August rEADING PLAN

Week 2: August 8-14

August 8 (Sunday)

Start with this short classic prayer:  

O God, who makes us glad with this weekly remembrance of
the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: 

Grant us this day such blessing through our worship of you, 

that the days to come may be spent in your favor; 

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 8.

Observation: Luke begins this chapter taking pains to list the women who were traveling with Jesus and the twelve and supporting them. Then the parable of the soils helps tamp down expectations about universal acceptance of the word of God. Not all people, in fact not most, will hear the word and produce a good crop.

 

Talk with God about “SOIL.”

-Pray that your ears may be tuned to hear and your heart to understand.

-Recall with regret before God any times this week you have been “stony,” “shallow-rooted,” or surrounded by “weeds” that threatened to choke your spiritual progress.

-Thank God for any “crop” you have produced (results of any kind).

-Pray that your own heart will remain fertile soil for the work of God

-Pray for the St. John’s home in Bulgaria as final preparations are made to open this fall. Ask the Father to use this home as a place of hope and healing for many young girls.

 

Listen to God 

-Examine the “soil” of your own heart; how receptive is it to God’s ongoing work?

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 9

Start with a Short Prayer:  At the beginning of this work week ask God for fresh eyes to see people as He sees them, with compassion.

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 9.

Observation: The feeding of the 5,000 (10-17) is one of the best-known stories in the New Testament. But it’s interesting that if the 12 disciples had been in charge it never would have happened: they wanted Jesus to get rid of everyone!

 

Talk with God about COMPASSION.

-Ask God’s forgiveness for where you may have been hard-hearted or self-serving.

-Thank God that He has always been understanding and compassionate toward you.

-Thank God that other people have reached out and helped you at certain times. 

-Pray for a tenderness in your own spirit toward people with needs, whether spiritual or physical.

-In recent months, our leaders in Iraq have seen miracles of healing and answers to prayer. Pray that the people who witness this power of God will turn to Him.

 

Listen to God 

-Reflect on your own CQ-Compassion Quotient.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 10

Start with a Short Prayer: Honestly consider for a moment how it must have shocked the world to think that this Jesus who was walking among them was really the omnipotent, ever-existing Son-of-God! Enter this prayer time in that state of shock.

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 10.

Observation: The question of Jesus’ identity dominates the first part of the book of Luke. Is he the Messiah or not? In the wisdom of God, the “reveal” of his identity is not to the wise and learned, but to “little children” (the disciples don’t appear to be offended by Jesus referring to them this way). Then, when Jesus turns to address the disciples privately, it seems the disciples are starting to “get it.” They have seen what millennia of people (prophets and kings) had only hoped to see and hear.

 

Talk with God about being SENT.

-Pray to better understand how you have been sent, even as these apostles were sent.

-Ask the Lord who is in charge of the harvest to send out workers into the spiritual “fields.”

-Confess your lack of shock at Jesus’ identity...if you have become calloused to how amazing this story is.

-Commit to God that you will do what Jesus here instructed (proclaim the availability of God’s Kingdom and heal the sick).

-Pray that our churches in Bolivia will have a growing understanding and implementation of the Community Church Planting model (based on Luke 10).

 

Listen to God 

-Enjoy how valued you are by God, entrusted as a sent-one.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 11

Start with a Short Prayer: Since the Lord’s Prayer is in this chapter, let’s pray as He taught us!

Here’s how Luke records it (in the NLT version):

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
   May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
   as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 11.

Observation: The tension with the religious leaders is palpable in 37-52. Jesus aggressively goes after them, attacking their rules that miss the point, their ignoring of justice issues, and their religious pride. He accuses their fathers of murdering the prophets and calls them unmarked graves-their lives will leave no legacy. I’m not sure they thought it was a good talk!

 

Talk with God about PRAYER!

-Pray for God (His Name) to be respected and honored around the world

-Pray for God’s Kingdom to come soon.

-Pray for His daily provision of food for you.

-Pray for God to forgive your sins to the same degree you forgive other people

-Pray that you won’t give in when you are tempted.

-Pray for Haiti, that civil order may be established, for the church to be able to function, for good national civic leaders.

 

Listen to God 

-Stand amazed that the God of the universe invites you to talk to Him on such a personal level.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 12

Start with a Short Prayer: Invite God to shine a searchlight into your life. Ask Him to help you understand what your trust for the future rests on.

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 12.

Observation: Now with many thousands of people following him, Jesus warns his disciples against being fakes, hypocrites like the Pharisees. He reinforces it in two ways: everything we think is hidden is going to be fully exposed, and our public acceptance or rejection of Jesus will determine our acceptance or rejection before God’s angels. In other words, what we say and do now will matter later.

 

Talk with God about TREASURES.

-Ask for faith to trust God for your future, not in our own provisions.

-Repent of any hoarding.

-Ask God for a generous heart to share with those in need.

-Plead with God that you may be found ready upon His return.

-Pray for the believers in China who are actively seeking ways to send out missionaries.

 

Listen to God 

-In quietness let the Spirit of God reflect His character in you.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 13

Start with this short prayer of repentance from the Communion Ritual:

We sincerely repent, and we are genuinely sorry for all wrongdoing and every failure to do the things we should. Our hearts are grieved, and we acknowledge that we are hopeless without Your grace.

Have mercy upon us. 

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 13.

Observation: Repentance is the clear subject of this first segment. Whether it’s the Galileans, or those who died when the wall (tower) fell on them, or the fruitless fig tree, unless they repent Jesus says they will perish. Jesus combats a couple of common misunderstandings here: 1) that when something bad happens it’s because the person deserved it and 2) that repentance consists in merely saying words.

 

Talk with God about REPENTANCE.

-Thank God that new starts are always possible.

-Repent of good things you might have done that you didn’t, and... bad things you shouldn’t have done that you did.

-Ask God for strength so your repentance may be more than words, that it may include a permanent turning away from evil.

-Ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse you from the domination of sin.

-Ask God to prosper the work of a ministry called “The Harbor” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Harbor includes a developing international church, offers leadership development and training, and seeks to contribute to community transformation.

 

Listen to God 

-Listen for the Holy Spirit to give you an assurance of God’s salvation.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.

 

August 14

Start with a Short Prayer: 

Thank God for the breath in your lungs, the health you have, the opportunities of this day.

Invite His Spirit to illumine your mind and quicken your spirit in response to His voice.

 

Listen to God by reading Luke 14.

Observation: All the components of the first 24 verses are in the context of a banquet. It starts at a Sabbath dinner where Jesus heals a man, which elicits a parable, that leads to instructions about where to sit at a banquet. Then Jesus defies logic about who to invite to a banquet, that leads to another parable where people make excuses for not attending the great banquet.

 

Talk with God about BANQUETS.

-Give praise to God that he has invited you to His banquet.

-Ask God for courage to invite others to God’s eternal feast.

-Ask the Spirit of God to help you see and invite guests who cannot repay you (the poor, the crippled, the lame & the blind).

-Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among the people and the churches in Tanzania, especially to raise up transformative leaders for the Kingdom.

 

Listen to God 

-Savor the anticipation of being at God’s eternal feast. Smell it, taste it, look around the table with faith-filled imagination.

-Make a note of anything you hear from God.