Pick up a 2020 Faith Challenge booklet in the lobby at church or print the PDF below.
It is a prayer and Bible reading guide that will last all year.
Week #32 Goal: Psalms Book IV, Psalms 90-106
Daily Readings: 8/3: Psalms 90-94. 8/4: Psalms 95-98. 8/5: Psalms 99-100. 8/6: Psalms 101-103. 8/7: Psalms 104-106. 8/8: Catch up Day. 8/9: The Lord's Day.
Introduction: "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." This is how Book IV of the Psalms begins. It is a communal confession that God alone has always been and continues to be a refuge for his people. Even when God's people are in exile, God is their refuge and strength. By faith, we trust in him. God provides. He is from everlasting to everlasting (eternal, infinite, incomprehensible). He formed the earth and the world (Creator, designer, maker). And yet, he has graciously come down to redeem a people for himself by grace and for his glory. In Psalms 90-104, you will see repeatedly that God is King, the sovereign ruler over all things, not just over his people. You will also see the theme of hope, specifically Messianic hope. Messianic hope is hope in the coming Messiah (Christ, Anointed One of God) promised to God's people through covenant with David (2 Samuel 7). Ultimately, Jesus comes and fulfills this promise of hope: In Jesus, God is our refuge, our shelter, our dwelling place. Christ himself is the grand inheritance of God's children.
Week 33 Goal: Isaiah 1-39
Daily Readings: 8/10: Isaiah 1-6. 8/11: Isaiah 7-12. 8/12: Isaiah 13-18. 8/13: Isaiah 19-25. 8/14: Isaiah 26-32. 8/15: Isaiah 33-39. 8/16: The Lord's Day.
Introduction: Fear not! I know these readings are long. I tried to squeeze the
book of Isaiah into two weeks, but on next year's reading program, it is (more appropriately)
given three weeks. Isaiah prophesied in Judah (the southern kingdom). Verse 1
says, "The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah
and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of
Judah." But his ministry also concerns Israel (the northern kingdom) and
the Gentile nations (e.g., see chapters 9 and 13). What is the essence of
Isaiah's prophecy? It is twofold. First, God is holy and will come in judgement
against the sin of his people. They violated their covenant relationship as
God's chosen and holy people. God's judgement is coming and will be
devastating. Second, God is compassionate and will mercifully restore his
people, also bringing judgement on her sinful oppressors. God is faithful.
Despite the sins of his people, therefore, he will never violate his covenant
promises. He will redeem his people and restore the kingdom; and he will do it
through a righteous sufferer who bears the sin of his people (e.g., Isaiah 53).
Restoration ultimately comes with Christ, "Immanuel" ("God with
us") (see Isaiah 7:14 and Matthew 1:21-23). The promises of restoration
are cast in the political and national terms of Israel; but these are a shadow
of God's true and eternal kingdom. The promises of restoration are fulfilled in
the Spiritual and eschatological (i.e., final and ultimate) realities of Christ
and his church. This is why many Jews of Jesus' day rejected his teachings and
his method of interpreting the Old Testament. God's covenant promises, as it
is, were given to Israel, but are fulfilled in relation to both Jew and Gentile
alike. This is the mystery of the gospel (see Ephesians 2:11-22!). It is
scandalous to some and causes them to stumble, but it is glorious to others and
brings them salvation.
P R A Y
Commit 2020 to the joy and power of secret prayer (Matt. 6:6; 14:23). Pray for our church and our impact in the community and in each other's lives. We have made a placard that you may print and stand up at home or work.
August Prayer Focus:
We are going to move away from our 2020 Prayer Points again for the month of August because of what's going on in our nation right now. August's focus is to pray for our leaders and nation. I challenge you to pray for specific leaders in specific ways, and to pray for God to do specific things in our nation and churches.
1 Timothy 2:1-2, "First of all, then,
I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be
made for all people, for kings and all who are in high
positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and
dignified in every way."
Pray for God's name to be revered as holy, his kingdom to come, and his will to be done in our lives and church (Matthew 6:9-10).
Pray for our church to grow in evangelism, love for the lost, and for God to save sinners through our ministries (Romans 1:14-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Pray for our church to grow in unity, love, and service to each other for the building up of our church in the grace and knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 5:6).
Pray for our church to grow in reconciling personal relationships, forgiving each other from the heart, and mutual humility in all situations (Matthew 6:11-15; 18:15-35).
Pray for us to put the glory of God and biblical truth first and not our personal preferences, emotions, or traditions (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11).
Prayer Card PDF
Large Print Prayer Card PDF