Lent Reading BONUS Challenge: 2 Peter 3

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read 2 Peter 3

Questions for Reflection:
1. What does Peter mean when he says “the last days”?  Do you think we are in these days now?  How does what Scripture says here about these “last days” impact how you think about the promises of God and live into them in your life?
2. Scripture gives a really important explanation as to why it seems as though Jesus is “taking a long time” to come back in verses 8 and 9.  How do you feel about this?  Keeping in mind the Great Commission of Jesus, what does that mean for us both as individuals and as a church?
3. Peter returns to a warning at the end of his letter to “be on your guard.”  What does he mean by this and how can we heed this warning in our lives as we follow Jesus?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that we would indeed be on our guard against sin, false teachings, and the temptation to walk away from the faith.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would take advantage of the time that God has given us to follow the Great Commission, preach the Gospel, and make disciples.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that the Holy Spirit would flow through this town, that the Kingdom of God would advance, and that many would come to know and trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading BONUS Challenge: 2 Peter 2

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read 2 Peter 2

Questions for Reflection:
1. Scripture warns of false teaching and false teachers both past, present, and future.  Do you see such things happening today?  How can we best guard against false teachings in our lives?
2. Judgment and punishment for sins are not popular subjects in the world today.  How do you respond when you read these words of warning against false teachers and those living as “lawless?”  How could we find comfort in these words without giving into judgment or condemnation (which are realities reserved for the Lord)?
3. Peter gives an even stronger warning to those who know the truth of the Gospel and then re-enslave themselves to sin.  Why do you think this is?  How can we guard against this in our own lives?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that you would continue to be filled with the love and knowledge of God and that the Holy Spirit would protect you from any false teachers or teachings.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would hold to the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, preaching and teaching this truth in love.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that false teachings and teachers would be exposed and that the light of God’s truth would shine into this community.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading BONUS Challenge: 2 Peter 1

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read 2 Peter 1

Questions for Reflection:
1. Scripture states that we have been given “everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge” of Jesus.  Do you think that way in your day to day life?  Where is this “knowledge” found?  How does this impact you?  What does Peter say our response should be?
2. What does it mean to “make every effort to confirm your calling and election”?  How do we do this?
3. Peter, like Paul in the book of Romans, reminds the believers he is writing to about the truth of the Gospel despite them already knowing and being “firmly established” in the truth.  Thinking about what we heard in Romans, and now here, what impact does this have on us and on the ministry of Hopkins Community Church?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that God would continue to reveal Himself to you through the reading of Scripture and give you the hunger to continue to pursue Him through the practices cultivated in the last month.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would continually preach the Gospel, reminding believers of who they are in Christ and introducing those who don’t know Jesus to the love and grace of God.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that the ministries of Hopkins Community Church would have an impact for the Gospel and the Kingdom of God in this community.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 16

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 16

Questions for Reflection:
1. What do you notice about the identifying factors of everyone that Paul asks to be greeted on his behalf?  Do we often (or ever) think of each other in such a way, identifying them with their identity in Christ rather than some other, worldly identity?
2. Paul warns about divisive people.  What does he say about such people?  Thinking about what has been said in the last couple of chapters, how are to respond to and interact with those who fit this category?  Does Paul’s warning here mesh with what he has said in these previous chapters?
3. The letter to the church in Rome is concluded with a beautiful doxology in verses 25-27.  The word doxology literally means “praise to God.”  Does the way that Paul ends this (and most of his) letters with a doxology teach us anything about our own lives, interactions, and communications?  Are we quick to praise God for the things we experience?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that you would both see yourself and others through the lens of identity in Christ and that it would change the way we think about ourselves and others.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would see people as God sees them, that we would avoid divisions and remove obstacles to belonging in the family of God and hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that God would crush Satan and his schemes here and open a new door for Gospel impact and Spirit-filled revival in this town!
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 15

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 15

Questions for Reflection:
1. Read Philippians 2:5-11.  Paul encourages believers to have the same “attitude of mind” toward each other as Christ had.  In light of the Philippians passage, what does this mean to you?  How does it impact the way you interact with other people?  What does Paul say the intended outcome of acting in this way is?
2. Paul believes that the believers in Rome know all of the things that he has written, yet he writes them boldly to “remind” them.  What do you think he means by this?  How does this have bearing on our worship services and the reading and proclaiming of God’s Word?
3. As he begins to close his letter, Paul talks about his future plans.  He urges them to “join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”  Have you ever thought about prayer in this way?  How does it impact your prayer life?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that you may indeed have the same “attitude of mind” towards others, both believers and non-believers, as Christ had and has for us.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially in this Holy Week leading up to Easter.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that hearts would be softened to the message of the Gospel.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 14

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 14

Questions for Reflection:
1. Weakness is something that is not desirable in our culture yet Scripture has a great deal to say about it.  What do you think it is that makes a person’s faith weak according to Romans 14?  How are we called to act around them?  What does Paul say the Lord will do for them?
2. Verses 7-9 contain a remarkable assurance about our position with the Lord, how does this impact you in your day to day life?  What assurance does it give?
3. Are we a body of believers who are making “every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification?”  What does this mean to you?  How would we see this happening at Hopkins Community Church (or your home church)?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that your faith would be strengthed and your assurance in Christ be renewed again this week.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a place where peace reigns and where we are looking to build each other up in all things.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that any stumbling blocks that have been placed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, by the church would be removed and the way made straight for people to come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 13

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 13

Questions for Reflection:
1. Scripture says that no authority on earth is present unless it has been established by God.  He is talking about everywhere.  How does that challenge your thought about our governments or others around the world?  How does it impact your feelings toward our government officials?
2. What does Paul mean in verse 8?  What areas of your life does that statement “let no debt remain outstanding…” challenge?
3. Paul talks about the things in chapters 12 and 13 with the understanding that “the day is near.”  What does he mean by this?  Do you sense the urgency that he is feeling as he writes?  How does it impact the way you think about your walk with Christ?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, for respect of government authorities and officials, even when you don’t agree with their party, platform, actions, or behavior.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a church that is clothed in Jesus Christ and stands as a witness to Him in all that we do.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that any assumptions about HCC or other churches would be overtaken by the reality of the Gospel preached and lived out in our ministries.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 12

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 12

Questions for Reflection:
1. What do you think Paul means by saying we should give ourselves as “a living sacrifice”?  
2. Scripture tells us that we all have unique gifts that are given to us by the Holy Spirit.  Have you ever explored your spiritual gifts?  Do you know what they are and if so, where are you using them?  If you’ve never identified your Spiritual Gifts, take some time to take the following assessment.  www.giftstest.com
What do you think of the results?
3. Paul picks up on Jesus’ teaching about how God’s love changes the way in which we interact with one another.  Read verses 9-21 again, how are you applying this teaching to your life?  Are there places that you have to work on more specifically?  How will you confront places where sin, rather than love, is dictating your actions?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that God would reveal to and help you understand your gifts and where He wants you to use them to further His Kingdom.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a place where people can use their gifts and be equipped and empowered to follow God and serve Him in the ways He has gifted them.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that through the use of our God-given, Spiritual gifts, the Kingdom would advance here and people would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 11

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 11

Questions for Reflection:
1. We may not often think about grace in this way, but when we strive to earn our way into God’s favor and earn our own righteousness, we actually deny God’s grace and the work of Jesus Christ.  How does this reality strike you?  Does it change your perspective on what God has offered you by grace?
2. The word picture that Paul uses here of being “ingrafted,” cut from a wild tree and grafted into a cultivated one is stunning.  One of the words that Paul often uses in reference to this is “adoption.”  In what ways do these words challenge or amplify your understanding of your identity in Christ?
3. Paul speaks a great statement of equality in verse 32.  What does this say about salvation?  What does it say about earning righteousness?  Does this change your perspective on the Gospel?

Prayer

Pray for yourself and thank God His adoption of you and the salvation you have in Jesus Christ!
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we may be a place where people find Christ and can grow and thrive as newly engrafted branches of His vine.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, God would work through the churches here, bringing unity amongst the congregation and that our united witness would amplify the message of the Gospel.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10


Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 10

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 10

Questions for Reflection:
1. Paul has a great desire to see the people of Israel come to know Jesus.  He even contrasts the massive coming to faith of the Gentile who didn’t have the law with lack of faith and disobedience of the people of Israel who had it in their hands all along.  In what ways have you experienced a similar scenario in your life?  How have you approached it?
2. Read Deuteronomy 30:11-20.  Paul draws on the words of Moses, pleading for the people of Israel to follow God as they enter into the promised land.  Do the words of Moses here seem more “law” driven or “faith” driven?  How does Paul apply these words to faith in Jesus Christ?
3. One of the greatest arguments for the need for preaching and sharing the Gospel is present here in Romans 10:14-15.  Take a moment to reflect on them.  How have you thought about the command in the Great Commission to “preach the Gospel” and “make disciples”?  In what ways have you heeded this command?  In what ways have you avoided it?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that you would have the boldness and courage to share the Gospel with someone and invite them to church in the next week before Easter.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would proclaim the reality of the resurrection boldly and clearly on Easter Sunday, that no one would be able to leave here having not heard the Gospel message.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that in these final days of Lent leading up to Easter, that the Spirit would move and drive people to ask questions and seek answers about who God is.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10