NOTE: Please use the devotional studies below to help you prepare for the upcoming weekend worship services.
Click on the Bible verses to read from BibleGateway
We used the Red Letter Challenge book for devotions through March 29, 2020.
“Red Letter Challenge: Introduction” Preparing for the weekend of February 23
- Read Psalm 46:10. Have you ever tried to assemble something that you ordered online that came in about 20-30 pieces or more without first reading the directions? How did that work for you? If you’re like me, you eventually gave up and picked up the directions. The same thing applies to following God. Is there an area of your life that you need to spend some time listening to God teach you about? Discuss this with someone you trust.
- Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Look up the definition of grace online or in a dictionary. What is it? In the passage above, how did St. Paul say we are saved? Yet our culture tells us that “you earn what you get.” How does this philosophy differ from what the Bible teaches? In reality, does your life reflect more the philosophy of our culture or the Bible?
- Read Ephesians 2:10. Verses 8-9 from above explain how a person can be saved. This next verse speaks about the natural response to truly being rescued and saved? So being saved comes first. And, the natural response to this miraculous work of God is that we then want to serve Him with our life. Talk about a time when you were so overwhelmed with knowing that God forgave your sin, that you felt this great desire to do something or tell someone.
- Read John 3:16. What is God like? Read Ephesians 5:1. What does God want us to be like? How can you better reflect the character of God?
- Read Matthew 28:19a. What did Jesus tell His followers to do? How can you participate in this mission that Jesus has given His followers?
“Faith: Living In Hope” Preparing for the weekend of February 16
Read Hebrews 11
- Who are your spiritual mentors who have encouraged and inspired you to grow in your knowledge and practice of the Christian faith? How have they done that? How can you now disciple others?
- Read Hebrews 10:35– 39. What are the connections between these verses and the themes of chapter 11?
- Read Hebrews 11:1, 6. What is faith? What is the object of a Christian’s faith? What are the verbs in these verses that describe faith? What are some verbs that describe your present level of faith?
- Read verse 3. According to this verse, how do we know that God created the world and it didn’t just “evolve” to its present state over billions of years?
- Read verses 13-16. This is a summary of the faith of the people mentioned in the first 12 verses. How would you describe their faith? What other “country” were they looking forward to? How did this “future” focus give these people hope so they could deal with their present struggles in life? How would a stronger future faith focus help you cope with current struggles in your life?
- Read verses 32-38. A lot of “Christian” churches teach that if you trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord and “live like a believer” then God will reward you right now in this life. Based on these verses, what would you say to someone who believes this?
- Read verses 39-40. How many of the people mentioned received what God had promised in this life? How easy is it for you to live by faith? How hard is it for you to live by faith.
“Armor of God” Preparing for the weekend of February 9, 2020
Read Ephesians 6:10-19.
- Paul begins this section with the word “finally.” What proceeded that would lead Paul to begin this section this way? Paul then encourages us to “be strong in the Lord.” What does this look like in life?
- What does Paul instruct us to do in verse 11? Who provides us this armor? Why is this important or how does this knowledge further help us? Who does Paul say our enemy really is? How do we get this twisted in life?
- Read Ephesians 1:21, 2:2, 3:10; see also John 12:31 and 16:11. Each of these talks about the heavenly realms. What do these passages say about these beings?
- Take a look at each of the pieces of armor that we are given in Ephesians 6:14-17. There is 7 in total. Note which part of the body that each covers. Which pieces are used for defense? Which are used for offense?
- The sword of the Spirit is the only offensive piece. Read Psalm 119:11, Hebrews 4:12. How is God’s word used to fight our battles? What does this tell us about the importance of being in God’s Word?
- Not only are we called to put on the whole armor of God, but what else does Paul say we should do? Who are we to pray for? What does Paul mean when he uses the word “saints?”
“Children of God” Preparing for the weekend of February 2, 2020
Read Romans 8:12-39.
- Paul is speaking about the life of a Christian. What does he call even those who live by the Spirit? Read Galatians 5:19-23. How does Paul describe the difference between those who live according to the Spirit versus those who give into the sinful nature?
- What is one of the benefits that we get when we live by the Spirit? Find one in each of the following verses: 14, 15, 17.
- In verse 14, it says that we are led by the Spirit of God. Think about how you would lead a team, or even your own children or grandchildren. How do you lead others? Is it that same way that God leads those he loves?
- Paul compares two things in verse 18. How does this contrast encourage you? Read 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. What does Paul say about the problems and discouragements of this life?
- In verse 23-25, Paul speaks about hope of being sons and daughters of God. What does this teach us about hope and how might you apply it to your own life?
- What do you learn about the Holy Spirit from verses 26-27? How are you blessed by these verses? How can it be an encouragement in times of suffering or the trials that we face in life?