January

Jan 1st – Matt 17:1-13
  • What does it mean that Jesus was transfigured?What is the significance of Moses and Elijah appearing?Why did the disciples fall facedown?
  • What special instruction did Jesus give the three disciples about this event?Why do you think he said this?What do the disciples learn about John the Baptist here?
  • Have you ever had a time when you were overwhelmed by the splendor and holiness of God? Describe that time?How did it change the way you approach God?

Jan 2nd – Matt 17:14-27

  • Why were the disciples not able to drive out the demon from the boy?What is the significance of the mustard seed?What does Jesus teach his disciples about faith?
  • If we believe what Jesus teaches us about faith here how will it affect the way we live?How have you exercised your faith in Christ in the last week?
  • What point does Jesus make here about paying the temple tax?Why does he tell Peter they should pay the tax? What does this tell us about the heart of Jesus?

Jan 3rd – Matt 18:1-9

  • What does Jesus mean when he says that unless we change and become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven?Who does Jesus say is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
  • What does it mean to welcome a little child in Jesus name?How does Jesus view it when we do this?What are some ways that someone could cause a little one who believes in Jesus to sin?
  • Is Jesus advocating self-mutilation here?If not what is his point of such graphic language?Do you view sin in your life with as much seriousness as Jesus does here?If not why not?

Jan 4th – Matt 18:10-20

  • What do we learn about God from the parable of the lost sheep?What would it look like in the church if we had the same heart for people that God does?
  • What 3 steps are we given in this passage for resolving issues with those who have sinned against us?What does it mean to tell it to the church?What are we supposed to do if the three steps do not work?
  • Is there anyone in your life who has sinned against you with whom things have not been resolved?What would it look like for you to use these three steps to work toward resolution?

Jan 5th – Matt 18:21-35

  • What does Jesus tell Peter about how many times he should forgive his brother?Why is it hard to forgive others like this when they sin against us?
  • How would you describe the main point of the parable of the unmerciful servant?According to this parable why should we forgive and show mercy to those who sin against us?What does it mean to forgive our brother from our heart?
  • Make a list of all the things that God has forgiven you from.After looking at this list do you find your heart more or less ready to forgive others for the ways they have sinned against you?Who do you need to forgive?

Jan 6th – Psalm 52

  • How is the wicked man described in verses 1-4?What seems to be the source of the sins of this man?How Will God treat the person who lives like this?
  • How does the righteous person respond to how God treats the wicked? How is the righteous person described?What does the heart of the righteous desire to do?
  • Could you be described as an olive tree flourishing in the house of God?Why or Why not?

Jan 7th – Matt 19:1-15

  • What do we learn about God’s view of marriage from this passage?According to Jesus why did Moses allow for Divorce?Why would a man who divorces his wife and remarries another woman be guilty of adultery?
  • How does this view of divorce compare to the view of divorce commonly adopted by our culture?How does this passage affect your personal view of divorce?
  • What was the disciples’ reaction to this teaching from Jesus?Why did the disciples rebuke those who brought little ones to Jesus?What do we learn about how Jesus views kids from this passage?

Jan 8th – Matt 19:16-30

  • Why do you think Jesus answers the man’s question by pointing him to the law at first?Do we have to give everything we own away to get eternal life?If not why does Jesus tell the man to do this?How does the man react?
  • Is there anything in your life that you love too much to give up for Christ?What is your heart attitude toward the stuff and money in your life, how important to you is it?
  • What was Jesus point when he used the illustration of a camel and the needle?According to Jesus then who can be saved?What have you “left” in order to follow Jesus?What does God promise those who leave things in order to follow Him?

Jan 9th – Matt 20:1-28

  • What lesson is Jesus trying to teach with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard?What does this teach us about our God?
  • Why was the mother’s request such a big deal, what essentially was she asking for?What is Jesus asking them with his question about the cup?
  • What does it mean that the other disciples were indignant toward the two brothers? How does Jesus say they should seek greatness that is different from the Gentiles?How are you seeking this type of greatness in your life?

Jan 10th – Matt 20:29-21:11

  • How is Jesus response to the blind men different from the crowds?Think of the needy people you encounter do you respond to them like the crowd here or like Jesus?
  • Have you ever been ridiculed for calling out to Jesus?If so what was it like? How did you respond?What were you calling out to Jesus for?
  • What do we learn about Jesus from his instructions to his disciples about the donkey? What is the significance of the cloaks and tree branches on the road?What is the meaning of the word Hosanna?

Jan 11th – Matt 21:12-22

  • Why did Jesus drive out the buyers and sellers in the temple?How had they made the temple a den of robbers?Does this mean we should not sell anything in the church?If so why, if not why not?
  • How did the chief priests and the scribes respond to the wonderful things Jesus was doing?Why did they respond this way?How did the children respond?
  • What does Jesus teach his disciples about faith with the fig tree?Do you struggle with doubt when it comes to asking God for things in prayer?What promise does Jesus give us regarding prayer?

Jan 12th – Matt 21:23-46

  • Why did the chief priests and elders not answer Jesus question?What were they most concerned about in their wrestling with the question?What matters more to you truth, or the consequences of truth?
  • What is Jesus point using the parable of the two sons?What does the fact that the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God teach us about our God?
  • Who will the kingdom of God be given to according to Jesus?Who will it be taken away from?Who/what is the cornerstone?

Jan 13th – Psalm 53

  • What does this Psalm call those in our world who claim that there is no God?Ironically what do these same people claim about themselves and their claim that there is no God?
  • How does this Psalm describe mankind?How do we understand this when we see people who do good things?
  • Given the reality of our depravity what hope is there for us?Spend some time reflecting on the great and profound grace of God that loves us in spite of our sinfulness.

Jan 14th – Matt 22:1-33

  • What does Jesus mean to each us about the kingdom of heaven from the parable of the wedding banquet?Who were the invited?Who then are those invited the second time?How are we to understand the man without a wedding garment?
  • Why did the Pharisees ask Jesus about taxes?What does Jesus say about taxes?What does he mean when he says render to God what is God’s?
  • What do we learn about what we will be like after the resurrection from Jesus here?How does Jesus try to teach the Sadducees about the reality of the resurrection?

   Jan 15th – Matt 22:34-23:12

  • What does it look like if we love the Lord our God with all of our heart with all of our soul and with all of our mind?  Do you love God in this way?  If so how, if not why not? 
  • Why do you think Jesus offered the second greatest commandment when they only asked for the first? What would it look like in your life to love your neighbor as yourself?
  • What point is David trying to make about the Christ with the Pharisees?  In what way does Jesus warn his disciples not to follow the Scribes and Pharisees?  

Jan 16th – Matt 23:13-39

  • In what ways were the Scribes and Pharisees described as hypocrites?  What does Jesus refer to as the weightier matters of the law?  What does he mean by this? 
  • What does Jesus mean when he calls the Scribes and Pharisees whitewashed tombs?  Where are you tempted to focus on the outward appearance instead of your heart?  What hypocrisy would Christ call out in your life?
  • Describe in your own words Christ’s heart toward Jerusalem.  What does this teach us about how God’s heart toward the ungodly sinners of our world?  Do you share his heart?   

Jan 17th – Matt 24:1-35

  • What does Jesus say will happen to believers as the end gets near?  Which of these things intimidates you the most? Why?
  • What does Jesus mean when he says that the love of many will grow cold?  As the wickedness of our world grows is your love growing cold? 
  • Why will the days of tribulation be cut short?  What happens after that time of tribulation?  Are you ready for the Lord to return?  How does Jesus say we should interpret these signs?  

Jan 18th – Matt 24:36-25:13

  • In what ways are the days before the coming of the Son of Man going to be like the days of Noah?  What does it look like to “stay awake” like Jesus commands us because we do not know the day? 
  • What would Jesus have found you doing had he come today?  What do you want him to find you doing?  What is the lesson from the parable of the ten virgins? 
  • What does it mean to be ready for the coming of Jesus?  Are you ready?  Explain why you do or don’t think so.  

Jan 19th – Matt 25:14-46

  • What does the parable of the talents teach us about God’s expectations of us with what he entrusts to us?  What are you doing with God has entrusted to you?
  • According to this parable how does God reward faithful stewardship?  What happens to the one who is not a faithful steward?
  • What reason does the king give for giving the righteous their inheritance?  Does this mean that we are saved by our works?  If not what can we learn from what Jesus says here?  

Jan 20th – Psalm 54

  • What is going on in your life right now that you are asking God to save you from?  What obstacles are you facing?  How are you praying about that obstacle? 
  • In what ways has God been your helper?  What does it mean that the Lord is the upholder of my life?  How has he upheld you?
  • What is a freewill offering mentioned in verse 6?  What might the equivalent of a freewill offering be today for us?  What are some things you can give thanks to God for?

Jan 21st – Matt 26:1-29

  • Why were the disciples indignant at the woman who poured the expensive ointment on Jesus?  What was the significance of this act?  What was in this woman’s heart?
  • What do you think it would have been like to sit at the table while Jesus talked one of his disciples betraying him?  How do you think Judas felt during this discussion? 
  • What does Jesus mean when he calls the bread his body?  What does Jesus mean when he says that the cup is his blood?  When do you think the disciples understood the significance of this? 

Jan 22nd – Matt 26:30-46

  • Who does Jesus say will fall away from him the night of his arrest?What great boast does Peter give here?What attitude might be behind Peter’s grand claims here?
  • Why do you think Jesus only took Peter James and John to be with him in his struggle?How would you describe the struggle Christ is having at this moment?
  • What makes it hard to pray like Jesus does here “not as I will but as you will?”Have you ever prayed this type of prayer?If so when?If not why not?

Jan 23rd – 26:47-75

  • In what way did one of Jesus disciples try to resist the mob who came to arrest Jesus?In contrast how did Jesus respond?How could Jesus have resisted?Why didn’t he do this?
  • How did the chief priests try to get Jesus convicted?What led to his ultimate “conviction” in the eyes of the chief priests?How then was Jesus treated?
  • What do you think was going through Peter’s mind as he was denying Christ?Can you think of any times when you denied Christ by your words or your actions?What was going through your mind at the time?How did you react afterward?

Jan 24th – Matt 27:1-31

  • How did Judas respond when he saw that Jesus was condemned?How did the chief priests and elders reveal the hardness of their hearts and hypocrisy regarding Judas and the money they had paid him?
  • How was envy one of the motives of the religious leaders in handing Jesus over to be crucified?What do we know about Barabbas the notorious criminal that the crowd wanted released instead of Jesus?
  • How is the statement of the crowd in verse 25 ironic and incredibly significant?When you read about the suffering of Jesus and how he was mistreated what emotions does it evoke in your heart?Why?

Jan 25th – Matt 27:32-56

  • Why do you think they needed to find someone to carry Jesus cross for him?What assumption were those who were hurling insults at Christ on the cross making?
  • Why is it unique that there was darkness over all the land from the 6th hour until the 9th hour?What is the significance of what Jesus is crying out here?
  • What remarkable things happened when Jesus died?What is the significance of the curtain in the temple being torn?What conclusion do the centurions make when they see all this?Have you come to this same conclusion?If so what led you to it, if not why not?

Jan 26th – Matt 27:57-28:20

  • Why did the chief priests and Pharisees ask Pilate to place a guard at the tomb of Jesus?How did the guards react to the angel of the Lord?
  • What was the reaction of the women when they heard that Jesus had been raised from the dead?Explain why they felt these two emotions.What was their reaction to seeing Jesus?
  • What command did Jesus give to his disciples in Galilee?What promise did he give to them with this command?How are you living out this command in your life?

Jan 27th – Psalm 55

  • Why is the Psalmist in anguish?What does the Psalmist want to do?Have you ever felt this way?What caused you to feel this way?
  • What is unique about the person who is at odds with the Psalmist how is he described?How does the Psalmist deal with the immense turmoil that this broken relationship is causing him?
  • What burden is on your heart today?Take some time and cast that burden to the Lord and ask him to sustain you like only he can.

Jan 28th – Esther 1

  • Why did king Ahasuerus throw his feasts?What does this tell us was very important to him?What do we learn about the king from his orders to his staff?
  • Why did the king order Queen Vashti to come to him?How did the king respond to her refusal?What concern motivated the advice the king’s advisors gave to him?
  • What would you have done in the king’s place?How important was respect to the king?How important is respect in a marriage today?

Jan 29th – Esther 2

  • When Esther was taken into the harem in whose eyes did she first find favor?What resulted from this?Why do you think Mordecai had commanded her not to make known that she was a Jew?
  • What do you think caused Esther to win the favor of all who saw her?Of the King?What does it say about Esther that even when she was queen she obeyed Mordecai?
  • What do we learn about king Ahasuerus in this chapter?What secret did Mordecai find out?What did he do with the information?

Jan 30th – Esther 3

  • What do you think motivate Mordecai to not bow down and pay homage to Haman?Are there times when we should go against the law because of our conscience?If so when?
  • How does Haman react to Mordecai’s defiance?Is Haman’s charge against the Jews a valid one?If so how?If not why not?
  • What lesson can we learn from how casually the king followed Haman’s request to order something so atrocious?How would you react to an edict like the one King Ahasuerus made?

Jan 31st – Esther 4

  • What is the purpose of Mordecai wearing sackcloth?What might be a modern-day equivalent to sackcloth?Why would Mordecai refuse the garments Esther sent him?
  • What did Mordecai command Esther to do?Why was this a risky thing for Esther to do?Have you ever been asked to do something bold that carried a large risk?How did you respond?Why?
  • How does Mordecai express his faith in God in this chapter?What does Esther ask Mordecai to do?Why?Why do you think God has placed you where you are at this time in your life?What are you willing to do for him?