Basic Devotional 1
Day 1: Genesis 1:1-2:3
- From the creation account, what can you conclude about God's character?
- How does God's creation of man differ from the rest of creation?
- What does it mean that man was created in God's image?
- What implication does this have in our ability to have a relationship with God?
Day 2: Genesis 2:4-25
- What kind of place did God give Adam and Eve as their home?
- What can you conclude about how God regards man from this passage?
- In every relationship there is a boundary that you must keep or "forbidden fruit" which you must avoid (e.g. adultery in marriage, betrayal in friendship). What is the boundary God lays down for His relationship with man through the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (v. 16)?
- How would you characterize the relationship between God and man from today's text?
Day 3: Genesis 3:1-24
- What were the deceptive thoughts or lies the serpent planted in Eve's mind?
- How did Adam and Eve's relationship with one another and their relationship with God change after eating the fruit?
- What were the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience towards God?
Day 4: Genesis 4:1-26
- Why was Cain angry? What do you think would have satisfied him at this point?
- Consider God's words to Cain prior to him committing murder. What kind of response was God hoping for from Cain?
- What can you conclude about the long-term consequences of leaving God's presence from the lives of Cain's descendants?
Day 5: Deuteronomy 10:12-22, Mark 12:28-34
- What does God value in our relationship with Him?
- How is the command to love others related to the command to love God?
- What does this say about the common misperception about God being primarily interested in "do's" and "don'ts"?
- How can we concretely express our love for God?
Day 6: Isaiah 1:1-20
- What analogies does God use in verses 2 and 3 to describe His feelings towards us? In what ways can you identify with these illustrations?
- How do verses 11-15 dispel the false notion that God is pleased with our "Christian activities" regardless of the condition of our hearts? What do you think are the attitude(s) that was so offensive to God?
- What does God want instead of the "sacrifices" and "offerings"?
- In what practical ways is God asking you to obey Him?
Day 7: Psalm 2
- What are some of the attitudes toward God described in verses 1-3?
- What are some ways that these attitudes are manifested or evident in our society?
- Verse 3 gives an example of the attitude that people hold thinking they will be free if they can get away form God. How does this idea of freedom differ from the freedom God offers us?
Day 8: Isaiah 40
- In Isaiah's time, people worshiped idols, putting gold, silver or even wooden objects before God. What are some common idols that people have today? According to the passage, how do they compare to God?
- The passage gives many descriptions and characteristics of God. Which characteristics are most compelling for you?
- Every one has his share of valleys and mountains as referred in verses 3-5 (e.g. inferiority and superiority complexes, rough areas of our personalities that need to be leveled or smoothed out). What are some of the "valleys and mountains" in you that need to be leveled or smoothed out?
Day 9: Isaiah 44:6-23
- Why do people worship idols?
- Before becoming Christians, our values have been shaped by our culture, mass media, family traditions, prominent people in our lives, etc. Examine your life. Is there a specific idol in your life that needs to be exposed and removed?
- What is the heart of God revealed in verses 21 to 22?
Day 10: Isaiah 53
- What values praised in the world are conspicuously absent in Jesus? According to the passage, what qualities does God value?
- Reflect on Jesus' suffering for you. What does it reveal about the magnitude of our sins?
- Why is it significant that Jesus did not open his mouth (v.7)? What would you have said in his position?
Day 11: Isaiah 55
- What is God's assessment of mankind's efforts as expressed in verses 1-2? What does God offer instead?
- What warnings do verses 8-9 express in regards to placing too much confidence in our own thoughts?
- Identify the promises that God makes to us in this passage.
Day 12: Isaiah 59
- How is man's condition described in this chapter? What examples do you see today that support this description?
- What was God's response as he saw the predicament of mankind? What does this tell us about the heart of God?
- How did Jesus fulfill the promise contained in verse 16?
Day 13: Psalm 14
- What kinds of actions stem from a heart that denies God? How are their deeds a result of a heart that denies God?
- What is God's heart in seeing those that deny Him?
- Contrast the lives of the "evildoers" versus the "righteous" in verse 5.
- Why do people choose to deny God? What are they after?
Day 14: Matthew 2:1-12
- Why do you think King Herod was so disturbed at the mention of the birth of Jesus in verse 3?
- Why did the Magi want to see Jesus? What was their reaction when they found the star stopped over the location of Jesus?
- Consider the Magi's reaction toward the coming of Jesus and what actions followed. In what ways do they teach you about how your heart should be toward Jesus every day?
- How do people react at the mention of Jesus today? Why?
Day 15: Psalm 8
- What do you notice about the psalmist's overall attitude towards God?
- Can you identify with the psalmist's confession in verses 1 and 9? If not, what might be preventing you from giving such praises to God?
- From what perspective or context did the psalmist view himself and mankind that caused him to be in such awe of the fact that God is so "mindful of man" and "care for him?" in verses 3-4?
- How do you see yourself before God today?
Day 16: Luke 4:14-21 (Reference: Isaiah 61)
- What was Jesus' purpose on earth?
- In what ways were you or still might be poor, blind, broken-hearted, enslaved, or oppressed? As you battle against these, how does God want you to experience victory over them each day?
- What does this tell us about the kind of people Jesus came for? What kind of people will receive Jesus as the good news?
Day 17: Matthew 4:1-11
- Who does it say tempted Jesus? Why did he did tempt Jesus in the desert? Think about when you are most susceptible to temptation. When is that moment of desert for you?
- How does Jesus combat each temptation? What can you learn about the power of the Scripture in combating temptation?
- The first temptation deals with the flesh, our physical needs and desires. Jesus responses that we were not designed to just satisfy our fleshly appetites. The second temptation is for fame and power in this world. It is about getting instant recognition and building an audience for yourself. The third temptation is about who you are going to bow down to: God or Satan, the issue of lordship or ownership of your life. Identity the relevancy of these temptations in your own life and make concrete applications of how to overcome them.
- As you think about how Jesus underwent similar temptations you face, what can you conclude about the fact that He can identify with you? (Reference: Hebrews 4:15-16)
Day 18: Matthew 4:18-25
- At this point, these men had already met Jesus and spent time with him. Therefore, this was not a mindless and hasty decision to follow him. They had already considered the cost of following him. Think about the immediate response of the disciples when asked to follow him. What do you think caused them to immediately get up, leave everything and follow him?
- Jesus' invitation to follow him comes with the promise to "make you fishers of men." What does this mean? What is your response to such a vision Jesus has for your life?
- What kind of people did Jesus come in contact with? How did he treat them versus how the world treats such people? In what ways is God asking you to take part in his ministry?
Day 19: Matthew 5:1-16
- How does the Bible's description of who is blessed compare to what the world says (e.g. society, media, popular beliefs)? How does it compare to your view? To what extent are they similar or different?
- What does it mean to be poor in spirit? What does this teach us about what kind of people can enter the kingdom of God?
- Each of the Beatitudes holds a promise form God. Which of the Beatitudes speak to you personally? Why?
- Identity some characteristics of salt and light and note some of the similarities. What implications do these have on how Christians ought to live?
Day 20: Matthew 5:17-37
- In light of how the Pharisees were self-righteous and smug with their external keeping of the Law, what do you think Jesus meant by "righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law"?
- What is the root source and intention of murder, anger, adultery and lust? What lesson is Jesus teaching you here regarding outward actions versus inward intentions?
- How does our relationship with other people reflect our relationship with God?
Day 21: Matthew 5:38-48 (Reference: Romans 12:17-21)
- Jesus' commands "Do not resist an evil person" and "Love your enemies" go against the very natural way we would respond when we have been wronged. Then, how is it possible for us to love our enemies?
- Is there someone in your life now who may have wronged you or is hard to love whom God is asking you to love? What concrete steps do you need to take?
- Jesus' exhortation for us to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect means that we are to strive our best to be just like our Heavenly Father. In what ways are you striving for this perfection?
- What daily occurrences demonstrate God's mercy towards evil men rather than justice (v. 45)? What are some ways in which you have received mercy rather than what you deserved?
Day 22: Matthew 6:1-18
- Examine the hidden and secret motives behind your "acts of righteousness" such as helping people, giving for a needy cause, or even fasting and praying. What are some improper audiences and motives for which you are doing these "good things"? How does the person you are seeking rewards from influence how you think, the way you behave, and what you value?
- In what ways do you live before the eyes of people rather than God? What concrete steps can you take to do all things for God's reward only?
- The Lord's Prayer (v.9-13) contains elements of many different relationships. Examine what Jesus teaches us about our relationships with the heavenly Father, our brothers and sisters in the family of God, our debtors who have wronged you, and the evil one. What newfound perspectives should we bring into these relationships as a result of the way in which Jesus has taught us to pray?
Day 23: Matthew 6:19-34
- What are some earthly treasures you are still storing up for yourself? What does verse 19 say about the outcome of such stored up treasures? What are the treasures of heaven (eternal treasures) you can store up for yourself instead?
- What is the implication of following God when Jesus says: "No one can serve two masters‚....You cannot serve both God and money."
- What are you worried about? What does your worry and anxiety about these things reveal about your relationship with God? Why does the text say you should not worry? What promise from the text can you claim?
Day 24: James 4:1-17
- Quite often our greatest enemy is ourselves. Our contradictory desires tear us apart. What are the desires that cause you to have inner strife? What are the desires that cause you to have outer strife?
- God promises to give whatever we ask for and yet it seems as though many of our prayers go unanswered. According to the passage, why is that? Identify any self-motivated prayers in your own life.
- In verse 14, it says that we do not have control over even what will happen tomorrow and that man is just a mist that appears and vanishes. What implication does this have on how you should live each day of your life?
Day 25: Matthew 7:1-14
- We often magnify the sins of others but react very generously to ourselves with our own sins. What is the "plank in your own eye" that God is pointing out to you? In light of our sins before God, how should our attitude be toward other people's sins?
- What are some things in your life that you are asking, seeking, and knocking before God for? Are they general or specific prayers? As Jesus makes that promise that he who asks receives, make your prayer requests concrete so that you can specifically experience answers to prayers.
- Do you have trust that your Heavenly Father will give you what is best for you? Name areas of your life that you may be currently anxious about and entrust them to God.
Day 26: Matthew 7:15-29
- Why do you think that only a few find the narrow road that leads to life (v. 13-14)?
- In what ways have you been only confessing "Lord, Lord‚..." rather than concretely obeying God and bringing that area of your life under His Lordship? What specific course of action do you need to take
- In verses 24-27 what kind of person is likened to one who builds a house on the sand?
- How do you build your faith on a solid foundation?
Day 27: Matthew 8:1-17
- What commonality do you see between the man with leprosy and the centurion?
- The centurion was only one of the two people who were commended for their faith by Jesus. What made the centurion's faith so praiseworthy by Jesus?
- What was the first thing Jesus did when he healed the man with leprosy and Peter's mother-in-law? What does this reveal about who Jesus is?
Day 28: Matthew 8:18-34
Reflect on Jesus' response to the "would-be disciples." What are the costs for you to
follow Jesus? What areas of your life do you still need to surrender to Him?
- What "storms" in your life is Jesus asking you to trust Him with?
- In their address to Jesus, the demons acknowledge that He is "the Son of God." Why is having only the knowledge about Jesus not sufficient to have faith? What is required for true faith?
- What motivated the townspeople to plead with Jesus to leave their region even after hearing about the healing of the demon-possessed man?
Day 29: John 1:1-18
- From verse 1 and verse 14, who is the Word?
- What are the characteristics of light? Why is Jesus called the light? How has He been the light in your life?
- How do we receive the right to become children of God?
- What are the implications about Jesus when John states that "the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us?" What might our world be like or our relationship with God be like, if the Word had never become flesh?
Day 30: John 2:1-11
- What is the significance of the wine running out on this couple's most important day, their wedding day?
- How were the servants able to partake in this miracle done by Jesus? How do you think they felt? What lessons can be drawn from the experience of these servants of partaking in a miracle by Jesus?
- In old Jewish culture, running out of wine at a wedding is quite a disastrous situation. How do you think Jesus' miracle changed the whole course of the wedding celebration? What lessons can we draw about what Jesus wants to do with our lives?
- Changing water to wine was Jesus' first miracle. Contrast the differences between water and wine. How does this symbolize our life before meeting Christ (water) to a transformed life after surrendering to Christ (wine)?