Introduction to Old Testament Reading Guides

The purpose of the weekly reading guides is to provide you with background information and a few simple questions to direct your reading.  These guides are in no way exhaustive, so if you have questions feel free to post comments at the end of the weekly reading guide and someone will get back to you.

The reading guides accompany the Pacific Union Connect emails which provide daily Bible readings and ideas for prayer.  If you are not currently receiving the emails click on the following link: subscribe to Pacific Union Connect emails.

The Old Testament track is a collection of readings from the Jewish Scriptures which Christians call the “Old Testament.”  Jews refer to their Scripture as the “The Law, the Prophets and the Writings.”  The Old Testament contain poetry, history, music, prophetic writings and legal documents that detail God’s relationship with Israel and the world as they wait for a Messiah who will rescue God’s people and restore God’s creation.  For more information about the Old Testament and the Bible in general I encourage you to read the “The Big Story of the Bible“, “The Big Story in Detail” and “How does what I’m reading fit into the Bible” posts.

Generally, the daily readings will take you through a block of Scripture throughout the week.   The reading guide will not break down the daily readings, but give background on the block of scripture that you will be reading.

Each day’s scripture is linked to an online Bible resource at biblegateway.com.  This website includes the scripture text and commentaries on that particular passage.

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Introduction to New Testament Reading Guides

The purpose of the weekly reading guides is to provide you with background information and a few simple questions to direct your reading.  These guides are in no way exhaustive, so if you have questions feel free to post comments at the end of the weekly reading guide and someone will get back to you.

The reading guides accompany the Pacific Union Connect emails which provide daily Bible readings and ideas for prayer.  If you are not currently receiving the emails click on the following link: subscribe to Pacific Union Connect emails.

The New Testament track is a collection of readings from the book of Acts to Revelation (The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have their own track).  Acts through Revelation contain stories, letters and dreams that detail the early church’s struggle to live out the teachings of Jesus, and endure suffering as they waited (and we wait) for the return of Jesus.    For more information about the New Testament and the Bible in general I encourage you to read the “The Big Story of the Bible“, “The Big Story in Detail” and “How does what I’m reading fit into the Bible” posts.

Generally, the Sunday reading will stand alone and the weekly (Monday through Saturday) readings will take you through a block of Scripture.   The reading guide will not break down the daily readings, but give background on the block of scripture that you will be reading during the week.

Each day’s scripture is linked to an online Bible resource at biblegateway.com.  This website includes the scripture text and commentaries on that particular passage.

Introduction to Gospel Track Reading Guides

The purpose of the weekly reading guides is to provide you with background information and a few simple questions to direct your reading.  These guides are in no way exhaustive, so if you have questions feel free to post comments at the end of the weekly reading guide and someone will get back to you.

The reading guides accompany the Pacific Union Connect emails which provide daily Bible readings and ideas for prayer.  If you are not currently receiving the emails click on the following link: subscribe to Pacific Union Connect emails.

The Gospel track is a collection of readings from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which are  eyewitness accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  For more information about the gospels and the Bible in general I encourage you to read the “The Big Story of the Bible“, “The Big Story in Detail” and “How does what I’m reading fit into the Bible” posts.

Generally, the Sunday reading will stand alone and the weekly (Monday through Saturday) readings will take you through a block of Scripture.   The reading guide will not break down the daily readings, but give background on the block of scripture that you will be reading during the week.

Each day’s scripture is linked to an online Bible resource at biblegateway.com.  This website includes the scripture text and commentaries on that particular passage.

A quick tour of the Pacific Union Connect emails

Each Connect email (subscribe to the Pacific Union email list) comes with a variety of forms of daily prayer and Bible reading.  Here is a quick introduction …

Prayer Psalm. The Psalms are a collection of 150 of the finest prayers ever recorded.  They were used in worship at the temple in Jerusalem, they were foundational to Jesus’ prayer life and in the prayers of his disciples.  The church of Jesus Christ has for 2000 years have recognized the Psalms as the “school of prayer.”  Praying a Psalm is an opportunity to learn from the masters to pray the full range of human emotions from anger and despair to joy and love.  The Prayer Psalm is offered to help you direct your prayer for the day.  Here are a few suggestions for “praying Psalms.”  For more information read “Some suggestions for reading the Psalms“.

  • Read the Psalm aloud to yourself.
  • Meditate on one particular verse that jumps out at you.
  • Prayer your own prayer back to God in response to the Psalm.  (e.g. If the Psalm expresses fear, pray some of your fears to God, or pray on behalf of someone you know who is afraid.)
  • Journal your responses.

Prayer Point. The Prayer Point is an invitation to pray one aspect of the psalm selected for the day. Each day’s prayer point will focus on a different aspect of prayer as each psalm approaches God in a unique way. Prayer points will range from prayers of thanksgiving, worship, intercession on behalf of the weak and the oppressed and repentance. The goal is to allow the psalms to lead you into a rich variety of the forms of prayer available to us.

Bible Reading Tracks. The Scriptures for the Bible reading tracks are selected from the Christian Year (Advent, Christmas, Good Friday, etc.).  Our sermons follow the same calendar so the Bible readings will roughly coincide with the themes of the weekly sermon.  The three tracks are offered to provide to give you exposure to the diverse writings of the Bible.

  • Old Testament. Tells the story of God’s relationship with the world and his people Israel before the coming of Christ.
  • The Gospels. These unique writings contain four eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
  • New Testament (other than the Gospels, Acts to Revelation).  Tells the story of the church that Jesus and relates the struggle of Jesus’ followers to work out Jesus’ teaching, carry on his mission while they wait patiently for His return.

For more help with reading the Bible, read the blog posts in the “Reading the Bible” category.

An introduction to Pacific Union Connect

Regular Bible reading and prayer have long been recognized as the basic building blocks of a personal relationship with God.  With that said, it is important to remember that we don’t do these things to get God on our good side.  It’s quite the opposite.  We read the Bible and pray regularly to remind ourselves of the love God expressed for us in Jesus Christ, to remember the riches of his grace and the promises he has for those who trust in Him.  We pray, not as beggars, but as sons and daughters of the king whose adoption was secured by the death and resurrection of Jesus.  We don’t pray and read the Bible to get God’s favor, we pray and read the Bible to remind us that we already have it because we belong to Jesus.

The first thing you may notice when you look at the Connect email (subscribe to the Pacific Union email list) is that there is a lot to do.  There are two forms of prayer (a Psalm and a prayer point) and three different Bible reading tracks (Gospel, Old Testament and New Testament).  You don’t need to do them all.   Remember the point is to help you practice some form of prayer and some form of Bible reading each day.  Connect is designed to give you a menu of options, because we recognize that there is no “one size fits all approach to Christian spirituality.

The important thing is that you are praying and reading the Bible.  How you do it is up to you.  Some are big picture people, so they will be comfortable reading large portions of Scripture so reading all three reading tracks in a day will not be a problem.  Others are more detail oriented and will find it better to chose one of the tracks to read and then focus on one or two key verses.  Find a routine that fits your schedule, personality and the stage of your journey following Jesus.