Daily. Bible. Reading. May 16 - 20
The next fruit we study is patience. The biblical character of Job is often portrayed as the example of patience because of his pain and suffering. It would be wrong, though, to think of patience as always a silent act. Consider the following words from Job this week as you prepare your heart.
Monday—Read: Job 3:1-26 Think: This lament hardly seems like patience. How would you console someone who said these things to you? Pray: For someone you know who has nearly given up on living or who might be ‘hanging on by a thread.’
Tuesday—Read: Job 7:1-21 Think: Spend a moment thinking about verse 7. Have you ever felt like this? When and why? How can the Christian virtue of patience help in times like this? Pray: Give thanks to the Lord for the good things your eye sees.
Wednesday—Read: Job 10:1-22 Think: These verses are a part of a larger lament which is seems to come to a conclusion in v. 18 – ‘why was I born?’ How would you answer that question about yourself? Pray: As an act of prayer, make a list of the people whose life you have impacted for good, and a list of people you hope to impact for good in the future. Then pray through that list.
Thursday—Read: Job 19:23-29 Think: Job affirms the truth of resurrection and the power of God. How can that help us in patience? Pray: Pray through verses 25-27.
Friday–Read: Job 27:1-23
Think: Job refused to admit the lies his friends believed about him. He held on to his integrity. How can holding fast to the truth help us be patient people? What lies about you does the devil want you to believe? Pray: Ask the Lord to give you strength to wait for him.
May 23 - 27
Kindness is slippery in that it is not any one thing, but more of an attitude in so many different things - generosity, helping, morality, and attitude. To help us think about this important Christian virtue, let us study some of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7.
Monday—Read: Matthew 7:1-5 Think: What is the connection between not judging other people and kindness? Who are you guilty of judging – or prejudging – that is harmful to your kindness factor? Pray: Bring before the Lord someone you’ve recently said something negative about, and pray for their blessing.
Tuesday—Read: Matthew 7:7-11 Think: This passage is primarily about prayer, but it also demonstrates the kindness of God to give us what we need. How can this principle be applied to your relationships, particularly when people ask you for things? Pray: God is good and kind, therefore he wants to hear your requests. Therefore, ask him right now for something that you think would add to your life. Be big and bold in your request.
Wednesday—Read: Matthew 7:12-14 Think: This is the golden rule. What does it mean? Pray: For that person or people you seem to have the hardest time treating with the same respect you’d like.
Thursday—Read: Matthew 7:15-20 Think: Fruit here is exactly the same as the fruit of the Spirit we’ve been studying (Galatians 5:22-23), but the metaphor is similar. Often, we over-spiritualize this, but in context it seems to be about judging, giving, and being nice. If these are the criteria, then how is your fruit? Pray: Spend time meditating on your fruit.
Friday–Read: Matthew 7:21-23 Think: This shocking scene of judgment teaches us that religious activity like prophesying and spiritual warfare are not what commends us to God. Do you think kindness is a possible key? Pray: For someone who you know who is struggling to be nice.
May 30 – June 3
The scriptures affirm, over and over, the goodness of creation. The affirmation of this goodness is why science, and the study of creation is such a noble endeavor. Goodness, a spiritual characteristic of God’s people, flows from the way we are being re-created by the Holy Spirit. Think about the new creation in your life as we ponder the goodness of creation from the account in the first chapter of the Bible.
Monday—Read: Genesis 1:1-8 Think: God said ‘it is good' after each day of creation. For days one and two he pronounces his blessing of goodness on the night and day and the heavens above. In what ways can goodness be found in the darkness of night? Is there something in this division about balance in our daily lives? How is the Holy Spirit dividing your life in ‘day’ and ‘night’? Pray: Give thanks to God for three specific blessings of the nighttime.
Tuesday—Read: Genesis 1:9-13 Think: The third day of creation brings the goodness of sea, land, and vegetation. If we think about this as barriers, or spheres of life, what good things in our life come from different experiences? What is the Holy Spirit growing in you? What is covering in refreshing water? What is giving the nutrients of soil? Pray: For those people who work the land and navigate the seas.
Wednesday—Read: Genesis 1:14-19 Think: Light and darkness come on day one, but it is not until day four that the great bodies in the heavens are brought into reality. What can we learn about goodness from the sun and moon and stars? What shines brightly in your spiritual life? What has been a light in darkness for you? Pray: For people who work at night while most of us slumber.
Thursday—Read: Genesis 1:20-23 Think: The animal kingdom is born on the fifth day. Not only are these good, but they are commanded to multiply. What spiritual things are being fruitful and multiplying in your life? Pray: For the health of the environment – the living creatures, the fish, the goodness of the forests, and the resources we need to live. Ask the Lord to show you how to be a better steward of his good gift.
Friday–Read: Genesis 1:24-2:3 Think: When God made men and women he called them, ‘very good’. How is that different? In Christ, God has made his individual people into a new creation—a new man or woman. Have you considered in what ways your identity has changed? Pray: Spend ten minutes ‘resting’ in the awareness of all God’s goodness given so freely to us.