Parables help us to understand the Kingdom of God and how to live as a part of it. As you read through these eight parables in this series, see if you can find yourself in the story told by Jesus and ask Him to help you be more Kingdom minded.
The adult Bible Reading Plan is listed in detail below. To read the daily passage, simply click on the Bible reference.
For a printed version of the adult plans, click this link: Parables
For the Preschool & Children's Bible Reading Plan, click here.
Adult Bible Reading Plan
Jesus used the parable of the persistent widow to show His disciples the importance of being persistent in their prayers. The unjust judge is compared to the just and loving God who gives us what we need, although it may not look like what we originally prayed for or wanted. Persistent prayer leads to faith in a just God. When God delays answering our prayers, He has a purpose for us. When we pray without ceasing and have confidence in God, the benefits are many. We experience the goodness of God as we commune with Him. We become eager participants in the purposes of God, yielding our lives and wills to Him.
Day 1 Luke 18:1-8
Reflect: What was the purpose of Jesus telling this story? What did Jesus say about those who cry out to Him?
Apply: What benefits come from being persistent in prayer? What does it reveal about us? Pray: Lord, remind me that what may appear as indifference on Your part
may actually be teaching me about persistent prayer.
Day 2 Romans 1:8-10
Reflect: What stands out to you about Paul’s prayer life as seen in this passage?
Apply: How often and for what things do you pray for others in the church?
Pray: Father, pour out Your Spirit and make us Your powerful praying church.
Day 3 1 John 5:14-15
Reflect: How are we to approach God? What kinds of things are we to ask of Him?
What is the result of doing this?
Apply: How do you know that the things you ask of God are according to His will?
How persistent and patient are you in your prayer life?
Pray: Jesus, help me to be persistent, patient, and persevering in prayer.
Day 4 Ephesians 6:18
Reflect: Notice what Paul says about how we should pray in this verse. Does this
reflect your prayer life?
Apply: What do you think Paul means by the phrase be or stay alert?How would
this change your approach to prayer?
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me direction to know how to intercede in every situation and
for every concern.
Day 5 Luke 11:1-13
Reflect: Take note of all of the things for which Jesus said we are to pray. What
should be our attitude in asking according to verse 8?
Apply: What more do you need to include in your prayers?
Pray: Wait quietly before the Lord, waiting on Him to show you what He wants
you to pray about today.
The parable of the unmerciful servant teaches us two things about sin. First, it is beyond our capacity to repay, and second, it is greater than any offense we have suffered—or could suffer—at the hands of others. Without really seeing ourselves as impoverished sinners, we cannot appreciate God’s grace and cannot truly forgive others as we should. If we have admitted, confessed, and repented of our sin, we have been forgiven by God whether or not we feel like it. If we have experienced God’s forgiveness, it will be shown in our forgiveness of others. In this parable, Jesus teaches that forgiving others is part of our own forgiveness.
Day 1 Matthew 18:21-35
Reflect: How do you think Peter felt about the way Jesus answered his question?
How is forgiveness like cancelling a debt owed?
Apply: How easy is it for you to ask for and accept God’s forgiveness? How are you at extending forgiveness?
Pray: Lord, help me understand the depth of Your forgiveness toward me so I
won’t withhold forgiveness of others.
Day 2 Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:24-25
Reflect: What is the condition Jesus gives for our own forgiveness from God?
Why do you think this is necessary?
Apply: We're in a self-made jail and at a stand-still in our relationship with God until we forgive. Is there someone to whom you need to say, “I forgive you?”
Pray: Lord, help me to fully forgive (name of anyone you feel you need to forgive.)
Day 3 Luke 7:36-48
Reflect: How is forgiveness a path to love?
Apply: When you received forgiveness from someone, what emotions
did you experience?
Pray: Lord, help me to forgive myself for times I have failed.
Day 4 Luke 17:1-4
Reflect: What is our role in helping other believers in their walk with the Lord?
Apply: Are there any repetitive sins in your life? How does this help you when you need to extend forgiveness repeatedly to someone?
Pray: Lord, make me a person who is quick to forgive.
Day 5 Matthew 5:21-25
Reflect: What is the relationship between anger and forgiveness? What is hindered by
unforgiveness according to this passage?
Apply: Anger is a toxic emotion that is only released by forgiveness. Ask God to reveal any buried anger you may have against someone and forgive them.
Pray: Lord, I don’t won’t to become hard and bitter because of unforgiveness.
I choose to forgive because You forgave me.
In the parable of the prodigal son we are presented with characters that show us three ways to live life. You can live an irreligious-centered life (exemplified by the younger brother), a religious-centered life (exemplified by the older brother), or a gospel-centered life, to which Jesus is trying to get us. Irreligion is about living for whatever makes you happy. A religious spirit is about self-righteousness and self-justification. Getting to the gospel life is not that we go from being irreligious to being religious, but that we realize both are wrong. The desire to know God more and to live our life participating in His mission comes from a heart changed by the gospel.
Day 1 Luke 15:11-32
Reflect: How have you experienced each of the roles in this story, father, elder son, younger son? What in this parable resonates most for you?
Apply: How does it make you feel to know that God is always there waiting for us to return to Him after we have gone astray?
Pray: Lord, bring restoration to all that has been lost and make whole those
things that are broken in my life.
Day 2 Acts 3:19
Reflect: What comes first before repentance? What comes after? How did this play out in the parable of the lost son?
Apply: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin from which you need to repent,
including a religious spirit.
Pray: Lord, teach me to be quick to confess when I am wrong. I praise You that
You cleanse me from all my sin.
Day 3 1 John 1:8-9
Reflect: Why is it hard at times to see the sin in our lives? In the parable, when did
the younger son realize he needed to repent?
Apply: Ask a trusted friend to help keep you accountable with the confessing sin
and repentance from it that God requires.
Pray: Father, thank You for Your goodness that leads me to repentance.
Day 4 Ephesians 2:4-10
Reflect: How was love and grace expressed in the parable? How did the elder son in the parable boast?
Apply: How have you experienced the idea that your “works” have made a difference in your forgiveness or acceptance of God?
Pray: Lord, the only thing I have to boast about is You, Your glory and Your all
sufficiency in my weakness.
Day 5 Luke 18:9-14
Reflect: How do you contrast the religious-centered and gospel-centered life here?
Apply: How have you experienced humility before the Lord?
Pray: Lord, take away the pride that causes me to deny my faults. Give me a humility of heart that honors You.
From the time of the creation of mankind, every individual has been entrusted with resources of time and material wealth. Everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are responsible for using those resources so that they increase in value. As Christians, we have additionally the most valuable resource of all – the Word of God. If we believe and understand Him, and apply His Word as good stewards, we are a blessing to others and the value of what we do multiplies. We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.
Day 1 Matthew 25:14-30
Reflect: How did the master divide his money between the three servants? Why?
What did the master require of his servants when he returned?
Apply: Who are you in this story? What has God given you to steward for Him?
Pray: Lord, empower me to be your good and faithful servant with all
You’ve entrusted to me.
Day 2 Romans 14:12; Matthew 12:36
Reflect: What will we all be called to do one day? How should this truth guide us?
Apply: Examine whether you will be able to claim that you used what you were
given for God and His purposes.
Pray: Lord, don’t let me get sidetracked with things that are unessential to
Day 3 Luke 6:38
Reflect: Craft a paraphrase for this verse. What would you say is the key word here?
Apply: How have you produced results with what God has blessed you?
Pray: Lord, show me one way I can bless someone in Your name today.
Day 4 Ecclesiastes 11:9
Reflect: How should we set our course for life when young? As we do, what caution
must we follow? To whom does this apply?
Apply: Consider sharing this with a young person in your sphere of influence.
What personal experience would you add?
Pray: Lord, may the things I pursue today, provide a rich spiritual inheritance that
I can pass on to others.
Day 5 John 15:8
Reflect: What is the one thing that will show that we are disciples of Jesus?
Apply: As you make decisions about what to say and do, consider what fruit will be
produced from each action.
Pray: Lord, I submit to You to be pruned in whatever ways I need in order to bear
more fruit for Your kingdom.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats, we are looking at man redeemed and saved, and man condemned and lost. The core message of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats is that God’s people will love others. Good works will result from our relationship to the Shepherd. Followers of Christ will treat others with kindness, serving them as if they were serving Christ Himself.
Day 1 Matthew 25:31-46
Reflect: What is the determining factor for who the Lord puts on His right and on His left? What is the key to the kingdom lifestyle?
Apply: How are you working in the lives of others to bring the fullness of God’s Kingdom to earth?
Pray: Lord, give me all I need today to minister life, hope, help and healing to others.
Day 2 James 2:14-17
Reflect: What indicates whether a person’s faith is a dead faith or a living faith?
Apply: Is your faith evident to others? What is your true motivation for loving and
Pray: Lord, use me to touch the lives of others for Your glory.
Day 3 1 John 4:20-21
Reflect: What does this passage reveal to you? Why is it hard for us to love others?
Apply: What are ways you can begin to develop unconditional love for others?
Pray: Lord, fill me with Your love for others and help me to bless those around me.
Day 4 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Reflect: What do you think the elements of gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw represent here?
Apply: How are you building on the foundation of Christ in others’ lives?
Pray: Lord, may my greatest treasure always be in serving You. Help me make an eternal difference by ministering Your life to others.
Day 5 Matthew 5:44-45
Reflect: What does this tell us about God’s love? About how we are to love?
Apply: As you think of someone who does not have a relationship with Christ, how
can love help them move from the left of Jesus to His right ?
Pray: Holy Spirit, I trust You to help me show love to those for whom I don’t feel
love to because You are Lord of my life.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, we will have a guest preacher, Ben Williams. Here is his bio:
God audibly spoke to Ben at the age of five, calling him to preach the gospel. Since then, he has led several thousand people to Christ and many others into a deeper encounter with God through prophecy, healings and miracles. His ministry is marked with inspiration and education so people know that with God all things are possible, the "know-how" of partnering with God in power evangelism, and revelation of living out of their identity in Christ. Ben has been a staff pastor, itinerant minister, author and a church planter with his wife, Micah Joy. They currently pastor a church they planted, Convergence Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, as well as lead Life Ministries International. Their mission is, "Reaching the Whole Person. Reaching the Whole World." He has two beautiful daughters and they live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Day 1 Mark 4:1-20
Reflect: What does the seed represent? Who is to spread the seed? What happens
when it falls on good soil?
Apply: How can knowing the different ways people respond to the gospel help
you in your method of sharing it? Who is responsible for fruitful results?
Pray: God, I pray for compassion, boldness and love to witness about Jesus.
Day 2 Romans 1:16
Reflect: How does Paul define the gospel?
Apply: How would you describe your attitude towards the gospel? What compels you to share it and what keeps you from sharing it?
Pray: God, You have not given me a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and
discipline. Therefore I am not ashamed to testify about You.
Day 3 Matthew 7:15-20
Reflect: What would you say is the proof of salvation?
Apply: Someone who is truly saved will go on to prove it. How is the Holy Spirit working fruit in you? Do others notice?
Pray: Lord, fill me afresh with Your Spirit today. Help me to share Your truth
through my gifts, words and actions .
Day 4 Romans 5:6-10
Reflect: How does God demonstrate His love for us? How is this good news?
Apply: How can you lay down your life for another to show Jesus’ love?
Pray: Lord, use me today to demonstrate Your love to those who don’t know You.
Day 5 1 Peter 4:1-8
Reflect: How are we to live? What reason is given for the gospel being preached?
Apply: What does verse 8 mean to you? Have you experienced this?
Pray: Holy Spirit, enable me to love deeply, fervently, without quitting, just like
You love me.
We are each building a life. The proper foundation for a life is Jesus’ Words—not just the hearing of them, but the doing of them, too. It seems at times that everything in the world is set up to make us turn away from God’s Words. And often, our own feelings pull us toward doing the exact opposite of what the Bible says. But a wise man will follow the words of God despite these pressures—not as a way to “show off” or earn salvation, but because he trusts God.
Day 1 Matthew 7:24-29
Reflect: What are the two things Jesus instructs us to do to live on a solid foundation? What foundation would you say you are standing on most of the time?
Apply: What storms have you weathered because of practicing God’s Word?
Pray: Lord, no matter what dark clouds settle over my life, I can stand firm in
comfort of Your presence.
Day 2 James 1:22-25
Reflect: What happens when we do not act upon the Word? When we do?
Apply: How have you put God’s Word into practice this week?
Pray: Lord, I pray that I will feed on Your Word every day. Let it come alive in me.
Day 3 Proverbs 30:5-6
Reflect: How is God’s Word described here? What does that mean to you?
Apply: How has the Word been a shield and a refuge for you?
Pray: Lord, I know that I can forever trust Your Word. It always brings comfort
and guidance and shows how much You love me.
Day 4 Isaiah 55 :10-11
Reflect: What does this say about God’s Word and promises?
Apply: Find ways to include scriptural promises in your prayers, having faith that
God will fulfill them!
Pray: Pray this scripture—John 14:23-27
Day 5 Psalm 119:33-40
Reflect: For what does the psalmist ask to help him keep and obey God’s Word? From what does he want to turn away?
Apply: How have you found delight from the Scriptures? What keeps you from
reading and practicing the Word of God? How can you remedy that?
Pray: Lord, Your Word is perfect. Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things
straight from Your heart.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. But who is your neighbor? Jesus answers this question with a parable we are all familiar with: The Good Samaritan. Our faith should lead us to action. This is not always comfortable and can sometimes be messy. Having pity on someone in need is easy. But the Samaritan had compassion on the man at the side of the road. He went out of his way to help, and took the time to show him mercy. Do you have that kind of compassion for the people you encounter each day?
Day 1 Luke 10:25-37
Reflect: What question did the lawyer first ask Jesus? Where did Jesus tell him the answer could be found? How did Jesus define “neighbor”?
Apply: What kind of world view does the lawyer’s first question assume? Is this
question important to you? Who do you identify most with in this story?
Pray: Lord, help me to love others who are most in need, especially those I pass
by every day.
Day 2 Matthew 22:34-37
Reflect: How does love of God and neighbor sum up all of the commandments?
Apply: If you truly loved, which commandments would be easier for you to obey?
Pray: God, I confess that I find it so easy to give lip service to the
commandment to love. Help me love You more fully for in loving
You, my life will show Your love to all others.
Day 3 Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34
Reflect: What is really behind favoritism? How is it similar to prejudice?
Apply: What is Jesus’ point in having the Samaritan show love toward one’s neighbor in the parable? What is God saying to you about this?
Pray: Lord, forgive me of my selfish, self-serving partiality in the way I treat and
think about people. Help me to really love and to delight in showing mercy
just as You do.
Day 4 James 2:1-9
Reflect: What does favoritism and discrimination say about how we love others? What are we doing to those we discriminate against (v. 6)?
Apply: We all fall into this trap occasionally. What needs to happen for you to not judge or play favorites?
Pray: Forgive me, Lord, if I have unwittingly shared in the conditions or systems
that perpetuates injustice. Show me how to practically love and serve others.
Day 5 Hebrews 13:15-16
Reflect: With what kinds of sacrifices is God pleased?
Apply: What would you say you struggle with more, selfishness or prejudice?
Pray: Holy Spirit, empower me to sacrificially serve others today as an act of praise.