Check out the bible readings for this week.
One of the ways we can all participate in the Church Renewal Lab on an ongoing basis is through reading one chapter of the Bible each day, five days out of seven, and pondering a question intended to help us think through what we’ve just read and how it applies both to our life together and our life as part of our broader neighborhoods and community. Imagine what God might do through us as we ponder and pray together! With that in mind, here are the readings and questions for the week of March 17 - 23 2019
Note: During the month of February and continuing into March, the focus of the Daily Bible Reading Guides will shift from the study of a specific book of the Bible to an emphasis on the biblical themes of justice and mercy, which are crucial for us to master as we reach out to and interact with our neighbors and community.
Read: Romans 2:17-29
Questions to ponder: What do you remember most about your religious training in your youth and teen years? What can we tell about the attitude of many Jews from vv 17-24? What impact did that attitude have on those outside the Jewish faith? What can we learn from this passage about the impact our attitudes and actions can have on unbelievers?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Worship: Eileen Crawford, Andrew Brindisi, Marg Christians, Judy Straayer, and Lori Sylvester.
Read: Romans 3:1-20
Questions to ponder: Although Jewish Christians in Rome apparently thought they were superior to the Gentiles (2:1; 3:1), what does Paul say they had in common (v 9)? Reread vv 10-18—how does what Paul writes make you feel? What does this say about the importance of sharing our faith with unbelievers?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Adult Discipleship:
Barry Priest, Henry Huizinga, Anne Hulstein, and Jim Melough.
Read: Romans 3:21-31
Questions to ponder: Note the following definitions:
- Justify: “to declare innocent or guiltless; to absolve or acquit”
- Redeem: “to buy back or recover”
- Atone: “to make amends for an offense or crime”
What everyday examples could you use to illustrate each of these words? When did the message of God’s grace first become real to you? What impact is it having in your life right now?
Pray for Bev Kaldy, our church secretary.
Read: Romans 3:21-31
Consider: “Picking, choosing, and deciding which sins are trivial and which are the biggies is a completely human tendency. A young man once told me, ‘It’s like a heavenly bank account. As long as I make more deposits than withdrawals, I’m in good shape.’ I shared the biblical reality with him: the very first time he made a withdrawal, the account was emptied and closed forever. He thought that was a bit harsh. But I explained that I didn’t make the rules; God did. And I shared this truth with him not to depress him, but to make him aware and appreciative of God’s mercy. If you’re a believer, your account has been closed, and a new one opened in Christ’s name. You’re wealthy, but you can’t make another deposit or withdrawal. As Christians we just get the benefits of this new account, living off the interest—or, to put it another way, living off the blessing granted us by the blood of Jesus.”*
Pray for our church Support Team, chaired by Dave Hiskes.
Read: Romans 4
Questions to ponder: Since some of the Jewish converts believed they had been made righteous by keeping the Jewish law, why does Paul bring up the example of Abraham here? How does what Paul writes in vv 3-8 help answer that question? On what basis, then, are we made right with God? Is that a gift to be received or a prize to be earned?
Pray for the Church Renewal Lab team focusing on Student Ministries (middle school, high school, college): Anna Hulstein, Carol Hulstein, Daniela Gore, and Jean Ohliger.