Daily Bible Reading follows along with the passages discussed in the current teaching series. Use the "Subscribe" button below to start receiving Daily Bible Reading by email, or visit the archive to see past series.
If you’re part of a group, write down what God is saying to you through his word and share in your weekly discussion. You’ll get the most out of this if you read the verse several times throughout the day, and write down what stands out to you along the way.
(Not in a group yet? We can help you with that. Sign up for a group at your campus here.)
Day 1: Love others as Jesus loves you.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
The relationship you have with God should shape every relationship you have. Jesus strips us of defining love the way we see it; we don’t get to love others as we see fit. Instead, he tells us to love everyone just as Jesus loved you. That means loving people when they don’t deserve it and when they don’t or can’t earn it.
Today, consider how much Jesus loves you--so much so that he gave up his own life for you, even when you didn’t deserve it and couldn’t earn it. Then ask God for help in loving others in the same way. Share in your group this week how your relationship with Jesus impacts your relationship with others.
Day 2: Drop everything and be reconciled.
So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
The picture Jesus gives us for handling conflict is pretty clear. Jesus calls us to resolve conflicts quickly and with truth and grace.
Lead Pastor Aaron Brockett has said it like this before: "Give me truth without grace, and I can’t hear you. Give me grace without truth, and it won’t change me."
The way we handle conflict is so important because people are important. Relationships are part of our mission!
If you’re facing conflict, be encouraged: Conflicts can lead to healthier relationships. But we must be willing to follow Jesus’ illustration for reconciliation. Ask God today to help you reconcile the way Jesus shows us how.
Day 3: Showcasing God's love.
1 Corinthians 7:12-16
Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you to live in peace.) Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?
God can use you to bring other people into a relationship with Jesus, including an unbelieving spouse. Don’t stop praying for people. Showcase the love of God to others, loving others as Jesus has loved you: Self sacrificially. Relationships are the lens through which people will come to know Jesus. Do everything you can to foster healthy relationships because healthy relationships within healthy boundaries are what showcases God’s love.
Today, if you’re in a relationship with someone who isn’t following Jesus—maybe a friend, a family member, a spouse or a co-worker—don’t stop praying for them. You never know how God might use you to help them see Jesus.
Day 4: Singleness is a gift.
1 Corinthians 7:32-33
I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.
Whether you are single by choice or by death or divorce, the Bible does not view singleness as “less than.” As a matter of fact, the bible views singleness as a gift! The bible tells us that singles are able to invest in relationships in a way that married people cannot.
Singleness isn’t a waiting block. Marriage doesn’t make you whole. God made you whole in his image. You are worth everything to him. Marriage doesn’t fix anything, but it exposes everything.
Today, ask God for a fresh perspective of how he views you and your relationship status. Remember today that Jesus is the one who makes you whole, not your relationships.
Day 5: Jesus is enough.
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.
Relationships are wonderful, and we need them. But no one person can ever fulfill you. So many relationships fail and crumble because of unmet expectations. Only Jesus can fulfill all your needs.
Your relationship with Jesus should guide all of your other relationships. Your relationship with Jesus will sustain you, strip away the fear of singleness, give you the wisdom to walk through tough conversations and lead you and the people around you to more than what’s good for you.
We can’t expect the power of God to be in our relationships until we’ve experienced the power of God in our relationship with Jesus.
If we really want to have healthy relationships, we have to experience an alive and active relationship with Jesus.
Today, surrender to Jesus whatever is holding you back to a close and active relationship with him. Pray for a relationship with him like you’ve never experienced before!
Day 1: You're going to have tough times.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
Life has a lot of “side effects.” There is pain. There is suffering. There is heartbreak. There is disappointment. There is crime. There’s abuse. There’s loneliness. There’s even death.
If you’re facing pain and suffering today, know that you are not alone. Jesus himself promised that here on earth, we will have many trials and sorrows. But he offers us this encouragement: he has overcome it all! You can pray today, asking him for his presence and his help in trouble. You also can share in your group this week what you’re facing—ask your group to pray with and for you!
Day 2: We live in a broken world.
About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all!”
We all have asked: Why didn’t God create a world without suffering? Although some suffering is the result of our own sinful choices, or others’ sinful choices, or even the result of spiritual attack, most suffering is the result of the fact that we live in a broken world.
It’s not an easy pill to swallow because we want justice. We want a reason. We often need someone or something to blame.
If you’re suffering today, Jesus reminds us in this passage that suffering is not necessarily the result of anything we’ve done wrong. Our world may be broken, but you can lean into Jesus. He is with you! And he will redeem your pain.
Day 3: You are not alone.
But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago in the furnace. Sometimes we just need someone to sit with us in our pain. There is power in the words, “you are not alone.” If we have given our lives to Jesus, he promises that we won’t be left alone. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. He comforts us with a peace that passes understanding.
The Bible teaches us that God can sympathize with our suffering because he’s gone through it, too. He became one of us. He knows what it feels like to be lonely, depressed, tempted, angry, annoyed, isolated, betrayed. He knows what it feels like to lose someone.
Today, ask God for his help in your weakness, for his peace that passes all understanding. Remember, also, that your group can walk with you as you walk through suffering. You are not alone!
Day 4: Pain often has a purpose.
2 Corinthians 7:10
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times he sees the raging storm as an opportunity to calm you. When pain and suffering come in, we discover that we are not in control of our lives and never were.
We may not like or agree with God in our suffering, but he offers a plan for how he’s going to redeem it. God never wastes a hurt. God doesn’t cause all things, but he does cause them to work together for our good. We come out on the other side looking a little more like Jesus. Some of the most incredible stories of love and faith come from stories of incredible pain and suffering.
Today, remember that God will take your pain, your suffering, and use it for a real purpose. He is in complete control of your situation and even though he didn’t cause it, he will cause it to work for good! You can trust him.
Day 5: The ultimate response to pain and suffering.
2 Corinthians 4:17
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”
The Bible paints a picture of heaven by telling us what won’t be there. No more death, mourning, crying, pain, anxiety and depression, abuse, cancer, car accidents, suicide, anxious waiting rooms, tables for one, tear-stained divorce papers, motionless ultrasounds, small caskets. Can you imagine that?
The ultimate response to pain and suffering isn’t an explanation, but the incarnation. Jesus came into our world, and he offers us a plan of redemption!
Know today how much God loves you. Jesus went to a cross to show you how much God cares for you. He came to this earth, endured the pain and isolation of a cross, all for you. You can trust him with your pain and suffering—with your entire life—by accepting his offer of redemption today. Lean into him!
Day 1: Sit with people, love with truth.
Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Most people in same-sex relationships don’t leave the church because they were told this is wrong. They leave because they were dehumanized, ridiculed, and excluded. Truth should never be used or even perceived as a weapon to devalue or dehumanize anyone.
When we look at the life of Jesus, we never find him standing against people. He was always sitting with people because he was always interested in who they were first. He showed compassion, empathy, and understanding. Jesus spoke the truth into people’s lives without devaluing them.
Love is commanded; agreement is optional.
Jesus wasn’t afraid to love people where they were while reaching out to them in love and calling them to something more. Like Jesus, we’re going to sit with people in love in order to earn the trust required to share any sort of truth. Ask God today for the help of the Holy Spirit to do this well!
Day 2: Surrendered sexuality.
Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”
God designed sexual intimacy to take place between a man and a woman within the promise of a committed marriage. Any activity—straight or otherwise—outside of this is not God’s intention and plan for our lives. Not many LGBT people want to hear this. Not many straight people want to hear this, either!
All of us, regardless of our sexual orientation, grapple with the behaviors of attraction, whether it’s opposite-sex attraction or same-sex attraction. We are all in this together, fighting the same battle to honor Jesus with our entire lives.
God’s Word is always for our best, and it can be trusted. In your group this week, share where it might be difficult for you to hear the truth of God’s Word, and ask your group for prayer in this area. God is not distant, and he empathizes with our struggles!
Day 3: Our theology should increase our empathy.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin?” You probably have—maybe you have even said it. But, we have to recognize that it’s condescending because it implies that the person saying it doesn’t struggle with sin.
Jesus taught: “Love the sinner and hate your own sin.”
Our theology should increase our empathy. Our church should be a safe place for everyone. All of us have issues to work through, and we are as dependent upon God’s grace as the air we breathe.
Praise God that he knows and understands all that we may be facing today! We never have to hide from him, we never have to shrink back, but we can come boldly to him with all our cares and concerns, and we can expect to receive his mercy. Thank him for this truth today!
Day 4: Jesus as savior and Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.
If Jesus can be trusted to be your savior, he can be trusted to be your Lord. He wants what’s best for you.
Chasing after the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives should be the path for every Christ follower, regardless of sexual orientation. It’s never a good idea to base our identity upon anything other than Jesus.
John 3:30 reminds us: He must increase, and I must decrease, until it is Christ alone. You may be many things and wear many labels. But they should all be subordinate to your identity in Christ.
When you trust Jesus as your savior and the Lord of your life, you are a new person! Your old life is gone, and a new life has begun. If you have received his free gift, thank him for giving you a new identity in Jesus! Now ask him to show you: Who in your life can you help reconcile to him?
Day 5: More of Jesus, less of me.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If you look closely at this list, you’ll find yourself on it. None of us deserve to be in the kingdom of God.
But God, in his infinite mercy, sent his own son to suffer and struggle—all so he can empathize with our sufferings and struggles. Jesus came to rescue us from it. Jesus gives us a new identity.
In giving your life to Jesus, he becomes your primary identity. That means submitting all of your wants and desires to him.
Today, make your prayer: More of you, Jesus, and less of me, until it is Christ alone in my life.