I wasn’t planning any New Year’s resolutions this year. It’s not something I typically think about. Then, after the whirlwind of holiday preparations and travels, I found myself with no pressing obligations on New Year’s Eve. I sat down with this luxury of time, and laid out a Bible study plan for the boys. Truth be told, this is something I should have done earlier, and we haven’t really done a good job with a dedicated Bible study time this homeschool year. I’ve made it my resolution to do better.
The plan I laid out focuses on the book of Luke. It seems natural to focus on stories from the life of Jesus during the time between Christmas and Easter. I chose the book of Luke because David is teaching it in one the Bible classes I am attending right now. I thought this current study might be of help to me when I teach the boys.
For the first time in the boys’ experience, we are incorporating actual Bible readings into our study. Some children may be ready for this step earlier than mine were, but I did not want to rush this. I want them always to feel that the story of their salvation is accessible to them at their level. For each week, my plan is to use a children’s Bible or storybook on the first day, to use Tom’s NIV Bible on the second day, and then to review the story on the third day. (The English Standard Version would actually be our version of choice, but both my favorite Bible and Tom’s Bible are the New International Version, so that’s what we are using.)
We are also doing memory work each week. We work on this together, and if we don’t learn all of the longer passages in one week, that’s okay. We review often, and eventually we will know all the passages. Some of the memory work is from Luther’s Small Catechism (Concordia Publishing House, 1986), and the rest is from the NIV Bible. I’ve included alternate Bible verses for the catechism weeks just in case anyone else wants to follow the plan and prefers only Bible verses. (Certainly, the sequence of Bible stories and verses is applicable for Christians of any background.)
We began the New Year with the story of Anna and Simeon, and then I planned through the first week of Pentecost. For me, planning is half the battle, so I think we’re off to a good start. I’ll let you know how it goes. If any of you decide to try the plan yourselves, you can let me know how it goes. If all goes well, I’d like to flesh out the plan into an actual Bible study curriculum, so your feedback is welcome.
For the Week of January 1: In the Temple with Simeon and Anna
My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people. Luke 2:30-31
For the Week of January 5: The Boy Jesus in the Temple
The Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and mother. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
For the Week of January 12: John the Baptist and Jesus
Luke 3:1-16 and 21-23
You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Luke 1:76-77
For the Week of January 19: The Temptation of Jesus
The Sixth Petition: And lead us not into temptation. What does this mean? God tempts no one. But we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, may not deceive us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18
For the Week of January 26: Jesus Calls Peter, James, and John
“Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
For the Week of February 2: The Man Let Down through the Roof
The Fifth Petition: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:2
For the Week of February 9: The Centurion’s Servant and the Widow’s Son
Luke 7: 1-17
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
For the Week of February 16: Jesus Calms the Storm
The sea is his for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:5
For the Week of February 23: Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
The Fourth Petition: Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalm 145:15-16
For the Week of March 2: Peter’s Confession and the Transfiguration
Luke 9:18-23 and 28-36
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
For the Week of March 9: Mary and Martha and the Parable of the Sower
Luke 10:38-42 and Luke 8:1-15
The Third Commandment: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
For the Week of March 16: Zacchaeus and Matthew
Luke 19:1-10 and Luke 5:27-32
The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10
For the Week of March 23: Jesus Enters Jerusalem
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9
For the Week of March 30: The Last Supper
While they were eating, Jesus took break, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, “Take eat, this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them saying, “Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. Matthew 26:26-28
For the Week of April 6: Jesus in the Garden and Peter’s Denial
The Third Petition: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40
For the Week of April 13 (Holy Week): Jesus’ Trial and Crucifixion
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
For the Week of April 20 (Easter): Jesus’ Resurrection
Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Luke 24:5-6
For the Week of April 27: Easter Evening
“Stay with us for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” Luke 24:29
For the Week of May 4: The Parable of the Lost Sheep
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27-28
For the Week of May 11: The Prodigal Son
Luke 15: 11-31
Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Joel 13:34
For the Week of May 18: The Good Samaritan
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
For the Week of May 25: Love Your Enemies
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
For the Week of June 1: Jesus’ Ascension
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
For the Week of June 8: Pentecost
Do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? 1 Corinthians 6:19
Wishing you God’s blessings in the New Year!