25-MINUTE CHALLENGE

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Day 1

March 23, 2020

Welcome to Day 1. You can do this! In the next two weeks, you’re going to read through the entirety of two books of the Bible: Luke and Acts. As you’ll hear, these two were actually written by the same author — and some believe they were intended to be read as part one and part two of the same story.

Each day the rhythm will be the same: pray, read, watch, reflect (and if you run out of time, that’s okay — do your best to get through the reading at least!). I’ll do my best to give structure and tips for each in order to give you opportunities to try some things you may not be used to. Last note before we start: I’m scheduling five of these per week, so if you miss a day — it’s all good! Just go 5/7 and you’ll be on track to start part two next Monday.

PRAY (5 minutes)

Before we open our Bibles, lets start today with some silence. Psalm 46:10 says “be still and know that I am God” — so let’s practice that! (I know this can lead to distractions entering your mind, but I love this image from the prayer course: imagine you’re on a lake and everything is so still. Then a speedboat storms by and sends waves in every direction — these are the distractions! — just be patient. Eventually the waves will die down, and stillness will return. Patience and persistence are key.)

Now, before you start, pray a simple prayer — in your own words ask God to speak to you, and for Him to help you listen. Then, let’s dive in…

READING

Today’s passage is shorter than most: Luke 1-2

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

If you’ve got time, these are some questions I’d encourage you to thoughtfully journal through. Don’t try and speed through them, instead spend a minute with each allowing God to speak and lead.

  1. What stood out to you from your reading or the video?
  2. When you read the song of Mary, what strikes you or stands out?
  3. What does it mean when the video says that Jesus was going to turn our world upside-down?
  4. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by or a word/theme/phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 2

March 24, 2020

You’ve done it! You went in for Round 1 and came back for more. Awesome! Today has more Bible reading than yesterday, so remember to read this like you would any book or story! Often we restrict ourselves to a section or two at a time, but sometimes it’s helpful to read big chunks all together.

PRAY (5 minutes)

Start your time with a minute of silence as a sign to remind yourself of who’s in charge in your life and the world. Then move into a time of adoring God — write down or think through characteristics of God that you admire or appreciate. There doesn’t need to be a formulaic approach here — just worship God in rapid-fire fashion. Then, let’s read.

READING

Luke 3-9

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What stood out to you today?
  2. Why is the connection to Exodus significant do you think? (40 days in wilderness for Jesus // 40 years in the wilderness for Israel)
  3. What can we learn about God and about ourselves when we read stories about Jesus healing people?
  4. What do you think it would have been like to be on the Mount of Transfiguration? (Sights, sounds, feelings, etc.)
  5. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 3

March 25, 2020

By the end of this session you’ll be 80% through the story of Jesus’ ministry on earth! I pray that God has been speaking to you — both in this time, but also throughout your day. I also pray that your intentionality in spending time with Jesus has led to a greater sense of His presence!

PRAY (5 minutes)

You know the drill: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Next, move into all the things in your life you’re grateful for — again, just rapid fire works here. Think big and small, material and immaterial, etc. And just be sure to acknowledge who the giver of all good gifts really is!

READING

Luke 10-19:27 (big chunk today — you can do it!)

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. Why do you think the Israelite leaders were critical of Jesus? How do you think you would have reacted to Jesus?
  2. What does it look like to ‘take up your cross’ today? This week? While at home?
  3. When you read the Lord’s Prayer, what line resonates most with you today? Why?
  4. When Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, what does it tell us about life with Jesus? About His priorities?
  5. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 4

March 26, 2020

The reading quantity is tapering off here as we zero in on the climax of Luke’s first part. As you read today, ask yourself: what does this section of Scripture teach me about Jesus? What does it teach me about myself?

PRAY (5 minutes)

After a couple moments of silence, use your time in prayer today to practice confession. What do you need to bring before the Lord and be honest with Him about? He wants to set you free — not only from the consequences of sin, but also from the guilt and shame that sometimes accompanies it. If you’re holding on to anything today — let go!

READING

Luke 19:28-23:56

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. If Jesus knows what awaits Him, why does He march forward anyways?
  2. When you read the story of Jesus’ arrest, mocking, beating and death — what struck you this time? Why do you think that is?
  3. What did Jesus mean when He prayed that the executioners ‘didn’t know what they were doing’?
  4. What does it mean for Jesus to ‘commit His spirit’ into the hands of His Father?
  5. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 5

March 27, 2020

Last day of the week and last day in Luke. Just one chapter today, so be sure to maximize your time reflecting on all that you have read this week.

PRAY (5 minutes)

After some silence, what is on your heart that you want to ask God for? God describes Himself as a good father who likes to give good gifts — that when we ask for things in line with His character and purposes, He loves to say YES. So what do you want to ask for? What do you want to ask for on behalf of people you care about? I love the prayer form you find in Daniel’s three friends in Daniel 3: I know God can, I hope He will, and I’ll love Him no matter the answer.

READING

Luke 24

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What have been your biggest takeaways from Luke this week?
  2. What strikes you about the interaction between Jesus and the two travelers on the road?
  3. Why is it hard to see Jesus for who He really is? How do we move past/through this struggle?
  4. What does it mean to say that Jesus is currently enthroned? What are the implications for us and for the world?
  5. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 6

March 30, 2020

Okay, week two! We read through all of Luke last week, and this week our sights are set on Acts — which is the story of the early church! This is one of my favorite books in all of Scripture, in part because it’s the first one to describe the reality we live in: post-resurrection but pre-return of Christ. These are stories about people who know what we’re going through!

PRAY (5 minutes)

Let’s start our week with five minutes of silence before the Lord.

READING

Acts 1-7

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. Why did Jesus’ followers need power in order to go out and do what Jesus called them to?
  2. What is the significance of there being multiple tongues of fire — and not the singular fire the Old Testament refers to over and over?
  3. What was the significance of this event happening during the Jewish festival of Pentecost?
  4. What strikes you about the faith of the early followers of Jesus? What is it like to read their stories?
  5. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 7

March 31, 2020

Hopefully by now you’re starting to develop a rhythm for your day and this time is feeling normalized as part of your schedule. I’d encourage you to pray that God would make this a habit that continues well beyond this temporary season of free time.

PRAY (5 minutes)

After a moment of silence, I want you to pray through the first half of the Lord’s Prayer — with a twist. After you’ve read through it once, I’d encourage you to pray (out loud, in your head or in your journal) these same ideas but in your own words. For example, what does it mean to pray ‘Our Father in heaven’? How would 2020 you say that?

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.”
(Matthew 6:9-10)

READING

Acts 8-12

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What would you be thinking if you knew Saul, and then heard him preaching the gospel of Jesus?
  2. What is the significance of stories in which disciples are healing people in the same way Jesus was? What does that mean for you and for me?
  3. Why would the Christian life have been confusing to the people around them?
  4. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 8

April 1, 2020

Think about all of the ground you have covered to this point! And yet, think of how small a dent you’ve made in the Bible as a whole. This book is a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration and encouragement and conviction. What a gift that we can pick it up anew everyday with what feels like an unending source of blessing to our souls.

PRAY (5 minutes)

After some silence, let’s finish up the second half of the Lord’s Prayer with the same exercise as yesterday. Read through it once, then pray through it line-by-line in your own words for your own context:

“11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

(Matthew 6:11-13)

READING

Acts 13-20

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. When I think about Paul’s journeys, I think of missionaries around the world who are living similar lives. What intrigues you about life as a missionary? What scares you? (If you have time, reflect on these answers and what they reveal!)
  2. What are the ‘gods’ that hold our society and culture together?
  3. What could possibly drive Paul to endure all of the things he did in sharing the gospel?
  4. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 9

April 2, 2020

Today we finish up Acts, and then tomorrow is a break from reading to simply reflect on the journey thus far. So finish strong!

PRAY (5 minutes)

Silence, and then I’d encourage you to pray for friends and family members who don’t know Jesus. Pray for them by name and ask God to open the eyes of the hearts (Ephesians 1:18) to see how much they need God and how much He loves them!

READING

Acts 21-28

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. “When the people of Jesus follow the way of Jesus, their story will begin to resemble His story.” — What does this mean? What’s your reaction?
  2. What parallels do you see between Paul’s story and Jesus story? What are the implications for us?
  3. God uses Paul’s arrest to bring the gospel to the heart of the world: Rome. How is this encouraging?
  4. What is one question you have from reading today? Maybe it’s a verse you’re confused by, or a word or theme or phrase you want to dig more into?

Day 10

April 3, 2020

You made it. Week 2! Today there is no reading and no video, just time for prayer and then reflection. You’ll remember that the book of Acts ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger — there’s no resolution. Why? Because the story of the church and the spread of the gospel is still being written — with you as one of the main characters!

PRAY (5 minutes)

After practicing silence, ask God to speak to you. Ask Him what He’s wanting to teach you and show you through the last two weeks of content — and what it means for you going forward. Write this down!

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. How have you been inspired by reading Luke/Acts?
  2. How have you been challenged?
  3. What is one thing you’ve learned?
  4. Now spend some time worshipping God in light of all that you have read!

Day 11

April 6, 2020

So crazy to think that we’re starting week three of this new (temporary) reality! I know by now that for some, life is becoming more normalized — and so with that in mind we’ve tempered things a bit. No more reading through entire books in a week — instead, we’re going to somehow go both more quickly through the Bible AND more slowly. Here’s what I mean: because I got such great feedback on the videos, we’re going to keep tracking with some of their videos — but with less scripture each day.

I decided that since we might be in this for a bit of the long haul, what if we started at the beginning of the Bible and started making our way through the overall narrative? They’ve got videos for each book — sometimes two — and so we’ll watch the video and read a small section (2ish chapters) that I’ve chosen from whatever stretch the video covers. My hope is that by the end, we’ll have a far greater understanding of the overarching narrative of the Bible. So, let’s start way back at the beginning — but first…

PRAY (5 minutes)

Here’s the challenge this week prayer-wise: every single day, I want you to write down 10 things you are thankful for. It’s a simple exercise, but it’s a powerful one when we do it prayerfully in directing our gratitude towards the giver of all good gifts. And here’s the catch: 10 new things every day — no repeats!

Reading

No reading today, as you’ll just watch an Old Testament overview video to set the stage for all that comes next.

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

We’re going to shift this section from deeper thought into a space of worship (not that the two are mutually exclusive). Each day, I’ll ask the same four questions…

  1. What did you read/learn about God that is worthy of adoration?
  2. Did today’s section bring up anything that you feel the need to confess?
  3. Is there anything in here that you want to give thanks for?
  4. In light of all this, is there anything you want to ask God for?

Day 12

April 7, 2020

Alright, page one, word one — today is the day! Today and tomorrow will cover all of Genesis (but don’t worry, you’re only reading three chapters today!) — the book that sets the foundation for everything that comes after it. 

PRAY (5 minutes)

10 new things you’re thankful for.

Reading

Genesis 1-3

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What did you read/learn about God that is worthy of adoration?
  2. Did today’s section bring up anything that you feel the need to confess?
  3. Is there anything in here that you want to give thanks for?
  4. In light of all this, is there anything you want to ask God for?

Day 13

April 8, 2020

Yesterday, the world is left spiraling out of control. Today? Maybe the most underrated chapter in all of Scripture — the first major step God makes towards un-breaking the world.

PRAY (5 minutes)

10 new things you’re thankful for.

Reading

Genesis 12 and 15

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What did you read/learn about God that is worthy of adoration?
  2. Did today’s section bring up anything that you feel the need to confess?
  3. Is there anything in here that you want to give thanks for?
  4. In light of all this, is there anything you want to ask God for?

Day 14

April 9, 2020

Book one is complete — now we move on to part two of the Torah, and my favorite book in all of the Bible of late: Exodus! 

PRAY (5 minutes)

10 new things you’re thankful for.

Reading

Exodus 1-3

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What did you read/learn about God that is worthy of adoration?
  2. Did today’s section bring up anything that you feel the need to confess?
  3. Is there anything in here that you want to give thanks for?
  4. In light of all this, is there anything you want to ask God for?

Day 15

April 10, 2020

Yesterday, we learn that Israel is freed from Egypt — but now what? Was the entire point just to get them out of slavery? Or did God have a bigger purpose and plan…

PRAY (5 minutes)

10 new things you’re thankful for.

Reading

Exodus 32-34

VIDEO

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  1. What did you read/learn about God that is worthy of adoration?
  2. Did today’s section bring up anything that you feel the need to confess?
  3. Is there anything in here that you want to give thanks for?
  4. In light of all this, is there anything you want to ask God for?

River West Church
2000 Country Club Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
info@riverwest.org
503.699.2226

SUNDAYS
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OFFICE HOURS
Tue - Fri | 9am - 5pm

River West Church
2000 Country Club Rd
Lake Oswego, OR 97034
info@riverwest.org
503.699.2226

SUNDAYS
9am + 11am + 5pm

OFFICE HOURS
Tue - Fri | 9am - 5pm

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