Start reading on your own or with some other people. It’s up to you.
Day 1: Birth – Luke 2:1-21
What do you imagine Jesus’ birth looking like?
What should our response be when we discover what God wants us to do, like the Shepherds?
In what ways can you praise God for Jesus’ arrival into the world this week?
Day 2: At the Temple – Luke 2:41-52
What would you have wanted to ask Jesus had you been around during those three days in the temple?
In what way should we strive to grow in wisdom and stature in favor with God and others, like Jesus?
What difference might it make to you this week if you prepared for church as if it were a visit to your father’s house?
Day 3: Baptism – Matthew 3:13-17
How would you feel if the world’s leading expert in your field asked you for help, like Jesus asked John the Baptist?
Why do you think John felt awkward about baptizing Jesus?
What do we tell the world by being baptized?
Day 4: Temptations – Luke 4:1-13
Has there ever been a time when you were very hungry or thirsty? What happened?
What physical needs or desires make us vulnerable to temptations?
How can we prepare to withstand tempting situations?
Day 5: First Miracle – John 2:1-12
What makes an event miraculous or supernatural?
How does Jesus reveal his power to us today?
What is one specific habit or characteristic you will ask God to change in your life this week?
Day 6: Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 5:1-48 | Matthew 6:1-34 | Matthew 7:1-28
Questions primarily focus on the Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12
What are some ways people typically try to find happiness or fulfillment in life?
Which of these promises mean the most to you? Why?
What is a practical step you can make this week to more closely follow Jesus’ example set in the Beatitudes?
Day 7: Instructions – Matthew 12:16-42
What would you say a great leader looks like (name their character, skills, knowledge, etc.)?
In what ways do you seek to bring justice or fairness to your relationships?
What is one practical thing you could do in your daily life that would be “bearing good fruit” like Jesus said?
Day 8: Cost of Discipleship – Matthew 16:24-28
What are some ways people try to “find themselves”?
What does it mean to you to “take up your cross” and follow Jesus?
What is one thing you could do this week to “deny yourself” and follow Christ?
Day 9: Vineyard Laborers – Matthew 20:1-16
Who is the best employer you have ever had? Why?
In what ways does God’s grace seem unfair?
Can focusing on God’s grace in our lives help prevent us from becoming jealous of others? If so, how? If not, why not?
Day 10: Marriage Feast – Matthew 22:1-14
What is your funniest wedding story?
Who do you think eventually showed up to the wedding feast? What does that say about God’s love?
What is one practical way you can show God’s love to someone who might not be “invited to the party”?
Day 11: Christ’s Return – Matthew 24:1-25
Why do people enjoy apocalyptic, “end-of-the-world” stories (Zombie books, movies and games, “The Day After Tomorrow,” etc.)?
Jesus didn’t give us a specific time or date for his return. Is that helpful or frustrating? Why?
Does knowing Christ will return someday give you hope? Why?
Day 12: Sowing Parables – Mark 4:1-34
Do you have a “green thumb”? If so, share a bit about how you care for your plants. What do they need?
What things can get us “off-track” from following God, like in the Parable of the Sower?
What do you think Jesus means when he talks about the “Kingdom of God”?
How do these parables help you better understand what the Kingdom of God is?
Day 13: Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37
When has someone gone out of their way to help you?
Have you ever “passed by” like the priest or Levite instead of helping like the Good Samaritan? Why?
What is one way you could help someone in need like the Good Samaritan?
Day 14: Prayer – Luke 11:1-13
How do children act when they want something (a snack, toy, etc.) desperately?
Why do you think the disciples needed to be taught how to pray?
What is one way you can apply something from this passage to the way you pray?
Day 15: Lost Parables – Luke 15:1-32
Was there ever a time as a child you got lost, or as a parent have you ever lost one of your children? Share about it briefly.
What value was placed on the “lost” thing in each parable? Why do you think Jesus placed that value on those lost things?
To what “underserving” person can you extend God’s love to this week? How?
Day 16: Stewardship – Luke 16:1-18
In what ways does our culture pressure us to love money?
Why is it so difficult to keep a proper perspective on money?
What is one way you can use money to serve others and show them the love of God?
Day 17: New Birth – John 3:1-21
Why do you think Nicodemus came by night to Jesus?
What do you think Jesus meant by being “born from above” or “born of the Spirit”?
How can you thank God for sending Jesus?
Day 18: Holy Spirit – John 14:16-31 | John 16:5-15
When you hear of the “Holy Spirit,” what do you think?
How does Jesus describe the Holy Spirit in these passages?
How do you think the Holy Spirit works to guide us?
Day 19: Good Shepherd – John 10:1-42
When you hear about sheep, what comes to mind? Do you have any specific images, memories or associations with sheep or shepherds?
In what ways is Jesus like a shepherd? In what ways are we like sheep?
What is one way you could be more intentional about listening to God’s voice?
Day 20: Vine and Branches – John 15:1-27
What do you do to stay connected to friends and family?
What are some ways we “remain in Jesus” like he says in the passage?
What is one way you can commit to staying connected with Jesus?
Day 21: Lazarus – John 11:1-57
In what different ways do people respond when a loved one dies?
How would you have responded differently than Jesus to the news of Lazarus’ illness?
In what ways is Jesus’ response to Lazarus’ death a model for us to follow?
Day 22: Triumphal Entry – Mark 11:1-11
What is the best parade you have ever been to? Briefly share about it.
What do you think the disciples thought about what Jesus asked them to do?
The Caesars of Rome in Jesus’ day would have had grand “power parades” often, as opposed to Jesus’ humble “one-donkey” parade. What does this tell us about Jesus?
Day 23: Last Supper – Matthew 26:17-35
In what ways does sharing a meal bind people together?
What would it have been like to be one of the disciples, and eaten the last supper with Jesus?
What does Communion mean to you personally? Why?
Day 24: Washing Feet – John 13:5-29
Do think our culture promotes being served instead of serving? Why?
When and why is it difficult for you to serve others?
What is one way you could serve someone this week? Briefly share.
Day 25: Prayer of Jesus – John 17:1-26
Why are religious beliefs divisive?
How is Jesus’ relationship with God the Father a model for how Christians should treat each other?
What is one way you can show love to other Christians?
Day 26: Trials – Luke 22:47-71 | Luke 23:1-25
How do people typically react when bullied, insulted or attacked by others?
How would Jesus want us to react to criticism (like the guards and crowds) or our friends betraying us (like Peter)?
What is one example of how we can respond to evil with love?
Day 27: Crucifixion – Luke 23:26-56
Have you ever helped someone when they were hurting? Share briefly.
In what ways was Jesus helped by others in the passage?
In what ways did Christ “help” us through the crucifixion? Can we learn from that to help others?
Day 28: Resurrection – Luke 24:1-12
Do you have a story that is hard to believe? Briefly share.
Why do you think the disciples doubted the resurrection, despite the fact that Jesus told them it would happen?
How can you reaffirm the good news of the resurrection this week?
Day 29: Road to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-35
Have you ever been surprised by something you didn’t realize at first? Briefly share.
What is a Christian truth that you didn’t understand at first, or still have trouble fully understanding?
How do you think we can work through our misunderstandings and doubts about the Christian faith?
Day 30: Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20
What do you think of when you hear words like “missionary” or “evangelism”?
What does Jesus mean when he says to “make disciples”?
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” What is one way you can participate in that disciple-making mission?
Day 31: Ascension – Acts 1:1-11
How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus left them?
What do you think Jesus’ final instruction to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth,” means?
What is one trait, skill or talent you have that you can use to share God’s love with others?
Now that you have completed this reading plan, be in prayer about what your next step might be:
- Consider joining a small group to continue a deeper dive into the Bible with others searching just like you. Contact John Barolo, Director of Discipleship, to learn more.
- Contact a pastor if there is some pastoral matter for which we can be of care to you. Contact Gwen Lindsey, Pastoral Staff Assistant.
- Find a way to serve out of your passion and giftedness, to make a difference. Explore serving.
* Questions adapted from “New Testament Lesson Maker,” © 1992 from NavPress.