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: Fri., May 26

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

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

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

April 24-28: Protecting One Another

PROTECTING ONE ANOTHER

When we begin to follow Jesus, He offers us forgiveness, a new life and protection. This can present itself in many ways. Not only does He physically protect us at times, He offers us emotional and spiritual security as well, loving and accepting us even when we feel we may be undeserving. Fearless Followers respond to this by protecting those around us, offering peace and security, physically, emotionally and spiritually, in the places we live, work and play.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Reflect on times in your life when you did not feel protected.

Consider who or what protects you formally (police, alarm system, etc.) and informally (parents, spouse, family, etc.).

Think about the vulnerable people in our community. What kind of protection do they need?

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Genesis 4:1-9
  • Day 2: Exodus 1:8-2:10
  • Day 3: Ecclesiastes 4:1-12
  • Day 4: 1 Samuel 18:28-19:16
  • Day 5: Esther 4:1-16

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Spend time journaling about people in your life you feel close to (friends, family, neighbors, etc.). In what ways do you provide peace and security for them? Think about the people where you live, work and play, in what ways to do you provide peace and security for them?

As a Family: Discuss how you can help each other feel more secure at home, work and school. This is not only physical security, but emotional and spiritual as well.

As a Life Group: Identify a group in the community you feel has suffered injustice. Figure out how you can best serve that group and spend a morning or afternoon together serving them and contributing to their protection.

May 1-5: Submitting to One Another

SUBMITTING TO ONE ANOTHER

In a world of differing opinions, we can get wrapped up in making sure people hear our thoughts and meet our desires. But Jesus invites us to submit to one another – to hear others’ thoughts and to generously meet others’ needs.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Submission is not something taken from us. Submission is something we give to someone else. How does this line up with or differ from how you typically view submission?

When is it easy for you to submit to God? When is this difficult for you?

When is it easy for you to submit to others? When is this difficult for you?

Thank God for the people in your life who submit to your needs and your leadership.

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Philippians 2:1-11
  • Day 2: 1 Peter 2:11-21
  • Day 3: Mark 10:35-45
  • Day 4: Romans 13:1-12
  • Day 5: Acts 2:42-47

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Make a list of the primary authorities in your life (boss, group leader, pastor, parents, etc.). On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = total rebellion, 5 = willing submission), rate your attitude toward each authority. Consider one way you can improve your attitude of submission toward each person.

As a Family: Write on your own pieces of paper one thing that you would like to do this week. Put all of the pieces of paper on the table, read through the options and determine together what you will do. Answer these questions together: What did you learn about submission? When was it hard for you to submit? How did you feel when others submitted to you?

As a Life Group: Identify a creative and meaningful way for your group to submit to the needs of others. You could host a meal, clean up a park, coordinate with Family Ministries to give Ridge Kids workers a week off, etc.

May 8-12: Resolving Conflict with One Another

RESOLVING CONFLICT  WITH ONE ANOTHER

In every relationship there is conflict. The presence of conflict is normal and the sign of a healthy relationship. We have a choice to manage conflict poorly or healthfully. As Fearless Followers, we must make a choice to resolve conflict with each other in ways that are God-honoring.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

What is your general response to conflict? Avoidance? Confidence? Why do you choose this response?

What does resolving conflict with someone practically look like? What actions steps are involved?

Who in your life resolves conflict well? What can you learn from them?

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Romans 14:1-19
  • Day 2: John 8:1-11
  • Day 3: Matthew 5:21-26, 18:15-17
  • Genesis 32:3-12, 33:1-11
  • 1 Samuel 24:1-22

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Reflect on a time when you caused a personal conflict. Why was the conflict there? Talk to a trusted friend or mentor about this, discussing how habits or mindsets you’ve developed could lead to future conflicts if you’re not careful. With this friend or mentor help create an action plan for resolving any current or future conflicts.

As a Family: Watch a conflict you see on a TV show or in a movie and discuss how the problem is or is not resolved. Answer these questions together: What’s the conflict? How do the characters try to resolve the problem? Do they resolve the conflict peacefully? What do the characters do to help make the conflict worse?

As a Life Group: Based on your reading and journaling for the week and what you personally know about conflict resolution, establish rules for how your Life Group will handle conflict among each other. Print these out, sign them and keep them around for the times conflict arises in your group.

May 15-19: Forgiving One Another

FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER

We all have periods where we struggle with forgiving others who have offended us, even if the conflict is over. At times it can get so difficult to forgive someone that we allow the offense to hold us hostage. As Fearless Followers, when we truly forgive those who have offended us, we begin to experience freedom.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Reflect on how Jesus has forgiven your own sins and offenses toward others.

Consider what it would look like if you prayed for those who have offended you.

Spend time thinking about who you need to forgive in your life.

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Matthew 18:21-35
  • Day 2: Colossians 3:12-14,
  • Ephesians 4:29-32
  • Day 3: Luke 7:36-50
  • Day 4: Genesis 37:12-28, 50:15-21
  • Day 5: Luke 23:26-43

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Picture the person who has greatly offended you or caused you the most hurt. Imagine forgiving that person, and write down what that would look like. If you struggle with this exercise, imagine that your circumstance happened to a friend. What would forgiveness look like if your friend forgave his or her offender?

As a Family: Ask those around the dinner table if you express any bitterness towards anyone in your day to day expressions and comments. Patiently and lovingly listen to what is said, without interrupting or trying to defend yourself. Ask God to help you through any bitterness others may notice.

As a Life Group: Share stories about how you have worked through the difficulty of forgiveness. Show how working through forgiveness affected you before and after the point of actual forgiveness.

 

May 22-26: Encouraging One Another

ENCOURAGING ONE ANOTHER

To encourage literally means to “put in courage.” Fearless Followers who relate well with one another increase the courage of each other through words of encouragement.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Who has been a source of encouragement for you? What has that done for you?

What helps you become more of an encourager to others?

Thank God for encouraging us and for giving us the ability to insert courage into one another. Ask the Lord to show you how to be an encourager to people in your daily life.

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: James 3:2-12
  • Day 2: Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Day 3: Proverbs 27:1-22
  • Day 4: 1 Corinthians 14:1-12
  • Day 5: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Write a list of people who have encouraged you well. Dwell on what they said or did that encouraged you. Consider reaching out to these people or others to encourage them.

As a Family: Have family devotions around one of the Bible readings above. Reflect on the reading together and apply the principles of encouragement you find. Encourage and pray for one another.

As a Life Group: Have a time of speaking words that will “put in courage” to one another. Focus on one person at a time and have everyone speak words of encouragement and affirmation for everyone in the group.

May 29-June 2: Discipling One Another

DISCIPLING ONE ANOTHER

Discipling one another may sound intimidating, but it is a way of life for mature followers of Jesus. Discipling is a way to encourage one another to follow Jesus’ example in speech and action and to increasingly live for God’s will in every area of life.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

What comes to mind when you hear the words “disciple” or “discipling”?

Who is discipling you? Who could you ask to disciple you?

Who are you discipling?

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: John 15:1-17
  • Day 2: Titus 2:1-8
  • Day 3: Exodus 18:13-26
  • Day 4: 1 Timothy 3:14-4:14
  • Day 5: Acts 8:26-40

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: As you consider discipling, ask God to show you what your next step should be. Consider who in your life you may engage in a discipling relationship with either as someone to disciple you, or someone for you to disciple, or both

As a Family: Have a time of talking about what Jesus is teaching you to do to follow Him more closely. Pray for one another as you each share what you feel the Lord is calling each one of you to do.

As a Life Group: Schedule a worship experience together. Get creative in how you want to experience this whether it is a worship concert, worship music videos in someone’s home or inviting someone to lead a time of worship. Worship Jesus as an act of declaring your love for Him and the desire to follow after Him. Share with one another what you experienced in your worship time and how you desire to fearlessly follow Him.

June 5-9: Giving to One Another

GIVING TO ONE ANOTHER

A true mark of a Fearless Follower is being able to acknowledge all that God has blessed us with and using that blessing to bless each other. We can give time, energy, talents, money or encouragement to help those where we live, work and play because we acknowledge that God is the provider of all things.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Reflect on how you approach giving to others. Do you make giving a priority? Why or why not?

Do you view the resources in your life (time, money, food, etc.) as something you have in abundance or something that is scarce? What drives this thought?

Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone giving to you unexpectedly? Think through that experience. How did it make you feel?

Spend time giving thanks to God for all He has given you.

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: James 2:1-17
  • Day 2: Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21
  • Day 3: 2 Samuel 9:1-13
  • Day 4: Deuteronomy 15:1-11
  • Day 5: 1 Kings 17:7-16

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Make a list of the things God has provided for you. Include general things (good health, a happy family, good grades) and specific things (being able to eat at your favorite restaurant or a favorite pet you have). Take as long as you need and write as much as you can think of. When finished, spend time thanking God for this list, asking Him to help you approach these blessings with open hands and asking how He wants you to manage them.

As a Family: Talk together about what and how you can give to your neighbors. You could give them a meal and invite them over for dinner. You could give them a fun time and take them out to a movie or local park. You could give them rest from parenting and baby-sit. You could even pet-sit!

As a Life Group: Have each person share one thing that is most difficult for them to give to others. It may be time, money, or even care/emotional support. Pray together as a group, asking God to help each other in their area, and encourage each other to give what they can, when they can.

June 12-16: Serving One Another

SERVING ONE ANOTHER

As Fearless Followers, we are called to follow the example of Jesus who not only radically loved everyone, but served others. Putting others’ needs in front of our own and serving others can change lives.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

What comes to mind when you think of “serving?”

What makes a serving experience good? What could make a serving experience bad?

When has someone gone out of their way to serve you and help meet a need you had?

BIBLE READINGS

  • Day 1: Galatians 6:1-10
  • Day 2: Matthew 25:31-46
  • Day 3: Nehemiah 2:1-6, 11-18
  • Day 4: 1 Peter 4:1-11
  • Day 5: John 13:1-17

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Each of us have been given talents from the Lord that we should develop and use to serve God and others. Examine your life and see what talents you have. What are you good at? How could you use your talents to help those around you?

As a Family: Pick a free day or free evening and serve your neighbors by helping with seasonal yard work (raking leaves, snow removal, mowing the grass, etc.) Afterwards, have a family discussion about what it was like to serve someone and not ask for anything in return.

As a Life Group: Serve in way that is relational. Don’t just choose a random organization you support, do work for a day then leave, but rather serve someone you know, someone you love, someone you can get to know.

June 19-23: Grieving with One Another

Grieving with One Another

In general, we all struggle with expressing sorrow. As Fearless Followers, we strive to walk with one another during times of sadness, showing our love and presence. We do this to embody God, the ultimate provider of peace and comfort who never leaves our side during troubling times.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK

Think back on a particularly sad or difficult moment in life. Did you have anyone to talk to and walk through this time with? How did that impact you?

What helps you most when you are grieving?

God has designed us to live in community with each other, which means not only celebrating the good times but bearing with each other through the bad times. Thank God for being the ultimate provider of peace and comfort, asking Him to help you walk with others during their tough times.

  • BIBLE READINGS
  • Day 1: John 11:17-37
  • Day 2: Job 2:1-13
  • Day 3: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
  • Day 4: 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 17-27
  • Day 5: Ruth 1:1-22

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

By Yourself: Journal about the things that you are currently grieving – the loss of a loved one, moving to a new city or struggling with injustices. Talk to a trusted friend about these things asking them to walk with you through it.

As a Family: Each day of the week, have one family member share something that is or has made them sad this week. After each person shares, ask them what they need from the rest of the family. Commit to helping each other grieve these things.

As Life Group: Talk about the best times someone has grieved with you, and the worst time someone attempted (or didn’t actually attempt) to grieve with you. As a group, decide what you can do for each other, and draft a response plan for when someone suffers a loss or expresses a difficulty they are going through. When the time comes, how will your group help each other grieve?

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.