The Acts 2:1 Challenge... read through the Bible together in one year...
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. KJV
January Character Quality of the month: Responsibility~Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me
parents before them... Just what consequences have we set up for ourselves and our children?
and models for them how to be, not a gang of slaves, but a nation set apart...
February Character Quality of the month: Flexibility~Not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others
31 Jan-6 Leviticus 4-23 Leviticus, the book of holiness and relationships... people to people, priests to God, people to God... details now begin to show
His people how and why they are different from the others around them...
when He must correct and punish. Like a parent, He sets them up for victory, not defeat.
21-27 Deuteronomy 8-34 Moses goes through the final review of their history and reminds the people of the serious and holy nature of Elohim,
the God of the Universe who has called them to be His special people. He challenges the people to remember their history, remember their
God, and not to descend to the level of the countries around them, but to stay true to the King of the Universe who wants to hold them in
the center of His hands.
March Character Quality of the month: Joyfulness ~The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord.
28 Feb-Mar 5 Joshua 1-24 The entire book of Joshua is read this week. He was an anointed warrior, a civil leader, and the man God chose to replace
the venerated leader of two generations, Moses. With blessings from Moses and filled with the Spirit of God, Joshua is the courageous model of
a sold out Christian... hearing what God has directed him to do, he does it fully, commits himself and his family, and challenges and then trains
all who stand with him to do all their work with excellence and firm resolve, relying on the God of Israel for everything.
into apostasy, defeat and subjugation by heathen enemies, and then a time of crying out to the God of their fathers for help...Over and over again
the people do not stay true to God, and suffer the consequences. One of those was a famine in Israel that drives out one family from the land and
sends them into Moab. There the boys grow up, marry into the people there and end up dying along with their father, leaving their mother a
childless widow. There is one bright spot--her daughter-in-law, Ruth. This is a story of love and redemption...Ruth, grandmother to a king and
part of the bloodline of Jesus, Himself.
13-19 1 Samuel 1-23 Thus begins a transition for Israel, from a land governed by God Himself through fallible leaders and honest prophets to looking
more and more like their neighbors... but not quite yet. Chapters 1-23 tell of the birth, training, and rise to leadership of the priest and prophet,
Samuel. What happens when a people move from local leadership and the consequences of sometime-following the God of their fathers, to
turning to something they could actually see... a king? Does Moses' prediction come true?
20-26 1 Samuel 24-2 Samuel 14 David, the coming king of Israel, dominates this week of Bible reading. From the end of 1 Samuel, chapters 24-31,
through the beginning of 2 Samuel, chapters 1-14, David moves from a competitor to the line of Saul to solidifying his leadership over the
entire group of people calling themselves Israelites. In this time, he honors a promise to Jonathan and makes a major error of giving in to his
flesh so deeply that seeds of destruction are sown into his administration--seeds that will grow and become apparent as
the history of David and his family is documented in the rest of 2 Samuel and later in the books of Kings.
April Character Quality of the month: Truthfulness ~ Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
24-30 2 Chronicles 15-36
May Character Quality of the month: Tolerance ~ Acceptance of others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying
degrees of maturity.
Law to a people who had lost the teachings and therefor their history, repentance, a national move to "clean house", and the restoration of a
nation within a nation to once again turn to God. Some of the choices and lessons are hard, and seem beyond what we today could bear, but
for this priest and leader of his people, it was better to make the tough choices and do what he did than to let his people languish in sin and
never be able to return to the God of their fathers.... Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, too, took tough, courageous stands, and between the two of
them and Ezra's strong work to reform the hearts of the people, finally the temple, the law, and the city of Jerusalem itself was raised from the
dust and made important to the national life of the Jewish people, both at home and in exile.
8-14 Nehemiah 11-Esther-Job 3 Nehemiah had to finish the wall, and his example led his people to not cower in fear, but to fear their God. Esther is the story of a nobody, chosen from a crowd to be used by a heathen king, who through her trust in her Lord became the most important
member of her people in the kingdom. Finally, there is Job, the oldest writing of the Scriptures, which tells of of a journey of faith that begins with
an if...if my children have sinned...
15-21 Job 4-21 Poor Job... now he has endured everything the enemy is allowed to throw at him, but he does not realize that the assault from Satan is
over. However, his friends are another story. Job is looking in the proverbial mirror, has come up empty as to why this is happening to him, goes
through introspection and the beginnings of depression, and now engages with his friends who are trying to help but cannot understand the pain in which he finds himself. He seems to have come to the end of his rope, and is just hanging on to the knot. His friends try to help him think
through it, but are more like a hot wind than a lifting hand... and he wonders why and if it will ever be over. It will, but not before the sifting and
sorting is finished. Peter had a heads up about the sifting he was to go through; Job did not, and so the reverberations continue...
22-28 Job 22-42
29- 4 June Psalm 1-35 The Book of Psalms is divided into 5 distinct books of song and poems. Some are praise, some laments, others reflections, and many are maschils, or teaching psalms meant to lead the singer/reader/reciter to come to understand some truth the author is giving. Book 1 extends from Psalm 1 to Psalm 41. Psalms 1-8 stand as the introduction to the entire book. Psalm 1, particular, indicates just what the reader should absolutely know, and expect...
June Character Quality of the month: Determination~Purposing to accomplish God’s goals in God’s time—regardless of the opposition.
6-11 Psalm 36-72 Book 1 finishes at Psalm 41 wherein David makes clear that the Lord will deliver the man who does his best to take care of other, no matter their, or his, situation. Book 2 (42-72) opens with the desire of the righteous to follow hard after the God of his salvation, and to trust in Him.
12-18 Psalm 73-106 Thus begins a collection of exuberant hymns and expectant longings! Book 3 covers the National Hymns of Judah, Psalms 73-89,
while Book 4, Psalms 90-106, speaks of the Over-ruling Kingdom of the Most High God. Reflecting on the nation's history and the protective power
of their God, the songs and hymns here include one of the most famous of songs of deliverance...Psalm 90, Moses' song after leading his people
out of slavery.
19-25 Psalm 107-139 Book 5 begins! Book 5 is similar to the book of Deuteronomy since it speaks of a new beginning in the Promised Land. These
Psalms express the thoughts, prayers, and experiences of the captives and their return to Jerusalem. Psalm 107 serves as the introduction to this
book. Psalm 119, the longest in the entire collection, uses each letter of the Hebrew alphabet to begin each verse in each set of 8 and recounts the
history and majesty of God. In Psalms 120-127, the Psalmist expresses his despair at liars, his absolute trust that God is vigilant and will make it all
work out, his prayer for the peace and protection of Jerusalem, and a warning to those who want to be "a mighty man" without God at the helm...
"Teach your children well", the song said... and they will never be a source of shame, but will always be "an especial grace and gift of God." Finally
this section ends with songs of reminders of the ways of both the righteous and the wicked, promises that an omniscient God knows and cares
about man's plight, and the hope and solid assurance that He will vanquish the evil and welcome the righteous.
the entire collection of the Psalms.
July Character Quality of the month: Creativity~Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective.
2-9 Proverbs 14-Ecclesiastes 6
10-16 Ecclesiates 7-Isaiah 16
17-23 Isaiah 17-40
first part of Jeremiah we see that the people have not heeded their prophets, & Jeremiah shares God's description of their poor choices in chapter 2. Cisterns, broken cisterns, "Water was a precious resource in ancient Israel. While there were some natural springs that provided water, the people
also carved out cisterns in which to gather rain water in order to ensure they would have enough to drink. Although ancient workers developed a
special kind of plaster that was used to line the inside of the cisterns in order to prevent the water from seeping out, oftentimes cracks would
develop & the water would be lost. Jeremiah compares God to fountains of natural spring water, while idols are likened to cisterns that are cracked
& broken. Though the fountains provide life-giving waters, the people foolishly choose to drink from cisterns which cannot contain their water,
relying on empty idols rather than God, the true source of life. Read more at http://theisraelbible.com/bible/jeremiah/chapter-2#g6IxMlisSBybR2XB.99"
August Character Quality of the month: Meekness~Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God.
31 July-6 August Jeremiah 7-33 Jeremiah is pleading with his people to hear what God is saying & to stop trusting in worldly ways, in watering down
God's righteousness, or in just trusting in things they can see. He warned & warned & warned...and yet the people to whom he was talking ignored
those clear & plain warnings, eventually suffering the events about which they had been warned.
the people cry out to God for help and redemption. Lamentations covers the deep sorrow, pain, grief and regret of the people, with a final hope that the return to Israel is going to happen. In fact, Ezekiel is now taken to Babylon in the first wave of destruction. These chapters explore his
plight, his confusion, and his response to the God of Heaven. Throughout the rest of the book, he becomes model of the meekness this months'
character study defines. He learns to trust and to yield. As a prophet of God, he is not alone in that ...Contemporaries Daniel & Jeremiah did, too.
14-20 Ezekiel 7-33
times, and continued to share with the who refused to listen the words the Lord gives to him, making him the ever stalwart Watcher on the Wall,
much like his contemporary, Daniel. Faithful Daniel. His story of service and strength resonates with anyone and every one who has ever had to
stand on a dearly held principle and paid the price. Daniel. He was a member of the upper class, was taken captive by the Babylonians, probably lost
his whole family is the attack, was most likely made a eunuch so as to be able to serve in the court, was highly intelligent, knew how to make proper
appeals and stand up to power, and kept his great faith and closeness with Jehovah through it all. He stands as an example to the modern
Christian...have faith, stand on your principles, don't attack but don't back down on what you know is right, and trust that the God you serve will win,
no matter what...
His righteous behavior in the unrighteous world of the Persian and Medians is rewarded with protection by God's angelic forces and a look into the
future of mankind itself, including a glimpse at the coming Messiah and his forever rule. The book of Hosea shows the heartbreak and anger of God,
but also His great tender mercy and love for His people. He is angry at their refusal to acknowledge Him, when they take advantage of Him, when they
ascribe His goodness to other gods and chase down other nations to protect and cover them. He is the jilted husband, whose wife spends his money,
uses his provisions, and chases other lovers.... and the prophet is called by God to be His object lesson to the world...
September Character Quality of the month: Cautiousness~knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
apply to today's Christian church? You may find yourself needing some reflective, repentant prayer time if you honestly answer that question...
and unflinchingly delivered God's message, even, as in Jonah's case they did not want to. Nahum had to warn Nineveh again...
that finds him or herself in the midst of great difficulty, seeing rising evil, and watching their beloved nations choose ease, sin, idolatry, and an
overbearing, even thuggish elite class that puts great pressure on those beneath to support them and often pay for the excesses of the leaders...
be they government, religious, or business folks. Habakkuk is a contemporary of Jeremiah and is watching his country go to ruin. He complains to God,
and God answers him, reminding him that His plans are more long term than are Habakkuk's..
permission to rebuild that they were again straying from the God of their fathers, and that the consequences to ignoring Him or following
Him by checklist and not heart-worship were no less dire that their forefathers had suffered when they had walked away from the Torah and
Jehovah. Malachi served the Lord near the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. Matthew! The transition books of the Gospel begin! The Savior is born,
the enemy has tried to kill Him, and the Father has called Him out as His beloved Son after His baptism by His cousin John in front of the
many, many folks (including the Pharisees and Sadducees that came to listen and probably debate) who were on the shores of the Jordan
to hear The Baptist and repent... Matthew... the book that opens the door to the New Testament.
October Character Quality of the month: Alertness~Being aware of that which is taking place around me so I can have the right response.
2-8 Matthew 16-Mark 10
his researched works (including Acts, later) with the words of Matthew, Mark, and John, and how can one who is a seeker of truth, NOT believe? Luke,
the beloved physician...
that be... The Pharisees and other political leaders are beginning to see this Man as a threat, and now the tension builds... Those who are listening to
Him, must begin to decide where they stand... are they like Nicodemus, willing to learn and open their hearts, or are they the folks in power, afraid of
what may be next in line for them?
23-29 John 11-Acts 8
30-5 November Acts 9-26 Acts continues to chronicle the growth and trials of the newly forming collections of believers who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ
and covers a number of years as the church coalesces around the truth of the Resurrection and God's loving grace.
November Character Quality of the month: Self-Control~Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit.
sometimes confusing to the folks coming from other foundations. Especially noteworthy is Paul's discussion of the law itself where he directly
addresses his Jewish, well-educated and deeply taught believers (see Chapter 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law...)
13-19 1 Corinthians 1-16
20-26 2 Corinthians 1-Philippians
27-December 3 Colossians - 1 Timothy 6
December Character Quality of the month: Love~Giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
4-10 2 Timothy-Hebrews 10
11-17 Hebrews 11-2 John
18-24 3 John-Revelation 9
25-31 Revelation 10-22
Calvary Church of Missouri has a great resource called The Whole Story.
It is a set of short videos, outlines and summaries of each Bible book to help you in your readings....
The purpose of the Acts 2:1 Challenge is to bring into one focus Covenant's family, to learn and grow together, and to beseech the Almighty God of Heaven to allow us to be part of another move of the Holy Ghost so needed in this fallen world, that we at Covenant might be a part of a new "great awakening", and that the Lord may once again rain down on His people that power to witness to others of His love, His salvation, and His soon return!