Bible Reading Plan

God invites us to let the scriptures renew our minds, let our hearts connect with God and conform us into the image of Christ.

What those inside and outside of our church community need is to connect with God, to meet Jesus and interact with who He is and how He seeks to love them.

We encourage you to spend time each day in God’s Word, to see the redemptive plan of God and the character and beauty of Christ so we can learn to enjoy Christ. As we enjoy and love God, we begin to live like Him, which is the essence of being on mission for Him.

Today’s Reading: Thursday, July 27

 

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

 

 
BIBLE READING JOURNAL: RELATE

Just as God, in three persons as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, live in constant unity with each other, so must we. From the beginning God saw that it was not good for His beloved creation, mankind, to be alone. As Fearless Followers, we must live in community with each other, experiencing the highs and lows of our lives together. When we love, listen, serve, forgive or mourn with each other, we’re relating with one another.

We’ll spend five days reading Scripture on each topic below, offering you, your family and your Life Group opportunities to take a step toward these things:

LOVING ONE ANOTHER

LISTENING TO ONE ANOTHER

BEING HONEST WITH ONE ANOTHER

PROTECTING ONE ANOTHER

SUBMITTING TO ONE ANOTHER

RESOLVING CONFLICT WITH ONE ANOTHER

FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER

ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER

DISCIPLING ONE ANOTHER

GIVING TO ONE ANOTHER

SERVING ONE ANOTHER

GRIEVING WITH ONE ANOTHER

EATING WITH ONE ANOTHER

REPLICATE - An Introduction

Jesus spent lots of time with His disciples, helping them understand His teachings. He cultivated their character. He encouraged His disciples, corrected His followers and empowered men and women to become His ambassadors in the places they lived, worked and played. As Jesus poured into the lives of His followers, His followers were instructed to pour into the lives of each other. Fearless Followers work to replicate in others what Jesus is doing in us. As we become more gracious, we help others do the same. When Jesus gives us hope, we share that hope with others around us. We pour into others what Jesus is pouring into us.

We’ll spend five days reading Scripture on each topic below, offering you, your family and your Life Group opportunities to take a step toward these things:

BIBLE STUDY METHOD

BIBLE STUDY METHOD 

Studying Scripture can feel like a daunting task. Not all of us have studied Greek or Hebrew. Few of us have Bible college or seminary degrees. This is where a helpful tool for understanding Scripture can become tremendously helpful. There are many methods that you can use to understand and apply Scripture, but here’s a tool we use and teach:

Pray: Ask God to bless your time in His Word by coming near and using this time to develop your relationship with Him. (Psalm 86:12a “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness.”)

Read: Read the text through twice. First to orient yourself to the text, then to begin the work of understanding it. Look at surrounding verses, look for patterns and identify key themes.

Listen: Confident in God’s work to teach you through His Word, review your observations and prayerfully ask God what He is teaching you or asking of you.

Do: Specifically determine how you’ll demonstrate and/or declare what you’ve learned. Share with your family, a friend or your Life Group what you’re aiming to do in response to what you’ve learned.

Review: Ask yourself – or maybe allow someone you trust to ask: “Did you do what you set out to do?” If so, “How’d it go?” If not, “Why not?”

bible-study-round-table

June 26-30: Eating With One Another

EATING WITH ONE ANOTHER

Jesus models for us what it looks like to celebrate His rule and reign: joyously eating with one another. Jesus displayed radical acceptance of others who were considered “lesser” in society by eating meals with them, and He also had important conversations and teachings during those times. God invites us to eat with one another to glorify Him and celebrate His goodness.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

What are some of your favorite meal memories? What made it such a memorable experience?

Some of Jesus’ most important moments and conversations happened around a meal. Why do you think that is?

Identify one person you’ve been meaning to connect with. Could you get together over a meal?

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Luke 5:27-35
  • Day 2: Exodus 12:1-17
  • Day 3: 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
  • Day 4: John 21:1-17
  • Day 5: Luke 14:1-14

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Identify a person you’d like to spend some time with. Reach out to the person and ask if they would like to have a meal together.

As a Family: Invite someone over for dinner to enjoy a meal. Intentionally prepare for (and enjoy!) this meal as an act of celebrating God’s goodness and demonstrating Christ-like hospitality. During the meal, have each person share something they are celebrating and thanking God for, big or small.

As a Life Group: Have a cookout and invite those who would not be able to repay you. Enjoy the fellowship, shared meal and consider celebrating communion together. Have someone share what Jesus has done for them as an invitation to the Lord’s Table and a declaration of God’s goodness.

July 3-7: Calling

You are not where you are by accident. God has a specific calling for you and your life, and once you begin to discover it, you can start replicating your faith into the people and places God has called you to. The biblical idea of God’s calling for us includes being called to a specific mission to spread God’s Kingdom.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: Isaiah 6:1-10
  •   Day 2: Jeremiah 1:4-19
  •   Day 3: Galatians 1:11-24
  •   Day 4: Exodus 3:1-14, 4:8-11
  •   Day 5: Matthew 26:36-44

Things to think about this week

In general, what does it mean to be “called by God?”

How does one receive this call?

What qualifications do you need to be called?

Read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 1:26-29. How does this reflect on how you view God’s calling in your life?

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Take time to write a list of unique passions in your life God has given you. Maybe it’s music, sports, a certain injustice you see, or a group of people or a place you care deeply about. Spend time in prayer asking God to reveal to you how He has called you to His purposes in relation to these unique passions.

As a Family: Have a conversation about things you observe about each other when it comes to passions and giftedness. Come up with a little “calling” profile for each person in your family.

As a Life Group: Have everyone in your group share what they learned about calling this past week. Spend time focusing on each person and let them reveal what they are learning about their calling. You may also want others in the group speak into what they observe about each person.

July 10-14: Gifts

God has gifted each of us. Not only with material things like a nice house, or a loving family, but he has given us specific talents and abilities as well that we are to use to build up His Kingdom and His people. We can use these God-given gifts to replicate into others what God is doing and has done through  us.

BIBLE READINGS:

  • Day 1: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
  •   Day 2: Romans 12:3-8
  •   Day 3: 1 Peter 4:1-11
  •   Day 4: 1 Kings 3:1-15
  •   Day 5: Matthew 9:35-10:8

Things to think about this week

As a child, what was the best gift you received for your birthday or a holiday/special occasion? Did you play with or use it, or did you just ignore it?

In what ways do you typically express or show gratitude when someone has done something kind for you?

God has gifted each of us in unique ways. Say a prayer thanking Him for those gifts, even if you’re not sure what they are, and ask Him to help you use those gifts in ways that help others and brings honor and glory to Him, the giver of those gifts.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Make a list of the gifts you think God has given you. If you’re unsure, take a Spiritual Gifts Assessment online (ridgepointff.org/next-steps/volunteer. Just find the box that says “Spiritual Gifts Assessment.”) Talk to a trusted friend or mentor about how you have or have not been using them for God’s purposes in your life. Take time to pray and make an action plan about how to further utilize the gifts God has given you.

As a Family: Spend time around the dinner table to discuss the gifts you see in each other.  You can look up a list of spiritual gifts online to help serve as a reference. Take time to encourage each other and brainstorm ways you can help each other use your gifts in ways that will further God’s kingdom on earth, instead of furthering just ourselves.

As a Life Group: Make a list of all the spiritual gifts, as well as skills and abilities present in the group. Take time to think through how, collectively, you can use all the gifts as well as skills and abilities present in the group to serve somewhere or someone.

July 17-21: Character

The definition of character is the “mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” Those qualities are shaped by our faith in and relationship with God. As Fearless Followers, God is always improving our character as we enter life with Him, and if our character is poor, it can quickly derail our best efforts to serve God.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: Galatians 5:13-26
  •   Day 2: Genesis 39:1-22
  •   Day 3: Colossians 3:1-17
  •   Day 4:  Daniel 3:8-27
  •   Day 5: Romans 12:9-21

Things to think about this week

Have you ever been in a situation where you were either helped or hurt by what someone perceived your character was in the places you live, work and play? What happened?

What are some of the differences between character that is promoted in our culture verses the type of character that is promoted in scripture?

What experiences in your life has God used to help shape your character to what it is currently?

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: List out the positive character traits you see in yourself. How have you lived them out this past month?  Pick one area to grow in this next year, set some goals and ask a trusted friend or mentor to help keep you accountable.

As a Family: Determine the most important character trait for your family and determine three ways to live it out over the course of the next three months.

As a Life Group: As a group, discuss where you have seen great Christian character modeled.  What is your life group known for—what character trait is highly recognizable? Figure out four traits you want your group to model well, and spend three months on each trait; living, discussing and modeling for others.

July 24-28: Spiritual Disciplines

To replicate ourselves and our ministries, we must first have something in our lives worthy of replicating. Our faith is more than a set of values or morals organized into a religious system, it’s also a personal connection to the Cosmic King. Spiritual disciplines are one important way of walking in relationship with God and teaching others to do the same.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1 (Prayer): Matthew 6:5-15
  •   Day 2 (Fasting): Jonah 3:1-10
  •   Day 3 (Study Scripture): Deuteronomy 11:1-21
  •   Day 4 (Solitude) Mark 1:32-37, 6:30-34, Luke 5:14-16
  •   Day 5 (Confession):  Nehemiah 1:1-11

Things to think about this week

In what ways do you personally develop a connection with others?

In what ways can you develop a connection with God?

Spend time thanking God for opening Himself and His ways to you. Ask Him to show Himself to you through daily practices.

Ask God this week to help you realize how you can contribute to the care and well-being of those around you.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Choose one discipline from above (prayer, study, solitude, fasting or confession), one you don’t currently do regularly, and put aside a set amount of time each day to practice it for an entire week. Journal each day about what you are learning, and how you feel you are, or are not, connecting with God.

As a Family: Spend time talking about the difference between confessing to God and confessing to one another. How are they different, and how are they the same?

As a Life Group: Set aside a day where you, as a group, can fast and pray. Spend all morning and afternoon individually fasting (assuming your health allows), then pick a place where you can experience solitude and pray individually for at least 30 minutes. Afterwards, reconvene, and have a potluck to break your fast and discuss what you experienced during your time of prayer, fasting and solitude.

July 31-August 4: Partnerships

While God could get His work in the world done through means other than you and me, surprisingly, God delights in partnering with us. He doesn’t just give us the small jobs either, He entrusts us with the most important jobs of building and extending His Kingdom. When we partner with God, we replicate the work He’s doing in us, into the areas around us. 

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: John 15:1-16
  •   Day 2: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
  •   Day 3: Joshua 1:1-11
  •   Day 4: 1 Corinthians 3:1-15
  •   Day 5: John 14:15-27

Things to think about this week

Do you prefer working in a team or working alone? Why is this?

What strengths do you have that God has used or could use to impact those around you?

When have you relied on a partnership with God to do things you didn’t think you could do by yourself?

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Spend time journaling and praying through the following questions. When do you especially feel as though you are partnering with God? Why? Where is it hard for you to partner with God? How could you improve in partnering with God?

As a Family: Have a conversation about where you see other people in your family partnering with God. Why do you appreciate it? How can you as a family partner with God?

As a Life Group: Have everyone in your group share times when they feel like they are especially partnering with God. What happens when you partner with God? How can you help each other partner with God in more significant ways? How can you as a life group partner with God?

August 7-11: Discipleship

Whether you’re new to following Jesus or you’ve spent your entire life living out His teachings, it’s easy to forget that your faith is more than a belief system, it’s a relationship with a living God! We are His disciples, we learn from His ways in order to live out His ways, and as disciples of Jesus we are also to disciple others in His ways.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: Romans 10:1-15
  •   Day 2: John 8:31-47
  •   Day 3: Hebrews 10:19-35
  •   Day 4: Luke 9:57- 10:3
  •   Day 5: Matthew 28:16-20

Things to think about this week

What is easier for you: learning about Jesus or living like Jesus? Why is this?

What areas of your faith is God calling you to live out more fully?

What is the most difficult part about being a disciple of Jesus? Spend time in prayer, thanking God for calling you to be a disciple of Christ, and ask Him to give you strength for the aspects of discipleship that are difficult for you.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Reflect on your discipleship journey, and list 3-5 people who have impacted your life and taught you to follow Jesus. Now, reflect on the people in your life currently and choose one that God is asking you to intentionally disciple.

As a Family: Have a meal together and ask the question “what did Jesus teach us that His disciple looks like?” Look though the New Testament for examples, and make a list of 5-10 things that characterize a disciple of Jesus. Now pick one thing from the list that you can intentionally practice this week.

As a Life Group: Have a meal together and ask the question “What are some things that Jesus intentionally did to make disciples?” Look through the New Testament for examples and make a list of 5-10 things. Now, pick one that you’re going to try this week and tell your group about next time you meet.

August 14-18: Mentoring & Encouraging

Although He was Lord and Master of the universe, Jesus rarely did ministry on His own. He usually had  His disciples by His side. Through this, He was able to teach them things they never would have gotten from Him in a lecture hall. As Fearless Followers, we must replicate the work we are doing into new leaders, passing on the wisdom and knowledge we have, and encourage them to carry on the good work of our faith.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1:  Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-16
  •   Day 2: Hebrews 5:11-6:3
  •   Day 3: 1 Kings 2:1-12
  •   Day 4: Proverbs 4:1-27
  •   Day 5: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20

Things to think about this week

What have you learned in life through the efforts of friends or family?

Consider the people God has brought into your life, whether it’s friends, family, neighbors or co-workers. How can you be more intentional about encouraging them in their faith, and helping them to grow and become leaders?

Spend time thanking God for how He has encouraged you. Ask him to help you identify and begin encouraging new leaders.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Make a list of the people who have encouraged you and give God thanks for them. If you’re able to get in contact with them, send a short message or call them, thanking them for their help. Ask God to reveal people in your spheres of influence that you could encourage.

As a Family: Have a family dinner and have each one go around the table and share their answers to the previous individual exercise and look for ways to encourage one another to follow through or to recognize an open door that may not be as easy to see. Follow up the conversation with regular updates and celebrate the stories and “wins” as a family.

As a Life Group: Ask everyone in the group… “if our leader(s) were to be called away for 6 months, who would lead this group in their absence and why?” Encourage those who were called out, and help guide them towards opportunities within the group or outside where they could begin to grow and utilize their leadership abilities.

August 21-25: Difficult Conversations

We often view necessary but difficult conversations as something to be endured or avoided instead of an opportunity to encourage others.  Difficult conversations challenge both the speaker and the hearer to draw ever closer to becoming more and more like Jesus, and we are given the chance to replicate the good work Christ has done in us into others who need it.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: Matthew 18:15-20
  •   Day 2: Galatians 6:1-10
  •   Day 3: Proverbs 12:1-22
  •   Day 4: James 4:1-12
  •   Day 5: Numbers 20:1-12

Things to think about this week

Has anyone loved you enough to have a difficult conversation with you? If so, what did that look like? How did you react?

Is there anyone God is asking you to have a difficult conversation with? How can you show love to that person, but also challenge them?

Spend some time with God asking Him to reveal first your own sin, and then give you the wisdom and courage to speak with the individual He has brought to mind. Thank Him for His commitment to both of you.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Share with a trusted friend or mentor what you have been learning about difficult conversations.  Ask them if there is anything they need to discuss with you about yourself.

As a Family: Play a word association game by calling out a specific word and then having someone respond with the first word that comes to mind. Afterward, talk about how to choose words wisely when having difficult conversations, and share a story about a difficult conversation you have had.

As a Life Group: Re-read some of the Scriptures above. Create some fictional scenarios and practice how each of you would approach having a difficult conversation. Come up with a covenant/plan as a group about how you will handle having difficult conversations with each other from now on.

August 28 - September 1: Asking Questions

Sometimes we think that if we ask certain questions, others will believe we are stupid.  The truth is that questions open doors to understanding. Even though He had the knowledge and understanding of God, Jesus often asked questions to those around Him in order to help them think about their lack of faith or understanding. Other times, the questions He asked revealed truth about the Kingdom of God and invited others into the conversation.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: Matthew 7:7-8, Acts 17:22-27
  •   Day 2: John 3:1-15
  •   Day 3: Proverbs 2:1-15
  •   Day 4: Genesis 18:16-33
  •   Day 5: Mark 8:1-21

Things to think about this week

Do you ever hesitate to ask questions? Why or why not?

If you could spend a whole day with God, what would you want to ask Him about? Why would you ask those things?

Thank God for His desire to have a relationship with you.  Spend some time with Him asking questions.  Listen for His answers.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Spend some quiet time seeking God, what questions does He have for you? Write down what you think God might be asking. It can be scary, but the questions God has for us about our lives or our faith can help lead us into a stronger relationship with Him.

As a Family: Play a game of would you rather. “Would you rather be a bug or a dog?” “Would you rather go to Venezuela or China?” “Would you rather live for 10 more years or be able to see Jesus today in heaven?”  Then transition into a time of sharing about some of the things your family wonders about. Have fun with it and share your thoughts with each other.

As a Life Group: Re-read some of the Scriptures above. Have each member pose one question that they have wanted to ask God about.  Pray with one another, break out your Bibles or online commentary to see if you can gain insight.  You may not find the exact answer, but you will experience the nearness of God.  He promises that if we seek Him we will find Him.

 

September 4-8: Learning & Growing

As Fearless Followers, the Holy Spirit is an active source in our lives, spurring us on to good works and revealing important lessons to us. We aren’t called to be passive, though; we must partner with God and continue to seek out opportunities to gain knowledge and wisdom no matter how long we have been a believer. 

BIBLE READING

  •  Day 1: 2 Timothy 3:1-17
  •   Day 2: Proverbs 1:20-33
  •   Day 3: 2 Chronicles 34:8-21, 29-33
  •   Day 4:  Philippians 4:4-13
  •   Day 5: Jeremiah 32:26-35

Things to think about this week

What are the environments in which you learn best (i.e. one on one conversations, new experiences, reading)?

Are you quicker to listen first or talk first? Why is this?

What are some areas of your faith that you could learn more about?

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Write out the areas in which the Holy Spirit is prompting you to grow and learn. If you’re unsure, spend time in prayer asking God to help you see where you can grow, and talk to a trusted friend or mentor about what growth edges they may see for you.

As a Family: Talk together about the value of learning and how God has created us to be learners. Consider picking one topic/subject to learn together and then go and practice or experience what you have learned.

As a Life Group: Challenge each other to learn and grow individually and as a group.  Share your growth areas and have follow-up conversations about what you are learning.  Is there an issue (i.e. poverty, parenting) that you as a group could study and learn together?

September 11-15: Celebrating Positive Movement

We live in a culture that celebrates and rewards accomplishments, yet often we don’t take time to celebrate: we set goals, meet those goals, then quickly set new ones. As Fearless Followers, we must remember and recognize how God has worked and is working in our lives. When we take time to remember, share and celebrate the good work He has done for us, we are better equipped to walk in faith with a Heavenly Father who loves giving us reasons to celebrate.

BIBLE READINGS

  •   Day 1: 1 Samuel 7:2-12
  •   Day 2: Nehemiah 12:27–43
  •   Day 3: Psalm 71:1-24
  •   Day 4: Luke 15: 1-10
  •   Day 5:  Joshua 4:1-24

Things to think about this week

As a family, what major events do you celebrate? Why do you celebrate them?

Do you celebrate God’s provision or work in your life? Why or why not?

Spend time thanking God for how He has encouraged you. Ask Him to help you identify and begin celebrating positive movement.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Make a list of many of the milestones in your life and give God thanks for them. Now ask Him how He wants to use those milestones to encourage others in their faith journey.

As a Family: Take turns around the table sharing some of the most important memories, stories, and milestones you each have. Now look for the points of connection both in the similarities of the times and who was present at those moments. Take some time to discuss and pray about some of the things you as a family would love to be able to celebrate in the future if God were to help make them happen.

As a Life Group: Get into a habit of recognizing and celebrating individual and group milestones. Pay careful attention to moments of visible transformation in someone’s life or situation. Help each other create “Ebenezers” or “Ebenezer moments”.