Monday, February 22, Romans 15
Paul reminds us to care about others and to live in unity, with the attitude of Christ (1-6). Read Philippians 2 for insight on Christ’s attitude. These things were written in the scriptures long ago (4). Do the scriptures breathe direction into your life, or is the Bible an ancient, unused book in your house? Pray for insight and a desire to know God. What motivates Paul (14-15)? Paul’s call was based on God’s grace, not Paul’s merit (16-22). Paul said, “It has been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known” (20). Have you shared the gospel with an unbeliever? Do your ambitions match Paul’s? Christians are to serve God and fellow Christians with their material possessions (27-28). Is this something you love to do? Are you waiting until you have all that you want and need? Paul asks the Romans to pray for him; he knows God’s promises are true.
Tuesday, February 23, Romans 16
What does Paul commend the people for in 1-16? What does this show us about measuring success in life? Although Paul had never been to Rome, what does his greeting tell you about his knowledge of this church? What things should we keep away from (17-19)? Verse 20 shows us a God of peace, though Paul began by describing a God of wrath. How do we know what God is like? What is dividing the church today? How do we as individuals, and as a church, work for a balance between the desire for unity and the desire to maintain the truth? How can you lead others to follow Christ? Is this a grim duty or a tremendous privilege? (See Galatians 1:5, Ephesians 3:21, 2 Timothy 4:18, Hebrews 13:21, 1 Peter 4:11, 2 Peter 3:18). Pray about the “success” in your life.
Wednesday, February 24, Luke 3
Read 1-20 (also Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-18, John 1:6-8, 19- 28). What do you think the root and the fruit signify (9)? Why do you think John was confused with Christ? (15, also John 1:19-28). Who was the “John the Baptist” that led you to Christ? How might you produce fruit this week? Jesus was baptized as the people were being baptized (21-22). Why is that significant? What three things happened at Jesus’ baptism that made it unlike any other? What was special about your baptism? Is it still special? In 23-38 we see Jesus’ genealogy. Why do you think Luke takes us all the way back to Adam? What did Adam and Jesus have in common? Compare Romans 5:12-21 and 1 Corinthians 15:20-23. Jesus came to restore creation, removing the sin introduced by Adam. Has Jesus given you a fresh start at life? What difference does that make to you? Reflect on your baptism, and praise God for new life in Jesus Christ.
Thursday, February 25, Luke 4
Under what circumstances was Jesus tempted (1-13)? How does Satan’s use of scripture differ from Jesus’? For Jesus, to be the Son of God meant to be obedient, not greedy for power or recognition. What does “child of God” mean to you? Jesus knew God’s word and obeyed it. Do you know God’s word well enough for it to direct you (Hebrews 4:15, Matthew 4:4-10)? What temptations are you susceptible to right now? How are you preparing yourself to withstand them? In 14-30 we read of Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth. (See Isaiah 61:1-2). What is the significance of Nazareth (16)? What is Jesus’ five-fold mission (18-19)? Did he fulfill it literally? Spiritually? Then? Now? Why does amazement change to anger (24-30)? How are we as a church, and you as a child of God, doing? Pray that others would know Jesus by your words and actions. In 40-41 we realize that Jesus’ life has changed; he is in great demand. In verse 42 we learn that Jesus went alone to pray. Why does Jesus retreat at this time? How do you find God’s direction in the noise of life? Pray that you would “seek first the kingdom of God.”
Friday, February 26, Luke 5
Simon Peter is called as a disciple (1-11). If you were Simon Peter, would you go along with Jesus’ odd request(4-6)? What was his response to the miracle in 8? What do you think he is beginning to understand about Jesus? How have you responded to God’s miracles in your life? Have you left your past to follow him? Why does Jesus respond to the man with leprosy (12-13)? What did Jesus recognize in the paralytic (20)? What were the Pharisees thinking (17-26)? Why does Jesus risk upsetting them (25-26)? Jesus reveals that he came to save sinners (27-31). How did the Pharisees respond when Jesus ate with Levi and the tax collectors? Are you more like Levi or the Pharisees? Why was Jesus questioned about fasting (33-39)? What point is Jesus making? Is it difficult to keep your heart and mind open? Pray about this.
Saturday, February 27, Luke 6:1-19
What is the main issue for the Pharisees (1-11)? For Jesus? How does Jesus respond to the Sabbath issue? Why was it more important for the religious leaders to protect their laws than to heal? Have you ever felt tension between obeying your religious principles and helping someone? In your journey with Jesus, are you free to love others, or more constrained to follow the rules? Jesus was ready to choose his disciples, and he went off by himself to pray and meditate (12). Have you ever remained in prayer for a long time? What did it do for you? Try it next time you have decisions to make.
Sunday, February 28, Psalm 31
David calls on God to rescue him, and stop those who were causing him suffering and trouble. Have you ever felt helpless and hopeless? Are you able to express those feelings to God? What action do you most need to take (19-24)? “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (24). What situation in your life requires this? How can this Psalm help you? Express your feelings to God.