A Bible Reading Plan Focusing on the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Coming by He Qi

Holy Spirit Coming by He Qi

Are you wanting a deeper connection with God? Do you long for more of God’s presence and leadership in your life? Seek the Holy Spirit through scripture reading.

Below you’ll find a Bible Reading Plan focusing on the Holy Spirit. It contains 40 readings covering the Old and New Testament. These readings fit nicely in a two-month grouping.

This plan also includes Self-reflection Questions. You can use them after your time of Scripture and Stillness. You could also use them later in the day if you do Scripture and Stillness in the morning.

If you’re using this reading plan in 2020, I suggest starting the week of May 3. By doing this, the Pentecost readings will fall just before the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, May 31.

I hope the reading plan is helpful for you. I’d love to hear how you’re using it. – Lisa <

PS- If you don’t own a Bible, or need a translation of the Bible which is easy to read, consider using Bible Gateway. This is a free website and app with many excellent translations. (I like NRSV and The Voice) Click Here for a video demonstrating the site.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the reading plan suitable for printing. 

Use these prompts as you read each Scripture.
ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? To the character or promises of the Holy Spirit?

ACTION: What is the Holy Spirit inviting you to say or do?

STILLNESS: Spend some time in stillness with the Holy Spirit. I suggest 15-20 minutes. Settle, listen. Allow the Holy Spirit to calm and strengthen you.

WEEK 1

  • 1 Samuel 3
  • 1 Kings 19
  • Isaiah 11
  • Isaiah 42
  • Isaiah 61

WEEK 2

  • Ezekiel 36
  • Ezekiel 37
  • Psalm 139
  • Psalm 46
  • Matthew 12

WEEK 3

  • Luke 1
  • Luke 2
  • Luke 3
  • Luke 4
  • Luke 12

WEEK 4

  • John 3
  • John 14
  • John 16
  • Acts 1
  • Acts 2

WEEK 5

  • Acts 4
  • Acts 5
  • Acts 8
  • Acts 10
  • Acts 11

WEEK 6

  • Acts 13
  • Acts 19
  • Romans 8
  • 1 Corinthians 2
  • 1 Corinthians 6

WEEK 7

  • 1 Corinthians 12
  • 1 Corinthians 14
  • 1 Corinthians 15
  • 2 Corinthians 3
  • Ephesians 4

WEEK 8

  • Galatians 3
  • Galatians 4
  • Galatians 5
  • Galatians 6
  • 1 John 4

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Bible Reading Plan Focusing on the Holy Spirit
© 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work with proper attribution. (by Lisa Degrenia http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Bible Reading Plan- Psalms by Theme

In these uncertain times, we need the raw honesty and rich promises of the Book of Psalms. The Psalms are timeless, anchoring, and encouraging.

Our reading plan is adapted from a reading plan from Zondervan Publishing. I appreciate how they grouped the Psalms by theme. It will be interesting to approach this book by theme rather than reading it straight through.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the reading plan suitable for printing. 

Use these prompts as you read each Scripture.
ATTENTION: Read or listen to the scripture. What word, phrase or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? Or, to the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to trust, say, or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

STILLNESS: Spend 5-20 minutes in silence looking to God and listening for God.

PS- If you don’t own a Bible, or need a translation of the Bible which is easy to read, consider using Bible Gateway. This is a free website and app with many excellent translations. (I like NRSV and The Voice) Click Here for a video demonstrating the site.

If you begin this reading plan the week of April 2, reading five days per week, you’ll finish the plan the week of July 5.

Blessing- Psalms 67, 72
Blessing- Psalms 84, 128
Calling to God- Psalms 4, 5
Calling to God- Psalms 22
Confidence- Psalms 27, 36

Confidence- Psalms 71, 125
Deeds of God- Psalms 9, 118
Deeds of God- Psalms 18
Doubt- Psalms 42, 77
Doubt- Psalms 73

Faithfulness of God- Psalms 105
Faithfulness of God- Psalms 119:137–144, 146
Fear- Psalms 37, 49
Fear- Psalms 91
Identity- Psalms 8, 139

Meditation- Psalms 119:9–16, 41–48
Glory of God- Psalms 19
Glory of God- Psalms 24, 29
God is my Helper- Psalms 115
God is my Helper- Psalms 54, 119:169–176

Rejoicing- Psalms 30, 47
Rejoicing- Psalms 97
Righteousness- Psalms 1, 15, 112
Sin & Repentance- Psalms 25, 32
Sin & Repentance- Psalms 38, 51

Power of God- Psalms 68
Power of God- Psalms 93, 135
Praise- Psalms 65
Praise- Psalms 98, 138
Prayer- Psalms 17, 20

Prayer- Psalms 102
Protection- Psalms 59, 62
Protection- Psalms 124
Safety in God- Psalms 11, 16
Safety in God- Psalms 46, 142

Justice of God- Psalms 7
Justice of God- Psalms 26, 82
Mercy- Psalms 13, 28
Mercy- Psalms 86
Music- Psalms 66

Music- Psalms 149, 150
Nature- Psalms 50, 104
Nature- Psalms 147, 148
Peace- Psalms 23
Peace- Psalms 133, 119:161–168

Salvation- Psalms 3, 14, 121
Thanksgiving- Psalms 75, 136
Thanksgiving- Psalms 106
Trust- Psalms 31
Trust- Psalms 40, 56

Victory- Psalms 21, 76, 144
Wisdom- Psalms 90, 111
Wisdom- Psalms 107
Worship- Psalms 33, 34
Worship- Psalms 145

Holy Week: We Need to Linger

holy week primitive cartoon adapted
Before we get to Easter, we need to linger:
in the vulnerability of the basin and the towel
at the remembrance and promise of the table
in the struggle and betrayal of the garden
in the shadows and shouts of injustice
at the bloody brutal beautiful cross
in the silence of linen and spices and death

For without these, the empty tomb is empty

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Poem: We Need to Linger © 2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon- Stillness (Psalm 46)

Sermon Series Seeking God 1110 x 624

Sermon Series: Seeking God
Message 5 of 5: Stillness
Scriptures: Psalm 46
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 2/23/2020 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida. Click Here for a video of the entire contemporary worship service, including the message.

From Screens to Stillness: Challenge of the Screens, a selection from Becky Eldredge’s terrific blog
Our world drastically changed on January 9, 2007. What happened on this date? Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, stood at a press conference and announced that Apple had reinvented the phone. He said it had software for everything, the world’s best media player, the world’s best telephone, and the world’s best way to get on the web, and in addition to that, it had a camera.

Just a few months prior to this announcement in January 2007, Facebook opened its doors to all above the age of thirteen in September 2006. Later in 2007, Twitter began. Google launched the Android phone in 2007 as well. Amazon came out with the Kindle. Mobile traffic drastically increased- 100,000% from 2007 to 2014.

So much changed in a short amount of time about how we communicate, how we interact, and how we go about building relationships. An article I read once in Forbes magazine stated that on average we get 121 emails a day, and we check our phones every twelve minutes. That’s over 80 times a day! The article said that for every interruption it takes us fifteen minutes to refocus. Our brains are exhausted from continually pulling in and out of focus all day….

While there is a gift to technology, the advent of the handheld screen is impacting our bodies, our health, our creativity, our mental health, and so much more. As I follow business literature I am seeing more and more being written about the value of pausing, of silence, and of being still. Every time I read a new book or article about this, I chuckle. The “medicine” they are offering people is the tried and true contemplative prayer practices our Christian faith has lauded for hundreds of years. It’s the medicine people taught me these past two decades, and I passionately want to share with others. I believe people are longing to live a different way and to have tools to help them combat the busyness and embrace the gift of stillness and silence.

I believe this, too. In the midst of trouble, stress, need, and a big pile of work, my last instinct is to be still. God invites me to cultivate stillness as my first instinct.

I’m learning how to do this and I hope you are learning right along with me. Since we began this sermon series, I established a new morning rhythm of Sacred Reading, Scripture, and Stillness. Already it’s making a huge difference.

I am different on the days I practice my morning rhythm than when I don’t. It’s simple. It’s classically Christian. It is Biblical and available for all of us.

Psalm 46:10-11
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge

Definition of Contemplative Prayer by Becky Eldredge, From Screens to Stillness: Embracing Silence and Stillness in the Day-to-Day
Contemplative prayer in the Christian tradition is about being still and silent with someone-God. We do not enter silence, stillness, and solitude alone. We go to be with someone.

For me, stillness is about recognizing the presence of God who is already there. This is what makes our practice of stillness different than practices outside the Christian tradition. Other practices seek answers within a person’s own self or seek to connect to larger energies or “universe.”

We seek the person and presence of God. We become still enough to realize the Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is not angry or distant but is our refuge.

Jennifer Gehman’s Testimony. Find Jenny at www.jennygehman.com
I’m part of an online group of Christian authors know as Bookwifery. We meet for an hour on Fridays to encourage one another, resource one another and pray for one another.

Jenny and her family have been praying about a major life change for her family- moving to a new city and a new job. Her word for the year is SOAR, yet all she could visualize was an eagle protecting its young. The wings folded over, wrapped around.

It makes sense. She cares for an adult child with special needs. She also has a strong hospitality calling, so she’s constantly welcoming people into her home.

She kept going to God in stillness. The Holy Host as she describes God. This past week this is what she heard- SOAR, Sweetheart, open and rise.

Do you hear the invitation in that? The affirmation. Not condemnation or mocking. An invitation to a new adventure, a new perspective, a bigger picture. They have decided to move and take on the new job.

There are a zillion questions yet to be answered, yet as she told the story her face lit up. She was almost giggling giddy. We all felt the lift, the soar of it.

It all came from stillness. This is for all of us.

Psalm 46
God’s Defense of His City and People. To the leader. Of the Korahites. According to Alamoth. A Song.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

Selah-(See-lah), it’s like breath. We’re not sure exactly what it means, but we suspect it means “stop and listen.” Stop and listen to the instruments? Stop and listen in the silence? Whatever it was, it was “stop and listen to God and let this promise sink in.”

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
    God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
    he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord;
    see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
    he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Three times the Psalmist reminds us that God is our refuge and strength. (Psalm 46:1, 7, and 11) Our Deliverer. Our Savior.⁠

Three times the Psalmist reminds us God is near. A very present help- well proved.⁠

Knowing this we can be still and know God is God⁠
I AM, exalted among the nations⁠
I AM, exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10)⁠

Knowing this we can be still⁠
⁠There’s no need to self-medicate with busyness and distraction
There’s no need to hustle for our self-worth or salvation
⁠There’s no need to fear our dependence on God
⁠There’s no need to fear what might come up in the stillness

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Knowing this about God brings us to stillness and brings us stillness.

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Sermon- Stillness © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

A Bible Reading Plan for Lent, based on the Gospel of Matthew

brown book page

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on Pexels.com

Lent is a season of preparation leading to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter. It’s forty days long, not counting Sundays since every Sunday is a little Easter.

Many people give up something for Lent. (dessert, alcohol, bread, smoking, candy, meat, cursing, gambling, etc.) They fast a certain food or habit in remembrance of Jesus’ forty-day fast at the beginning of his ministry. Some folks use this fast to jumpstart a permanent fast of an unhealthy habit.

Other folks choose to start a holy or wholesome habit for Lent. (prayer, charitable giving, service to others, stillness, sabbath, fasting, regular worship attendance, etc.)

If you aren’t already reading scripture on a regular basis, I encourage you to chose this holy habit for Lent with the hopes it will become a regular part of your life.

Below you’ll find a Bible Reading Plan for Lent based on the Gospel of Matthew. It contains 30 Lenten readings (5 per week for 6 weeks starting on the first Sunday of Lent) plus 10 Easter readings about Jesus’ post-resurrection encounters. (5 per week for 2 weeks). These readings fit nicely in a two-month grouping.

I hope the reading plan is helpful for you. I’d love to hear how you’re using it. – Lisa <><

PS- If you don’t own a Bible, or need a translation of the Bible which is easy to read, consider using Bible Gateway. This is a free website and app with many excellent translations. (I like NRSV and The Voice) Click Here for a video demonstrating the site.

CLICK HERE for a PDF of the reading plan suitable for printing. 

Use these prompts as you read each Scripture.
ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? To the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to say or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Week 1 of Lent: March 1 – March 7

  • Matthew 1
  • Matthew 2
  • Matthew 3
  • Matthew 4
  • Matthew 5

Week 2 of Lent: March 8 – March 14

  • Matthew 6
  • Matthew 7
  • Matthew 8
  • Matthew 9
  • Matthew 10

Week 3 of Lent: March 15 – March 21

  • Matthew 11
  • Matthew 12
  • Matthew 13
  • Matthew 14
  • Matthew 15

Week 4 of Lent: March 22 – March 28

  • Matthew 16
  • Matthew 17
  • Matthew 18
  • Matthew 19
  • Matthew 20

Week 5 of Lent: March 29 –  April 4

  • Matthew 21
  • Matthew 22
  • Matthew 23
  • Matthew 24
  • Matthew 25

Holy Week: April 5 – April 11

  • Matthew 26:1-35
  • Matthew 26:36-56
  • Matthew 26:57-75
  • Matthew 27:1-31
  • Matthew 27:32-66

Week 1 of Easter: April 12 – April 18

  • John 20:1-18
  • John 20:19-31
  • John 21:1-14
  • John 21:15-25
  • Mark 16

Week 2 of Easter: April 19 – April 25

  • Luke 24:1-12
  • Luke 24:13-35
  • Luke 24:36-53
  • Matthew 28:1-10
  • Matthew 28:11-20

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A Bible Reading Plan for Lent, based on the Gospel of Matthew
© 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work with proper attribution. (by Lisa Degrenia http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.