Author Archive for Beulah Baptist

In 2017-2018, we will be reading the Scriptures through together.  At the end of two years, if you follow this plan, you will have read through the New Testament and the Psalms twice and the rest of the Old Testament once.  This will help us make our time in the Scriptures more intentional and regular.  It will also make sure we are reading the whole of God’s Word, and not just our “favorite parts.”

Jesus is on every page of Scripture.  Find Him there.  May your knowledge of God, His glory, and His plan of redemption through Christ deepen as we journey through the Scriptures together.  As you come to the Scriptures for your reading ask that God may let you see His beauty and the wonder of His Word: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  Every Scripture is breathed out by God for a reason.  As you read, ask Him what that reason is, and how He may teach and guide you through it.

2017 Bible Reading Plan:

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

Going Further

The Hope of Christ’s Incarnation: Salvation

1 Timothy 1:12-17
.

  1. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with Paul’s conversion to Christ (Acts 9:1-22; 22:1-21; 26:1-32).  How does his conversion contradict those who taught that salvation could come from obedience to the law?
    .
  2. According to the following passages, what is the condition of every unbeliever before they come to Christ (Romans 1:21-25 and 8:7-8, 2 Corinthians 4:3-7, Ephesians 2:1-3 and 4:17-19)?  How do you see that this was true of Paul before he was saved?
    .
  3. Through Paul’s conversion, how do we see that being saved is solely an act of God’s sovereign grace? How do John 6:65, 2 Corinthians 4:3-7, Galatians 1:15, and Ephesians 1:3-14 teach that?  How does realizing the depth of our sinful condition before we are saved magnify God’s grace? Why does pondering this lead to worship (as it does Paul in verse 17)?
    .
  4. Though a very “religious” man before his salvation, Paul calls himself the chief of sinners.  What does that teach us?
    .
  5. Memorize 1 Timothy 1:15. How does this verse sum up the message of Christmas?  What are specific ways you can be missional this Christmas?
    .
  6. How is Paul’s salvation an encouragement to: 1) those who feel like they are “too bad of a sinner” to be saved and 2) those who are worried that certain loved ones/friends will never be saved?  How should this affect our constant prayer for and sharing with them?
    .
  7. Identify family or friends that you can begin to work now to maximize your Christmas visit with them to seek to reach them for the gospel.
    .
    .

“The reach of His grace is far wider and farther than the depth of your sin.”
-David Platt

Going Further

Grace-centered Giving

2 Corinthians 8:1-9
.

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 8-9 (also Romans 15:25-27, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4) to get a full context on the specific need Paul is teaching about. What does this teach us about how Christians should give?
    .
  2. Why is responding to grace received more of an effective motivation than guilt is in being a generous giver?
    .
  3. Why do we feel like we need more money in order to be a more generous giver?  Why is gracious giving more about our joy in Christ and understanding His grace than how much money we have?
    .
  4. Why do we feel like we have to hoard our resources during times of affliction and poverty?  How does Paul challenge that in this passage?
    .
  5. Why are we not eager to give generously? Memorize 2 Corinthians 8:9.
    .
  6. Reflect on how much you spend on helping poor believers and the advancement of the gospel compared in relation to how much you have.  How can more wealth make unnecessary things “necessary?”
    .
  7. Spend some time reflecting on the richness of Christ (Isaiah 9:6,Micah 5:2, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:3, John 8:58 and 10:30), how He became poor (John 1:14, Luke 9:58, Mark 10:45, Romans 8:3, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 4:4, Philippians 2:5-8), so that we could become rich with spiritual blessings (Romans 8, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:3-14 and 2:4-10, 1 Peter 1:3-4).  How is a deeper understanding of this a motivation for generous, grace-centered giving?
    .
  8. In what ways can you sacrifice your normal giving patterns and traditions to free up your resources to give generously to those in need and the advancement of the gospel during this Christmas season?

Going Further

Jesus Will Build His Church

Matthew 16:13-18
.

  1. Read Colossians 1:15-20.  How does this passage affirm in depth Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16:16?  How does our understanding of who Jesus is affect how we follow Him?  Explain.
    .
  2. Why do people get an incorrect or incomplete idea of who Jesus is?  What are the potential results of that? Is it possible to defame Jesus by thinking nice thoughts of Him?  How?
    .
  3. To Whom do we really owe our understanding of Jesus and response to Him (See 1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, John 6:44)?  Why should that overwhelm us and lead us to worship?
    .
  4. Read Ephesians 2:19-22, Revelation 21:14, 1 Peter 2:4-8, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, and Acts 4:11.  How does that help with your understanding of the “rock” mentioned in Matthew 16:18?
    .
  5. Read the following Scriptures.  Note the certainty of how God builds His church: Ephesians 1:4-5, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 2:1-10, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 and 3:18, Philippians 2:13, Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:30, Revelation 5:9-10, 1 Peter 2:9.
    .
  6. In what ways are you tempted to feel insecure and fearful of the future? How should we be encouraged knowing that nothing can stop God from building His church?  How should knowing that affect our personal response to Jesus, our peace and joy in an insecure world, the boldness of our witness, and the purpose of our lives?
    .
  7. This week: Memorize Hebrews 12:28.  Also, share the truth of Peter’s confession with someone who has a wrong or incomplete view of Jesus.

“Before and after America, there was and will be the church. The nation is an experiment. The church is a certainty.” (Mark Dever)

Map

Listen to the message here

Ruth 1 – 4

Questions to Consider

  1. As a review, how does Boaz’s redemption of Ruth typify Christ’s redemption of us (His church)? Why is the redemption of God really all we need for joy and satisfaction? What does Romans 8 teach that affirms that? If we feel we need other things outside of His salvation, Scriptural promises, and guidance/provision in life, what does that say about our completeness in Him? What type of witness is that to others about Christ’s sufficiency?
  2. Knowing that God works all events of our lives for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28), how does that change our perspective on what happens in our lives? If we truly desire His glory and purpose and know He works all things to that end, how does that bring comfort and motivation for faithfulness in trying times? If we aren’t comforted that He is working for His glory/our good in our trials, how might we negatively respond to them?
  3. Why are we all unlikely candidates for God to bring to salvation to and use in His plan (Ephesians 2:1-10)? Knowing God can bring anyone to Himself (even those we think He can’t or shouldn’t), how can you avoid discriminating against those for whom you pray and with whom you share the gospel?

Action Steps for This Week

  1. Using Ruth’s story, share the gospel of Jesus with someone that you may at one time deemed “unworthy/unlikely” to be saved.
  2. Pray daily that God would cause you to desire His glorious plan more than your comfort, and that His sovereignty over all things (Romans 8:28) would comfort you and keep you faithful in the trials of your life.
  3. Memorize Ephesians 2:8-9, and reflect on it often to remind yourself that it is God’s grace, not your worth or work, that saved “unlikely” you.

Listen to the message here

1 Peter 2.9-10

Questions to Consider

  1. How do the privileges mentioned in these verses make us a special and unique people?
  2. How does our identity and privileges as believers trump any other worldly identity? How are our identity and privileges as believers better than any other worldly identity?
  3. Why is it easy to make an idol out of our American values?
  4. When we idolize our American values and then lose our joy when they are removed, what does that tell our world about the God we serve?
  5. How can we look at our nation as not our home and idolize it, and instead look at it as our mission field and evangelize it?
  6. When you mourn and grieve for the direction of our country, are you mourning and grieving for yourself that your way of life is being removed, or for a nation that is headed to destruction? How can you tell?

Action Steps For The Week

  1. Pray for our nation, for God to redeem those we would deem as enemies of the gospel.
  2. Worship God this week for the privileges you have as a believer. Spend some time thinking about why your spiritual identity is better than your earthly identity.

 

Listen to the message here

Read Ruth 4

Questions to Consider
1. How is Boaz’s integrity in handling this situation with the nearer kinsmen a good example of being driven by obedience and not fear or desire? When are you tempted to compromise your integrity and disobey God because of fear or desire? What can help you obey during those times? What does obedience during these times say about our trust of God’s goodness?
2. How does Ruth 4:18-21 and Matthew 1:1-16 reveal how God used Ruth and Boaz in His plan for His glory? What are specific examples from the book of Ruth that show how God worked to make sure this genealogy/His plan was carried out? How do you see Him working in seemingly painful times and small ways to accomplish His plan in the book of Ruth? How should that encourage us in our lives?
3. How is the idea of the Kinsman-Redeemer an example of the gospel of Jesus? In light of Scripture’s description of the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5, Revelation 19), how is Jesus the perfect Husband to us? Why should that lead us to be completely satisfied and joyful in Him? How does our complete satisfaction and joy in Jesus glorify Him?
4. If joy is not complete until it is shared, and if our joy is in Jesus, then what should we be naturally doing?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Share Ruth’s story with someone, using it to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. Identify one area of your life where you are tempted to disobey out of fear or desire. Memorize a Scripture that will help you obey during that time.
3. Identify how you’ve seen God work for His glory in various times (painful and celebratory) in your life. Thank Him for that.
4. Make a Scriptural list of how Jesus is all you need. Meditate on that.

Listen to the message here

Read Ruth 3

Questions to Consider
1. How do these three laws in play in the book of Ruth (gleaning, redemption of land, and levirate marriage) picture the kindness of God to His people?
2. How does the first Passover (described in Exodus 12) picture the redemption that Christ would offer us? How does what Boaz did for Ruth picture Jesus as our Kinsmen-Redeemer? What type of daily response should we have to Jesus in light of Him redeeming us from the captivity and consequence of our sin?
3. Interact with this quote from John MacArthur: “Our responsibility is not to moralize the unconverted, it’s to convert the immoral…We do not have a moral agenda. We have a redemptive agenda.”
4. How does Boaz become the answer to his own prayer for Ruth in 2:12? Why are we tempted to pray only, and not be willing to be God’s answer to our own prayers for others? How can you constantly be a vessel of God “spreading His wings” of kindness, refuge, and gospel to others?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Read the book of Ruth. Share the story with someone, using it as a bridge to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. Read through as many Scriptures about the redemption that Christ gives us. Let Ephesians 1:3-10, 1 Peter 1:18-21, Colossians 1:13-14, Mark 10:45, Romans 3:23-24, Galatians 3:10-14 get you started. Memorize one of the Scriptures you read.
3. Through prayer, identify who God may be leading you to be the vessel for Him to “spread His wings” of refuge and kindness to, and how He is leading you to do so. Go do it.

Listen to the message here

Read Ruth 2

Questions to Consider
1. How did God’s guidance in a simple matter of which field to glean in change Ruth’s life to accomplish His plan? Where have you seen God direct His will at certain moments in your life in ways that didn’t seem like “big” moments at the time? How does that lead us to trust Him in everyday life now and in the future?
2. What does Ruth’s commitment to God and Naomi during hard times in chapter 2 say about her commitment and faith? How can we tell if we are following God faithfully in hard times instead of going back to our “Moab?” Why is God worth following even when times are incredibly difficult?
3. Ruth is described as coming to take refuge under the wings of God? How have believers come to take refuge under the wings of God in Christ?
4. How is Boaz and his kindness and generosity an incredible example of Christ? How have we as believers been shown incredible kindness in Christ? How do we have all we need in Christ? How does remembering who we were before His kindness in Christ found us affect our response of worship and obedience to Him? How can you focus on what you have in Christ more instead of what you don’t have in the world? How would that affect your joy, worship, satisfaction, and obedience?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Read the book of Ruth. Share the story with someone, using it as a bridge to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. List as many ways as you can think of that Scripture reveals the kindness we’ve been shown in Christ as believers. Use Ephesians 1-2, Romans 8, Philippians 4, Galatians 5 to get you started. Worship Him for these.