March Bible Reading Challenge Week 4 Summary

Thank you for the sweet outpouring of love yesterday!! I often receive negative comments and emails, but I’ve gotten to the point of just praying for the person who sent it and deleting it. Ya’ll were so sweet yesterday when I shared a little tidbit of criticism I had received and I’m so thankful for a community of readers who love God!

Welcome to the March Bible reading challenge week 4 summary! Wow- that’s a mouthful! Let’s take a look at what we read this week since our last Friday summary.

I Peter 2

Peter encourages righteous living in this chapter. He mentions that Christians should be honoring to governmental authorities and advises how to respond to suffering. His advice can be applied to all levels of suffering, but I thought deeply on the following verse:

For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. I Peter 2:19

What is the first thing that comes to your mind after reading the verse above?

I Peter 3

This chapter is well-known for its address to women in general, as well as husbands and wives. In my opinion, one of the strongest verses in this chapter actually follows the instructions to each gender. Verse 9:

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

I’m still working on this- you too, perhaps?

I Peter 4

Peter returns to the subject of suffering in this chapter. His straightforward conversation style is evident throughout the chapter, but in verse 12, I feel like I can hear the persuasive tone of his voice:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Just as Peter advised the church, the truth stands for us today. Don’t be surprised when everything in your life as a Christian doesn’t work perfectly. In fact, don’t consider trials to be strange; think of them as the norm.

Do you think it strange when trials come into your life?

I Peter 5

What a beautiful chapter to end Peter’s first letter! I have several favorite verses from this chapter:

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. v. 4

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. v. 7

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. v. 10

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2 Peter 1

Passionate Peter continues to speak words of life into the church with his second letter. If we look at Peter’s history, we see he could be a bit impulsive, right? He’s the one who stepped out on the water to walk to Jesus- full of faith! He’s the one who immediately drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant at the time of Jesus’ betrayal. And yet, Peter is the leader of the first church. I believe Peter’s passion we see in this chapter stemmed from his firsthand experience as a disciple of Jesus. He refers to this fact in several places throughout the first chapter of his second letter.

2 Peter 2

I love Peter’s display of Old Testament knowledge in this chapter. Multiple times he refers to Old Testament characters and verses. His personal knowledge of the law and yet personal experience with grace, mercy, and faith is a beautiful thing. This chapter is deep and I found myself reading it through a second time in an attempt to grasp a little more.

2 Peter 3

Chapter 3 is a reminder to keep the faith, as Peter says so himself. He writes to encourage hearts to look towards the coming of Jesus and to focus on growing in faith, not worrying about what the world says or does.

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April Bible Reading Challenge

I’m excited to share the April Bible Reading Challenge with you, as we’re going to do something completely different next month!

What did you learn this week?

Rachel

March Bible Reading Challenge Week 3 Summary

Welcome to the March Bible reading challenge week 3 summary! I pray that you are continuing to read along as we travel from Hebrews through I John. Beginning with last Friday’s reading, let’s take a look at the summaries for the week.

Hebrews 13

Such wisdom is contained in chapter 13 of this book; many of the verses remind me of the Twitter effect- short sentences packed with powerful meaning. New Testament passages that refer to Old Testament passages are always special. We can see an example of this in verse 6:” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)

James 1

I find James to be the most interesting character. Without pulling any punches, he immediately digs in and says “Be happy in trials because this means you’re going to come out stronger on the other side.”

James speaks quite a bit to holding the tongue; don’t you find that intriguing since this particular James is thought to be the cousin of Jesus? Makes me wonder what kind of family these men had! The last verse of this chapter is a verse I’m very familiar with:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Amen and amen. But wow, I had to step back a bit and process the verse before this one, because it is not often included with the last one.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

I can’t even unpack that in a summary, but it’s definite food for thought.

One more verse!

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Did you have any thoughts about these two verses specifically?

James 2

James spends the majority of this chapter explaining that while faith is wonderful and good, if we do not act on our faith, it’s not worth anything. The last verse of this chapter sums it up well:

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 3

James has been named “The Proverbs of the New Testament.” This chapter seems to be the foundation of that title as the power of the tongue and the topic of wisdom is explained throughout the chapter. The word pictures painted by the author create great visuals. As a girl who grew up in the hills, I chuckled a bit when good and bad are coming from the same mouth were compared to “Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” Nope, doesn’t work.

How would you word this comparison in today’s lingo?

James 4

James certainly names sins throughout his short book of 5 chapters. In this chapter, he warns against quarreling, fighting, murder, and pride, to name a few. But I think the most convicting point from James, at least for me, is the last one in the chapter.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

You may have heard the terms “sins of commission” – meaning those things we actually commit or do. And “sins of omission” meaning exactly what James names above.

Have you ever thought about sins of omission before?

From this chapter, I chose a favorite portion of a verse that I love to hold close to my heart:

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. James 4:8a

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James 5

Chapter 5 is an admonition on prayer and I love that! James encourages persistence in praying and in this beautiful chapter full of teaching on prayer, we find a verse familiar to many of us:

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As Max Lucado says:
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”

Amen.

I Peter 1

Peter begins his letter much the same as James, speaking about trials and how their purpose is to bring glory to God. He strongly encourages the believers and his desire is for the readers to focus on Christ’s sacrifice for us, the purity of the believer as a result of Christ, and the love that should result in our lives.

What did you learn this week from the reading? I can’t wait to hear about it!

Rachel

March Bible Reading Challenge and February Summary of Proverbs

February Bible Reading Challenge

I can hardly believe that we are once again at the end of the monthly Bible Reading challenge! If you are reading Proverbs through with us for the month of February, the plan is one chapter a day, with the exception of the last three days of the month. Although we are finishing up this Saturday, I’ve decided to summarize the final readings in this post.

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21 is a chapter full of the short pithy sayings we naturally expect in the book of Proverbs. From a feminine perspective, there were two verses that stood out in my mind:

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. Prov. 21:9

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. Proverbs 21:19

Did anyone find it interesting that these two verses worded so similarly are listed so closely in the chapter?

Proverbs 22

Chapter 22 contains many short, punchy sayings as well. Last month as I was reading, I could see a thread of the importance of choosing friends wisely. This month, I saw another thread- social injustice. Solomon mentions several times how to treat the poor and what the attitude of the rich should be.

Proverbs 23

In chapter 23, the tone of Solomon’s seems to be imploring his son, almost begging him to remember the importance of these wise sayings and reiterating how much he is loved.

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Proverbs 23:19

Proverbs 24

In chapter 24, Solomon is giving his son some advice on how to use his “people skills.” Choosing friends wisely, overlooking the failure of enemies, and not allowing enemies to have power over you are all topics that Solomon covers in Proverbs 24.

Proverbs 25

I read and re-read Proverbs 25:15 this month.

With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. (ESV)

By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone. (KJV)

I believe Solomon was telling his son, the younger generation, to have the right attitude when making a request of authority. And don’t give up easily- old folks don’t like change; sometimes it takes them a while to come around. But if you have patience, they can be persuaded when the situation is right.

What did you think Solomon’s point was in verse 15?

Proverbs 26

No matter which Bible translation you read, in chapter 26, you may have noticed one very common word: “fool.” This word is difficult to duplicate in meaning, but we know it means the opposite of wise. A fool is someone who is not in the habit of making good decisions.

How would you define “fool?”

Proverbs 27

The first two verses of chapter 27 caught my attention right away during this read-through.

Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;  A stranger, and not your own lips.

I can’t recall mentioning the issue of pride in our Proverbs summaries, but Solomon does warn his son of the issue of pride multiple times in various ways throughout the book of Proverbs. Neither of the two verses in this chapter use the word “pride” but they certainly describe acts of pride.

Proverbs 28

Chapter 28 contains nugget after nugget of wisdom, but I did pick out a few favorites:

A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. (v. 16)

He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. (v. 27)

The wording of the last phrase “shuts his eyes” really captures what we often do in this area.   We think we can’t do anything big, so we do nothing. It doesn’t say “he who gives a million dollars to the poor.” Or “he who gives a thousand dollars to the poor.” There is no designated amount. Just “he who gives to the poor.”

Proverbs 29

I believe that chapter 29 is another “people” chapter. Solomon clearly desires for his son to have discernment in business deals, daily conversations, and general attitudes. Each proverb emphasizes building godly character, decision by decision.

Which verse from chapter 9 stood out to you?

Proverbs 30

Proverbs 30 is not written by Solomon, but by Agur. The difference in the style of writing is distinct and I enjoyed the more lyrical, flowing style for a change of pace from the short, punchy phrases.  I love verse 5:

Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.

This is an echo of Psalm 18:30 and David is the writer of Psalm 18.

Proverbs 31

Proverbs 31 was not written by Solomon either and yes, there is again a difference in lyrical style. The Proverbs 31 woman is both loved and hated. Held up as the epitome of a Christian woman and yet often thought of as being unattainable, there is much to be learned from her life of living for Christ and others.

Wow! I have so loved the Proverbs Bible reading challenge and reading the book of Proverbs twice in a row made it all that more meaningful.

march Bible reading challenge

For the March Bible Reading Challenge, we are moving over to the New Testament and we’re going to read all but one of the General Epistles, one chapter a day, in this order:

Hebrews (13 chapters)

James (5 chapters)

I Peter (5 chapters)

II Peter (3 chapters)

I John  (5 chapters)

Hope you’ll join in; I’d love to hear from you today, both your thoughts from this week’s Proverbs reading and questions, as well as if you’ll be joining us in March for the Bible reading challenge!

Thanks for your patience and understanding as we work through the readings together!

Rachel

PS: I had planned to post the March Bible reading challenge today (Thursday) and the Proverbs summary tomorrow. But my flight was canceled this morning and I wound up with a lot less work time due to making the switch, etc. I’m at the RE:Write Conference,in Austin, TX,for the weekend. I pray your weekend is full of whatever God has for you!

march Bible reading challenge details

You can click on the graphic above to open a PDF that holds two printable copies of the schedule. Share one with a friend!