourage you to keep on praying to Him?

Solomon continues to extol the virtues of a life based on godly wisdom. From this passage note the words, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (v. 24). Think of a time when you’ve had a restless night worrying about some trouble you’ve caused by your foolish actions. What was the situation? How would it all have been different if you would have exercised a measure of wisdom?

Friday, Jan. 25 – Luke 19; Psalm 11

I guess next to Jesus Loves Me, one of the first songs nearly any child learns in Bible class is Zacchaes.  You probably know the words and don’t forget the hand motions… Zacchaes was a wee-little man and a wee-little man was he. As adults we shouldn’t merely limit Zacchaeus’ story to a children’s song, he’s much bigger than that (pun intended). How does v. 8 show that Zacchaeus understands how Jesus’ offer of friendship should affect his life? In what way(s) is this an example to you?

From its opening words, “In the Lord I take refuge” Psalm 11 expresses the confidence that the faithful may have in God, even in a time of crisis. What does it mean to “take refuge” in the Lord? Think of a crisis you could easily imagine experiencing. Describe how you will take refuge in the Lord?

Week 3 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan

man praying with bible

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.

Week 2 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan

girl reading bible

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?

Week 1 Questions for 2019 Bible Reading Plan

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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.

Week 1 – Jan. 1 – 4

Jan. 1 – Luke 1; Psalm 1

Luke’s stated purpose in compiling his narrative of Jesus’ life was so Theophilus might “have certainty concerning the things [he had] been taught” (v. 4). As you begin your journey through the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs what to you hope to learn and discover?

The first Psalm stands as a kind of introduction to the rest of the book. It touches on two subjects that continually occur throughout the Psalms (and all scripture for that matter): the blessedness of the righteous and the misery of the wicked. Briefly contrast the life of the “blessed” and “wicked” persons. Do you see the qualities and blessings of righteousness in your life? Why or why not?

 Jan. 2 – Luke 2; Proverbs 1:1-7

In New Testament times, shepherds were considered outcast of Jewish society. Nevertheless, it was to these men that the angelic host proclaimed the birth of the Messiah and stating, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (ESV). To whom does God assure peace in v. 14? Why to them? What sort of “peace” is God offering through Jesus? (Consider Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14, 17; Colossians 1:20)

First, underline or highlight Proverbs 1:7 in your bible. Imagine you’re talking to an unbelieving family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker. How might they misunderstand what it means to “fear the Lord”? In what way(s) would you go about explaining the profound meaning of this Proverb?

Jan. 3 – Luke 3; Psalm 2

Luke’s genealogy of Jesus begins with Joseph and reaches all the way back to “Adam, the Son of God.” Luke is stressing not Jesus’ Jewish genealogy (as does Matthew) but rather His humanness. Take a moment and reflect on this: Jesus became like one of us (cf. Philippians 2:1-11). How does this deepen your appreciation of Him?

Psalm 2 shines its poetic spotlight on four vivid scenes relating to humanity’s mutiny against God: Human Rebellion (vv. 1-3), Divine Reaction (vv.4-6), Divine Rule (vv. 7-9), and Human Responsibility (vv.10-12). Based on this Psalm, complete the following sentence: Since God is sovereign over the nations, I will… (Think of several resolutions.)

Jan. 4 – Luke 4; Proverbs 1:8-19

On the surface, Jesus’ temptations appear to have little resemblance to ours. Yet Hebrews 4:15 tells us He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are.” Think of a temptation you struggle with and write it down. In what way(s) is it like one of Jesus’ temptations from this passage? How will you battle your temptation in the same manner your Savior did His?

Here is a warning against enticement by sinners, who will succeed if the son fails to embrace wisdom. Hone in on vv. 8-9, by virtue of being parents, fathers and mothers bear a great responsibility in nurturing wisdom in the lives of their children. What sort of wisdom should parents teach their children? How best can it be taught? What are some consequences to parents if wise living is not instilled at home? (consider Proverbs 17:21, 25)