I’ve decided to add at least one question for reflection in each category, in order to facilitate understanding and application for everyone each week, no matter how many sections you have committed to reading. You shouldn’t feel obligated to comment on every section though.

Don’t forget to encourage others through posting your comments, reflections, applications and insights from your reading. They don’t have to be lengthy or profound. You should feel free to post things beyond the scope of the questions given too, just as you should not limit your own reflection and application questions to the topics I am suggesting. Those are just to “get the application ball” rolling!

Here we go!

Category 1 – NT – Gospels

  • Day 1 – Matthew 4:1-11
  • Day 2 – Matthew 4:12-17
  • Day 3 – Matthew 4:18-25
  • Day 4 – Matthew 5:1-12
  • Day 5 – Matthew 5:13-20
  • Day 6 – Matthew 5:21-32

For category 1 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Note the characteristic ways Satan tempts Jesus Christ (list them), and the the characteristic ways he responds to Satan, the temptation, and His Father in heaven. Now ask yourself, “In what specific ways does Satan try to tempt me through the same methods and tactics, and how will I respond the next time he tries to trip me up?”

Category 2 – NT History & Epistles

  • Day 1 – Acts 4:23-37
  • Day 2 – Acts 5:1-16
  • Day 3 – Acts 5:17-42
  • Day 4 – Acts 6
  • Day 5 – Acts 7:1-38
  • Day 6 – Acts 7:39-60

For category 2 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Within these passages we see the life and death of Stephen. What was it about the life of Stephen, either described or put on disply by the writer, that enabled him to be such a faithful servant and witness of Christ. What qualities did he have that you could be working to improve or increase? How can you (or others) seek to grow or change in those personal qualities?

Category 3 – OT Poetry & Wisdom

  • Day 1 – Psalm 7
  • Day 2 – Psalm 8
  • Day 3 – Psalm 9
  • Day 4 – Psalm 10
  • Day 5 – Psalm 11
  • Day 6 – Psalm 12

For category 3 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Who is the “man” and the “son of man” being referred to in Psalm 8, and what other OT passage is being referred to in the description of this coronation (hint: see last week’s OT readings)? Given the topic of the passage, why do you think the Psalm begins and ends with an expression of the excellence of God’s name?

Category 4 – OT Historical & Prophetic

  • Day 1 – Genesis 18-20
  • Day 2 – Genesis 21-23
  • Day 3 – Genesis 24
  • Day 4 – Genesis 25-26
  • Day 5 – Genesis 27-28
  • Day 6 – Genesis 29-30

For category 4 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Consider Abraham’s repeated appeals to God regarding the people of Sodom; what is revealed about the character of God, and the nature of His dealings with men? Do you think Abraham was sinning by making these repeated appeals? If so, why did God not rebuke or chasten Him? Hhmmm…

Enjoy your reading…make sure you are considering applications and questions beyond simply the ones above.

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About Brian Sayers

Brian has been an elder, and staff pastor, at Christ Community Church since September of 2000. He is a 1998 graduate of The Master's Seminary (M.Div).

2 Comments

  1. BethC on January 16, 2008 at 6:05 am

    First of all, I would like to thank you for this forum. It has encouraged me to be more faithful with my quiet time.

    After the Matthew reading, I read the question and was at a loss. Obviously, I know that I sin, but haven’t put much thought to how I was being tempted (probably by my own flesh than specifically by Satan). On Monday on the way into work in the snow, I went to the bank to get cash out of the ATM. At this bank they have two outside stations to send your stuff to the teller. One of them is in the same lane as the ATM. Generally, people go to the teller without the ATM as to not block it. On this morning there was a guy in a truck sitting there and he hadn’t’ picked a lane so I tried to get around him. When he saw me trying to get around him he went to the teller with the ATM even though the other teller was empty. I was so steamed! I sat there for 5 minutes waiting for him, belittling him in my mind contemplating all the ways he was such a moron and had to open his door every time and how slow he was. I was irate! When he was FINALLY done I quickly pulled up, did my ATM business in less than 30 seconds and pulled forward and the guy was sitting again- what a turtle! So I was going to teach him a lesson and show him how fast I was and how slow he was and I went to go around him, he saw me going for it and pulled ahead and then pulled out onto the road. A car was approaching on the road and I tried to brake, but with being on a hill with the snow my car was not stopping so instead I went for it and pulled out- nearly getting hit by the oncoming car! Yes, I almost got into a car accident because I was angry that someone “wasted” 5 minutes of my time.

    When considering how Christ was tempted- one of the temptations was the pride of life. Christ obviously has a lot to be prideful about, and could have called all his angels, but He was submitting to his role on earth and didn’t. Here are some definitions of pride:

    1. A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value; self-respect.
    2. Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association: parental pride.
    3. Arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment; haughtiness.
    4.
    a. A cause or source of pleasure or satisfaction; the best of a group or class: These soldiers were their country’s pride.
    b. The most successful or thriving condition; prime: the pride of youth.
    5. An excessively high opinion of oneself; conceit.

    Amongst these definitions, I think some aspects of pride are not sinful. God is proud in the sense of definitions 1-3 and is justified in having pride, but his opinion of himself is not excessively high. In most cases, I think man is sinful when being prideful. Our righteousness is like dirty rags, anything we do that is good is because of God, we deserve hell. In our daily living if we forget our position in Christ, and what we really deserve we become prideful. I think a lot of the ways I sin are based on pride- getting angry when someone makes me wait, making a belittling comment about someone, and thinking belittling comments in my mind, being frustrated or angry about various circumstances in life. This week I will be more mindful of how I sin and if it relates to pride or not.

  2. Brian Sayers on January 18, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Readers,

    I am so encouraged to read about Stephen’s courage under pressure from those who hated the gospel. But I noticed especially as I was reading his defense in Acts 7 that he had a profound love for Jesus Christ, and a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had truly “sanctified Christ in his heart” and as a result was prepared to testify with power when given that opportunity. It was a challenge for me to press on with this regular reading and filling my heart and mind with the truth of Scripture. I want to be able to recount with precision and power the mighty works of God like he did, and be so warmly and gloriously received into heaven by the Savior as a result.

    I want to be a Stephen!

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