The Barnabas Encouragement Connection

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February 2021 Bible Challenge

Quote the Books of the Bible from Memory (in order) by the end of the month. Find at least one person to share your success with.

March 2021 Bible Challenge

Memorize the names of Jesus’ Disciples by the end of the month. Find at least one person to share your success with.

April 2021 Bible Challenge

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

Many of us have heard of a “Gratitude Jar”. This month’s challenge is to take this same concept and create a “Rejoice Jar”. Once a day simply write down on a small piece of paper a scripture that you’re holding to, a praise report, a prayer, or the words “Lord, I choose to Rejoice Today”. Each day place the piece of paper in your “Rejoice Jar”. At the end of the month, pull out the pieces of paper one by one and read them out loud.

* If you don’t have a jar, you can use a box, a large envelope…
* Maybe decorate your jar or box
* Families can do this together

May 2021 Bible Challenge

Can You Name these Biblical Mothers?


“Then the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Genesis 2:18)


“The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)


"I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." (Genesis 17:16)


“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)


“So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 2:9-10)


“Then _____ took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, “_____ has a son’” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:22)

June 2021 Bible Challenge

Can You Name These Biblical Fathers?


“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)


By faith ________, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (Hebrews 11:17-18)


He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. (Job 1:2-3)


When ________ had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, ________  lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, ________ lived a total of 930 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:3-5)


But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, ________; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” (Luke 1:13)


________ was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. ________   had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Genesis 6:9-10)

July 2021 Bible Challenge

The 31 Day Proverbs Challenge


A very simple way to engage God’s Word and share it with your family and others.


  • Starting July 1, read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds with that day’s date.
  • After reading the chapter, choose one verse from the chapter that you want to share with someone.
  • Go public with it! Post it on your Facebook status or twitter account. Make a point of working it into a conversation throughout the day. Sit down as a family or with a group of friends and share which verse you chose. The possibilities are endless…
  • Tomorrow, do it all over again…for the next 31 days.

August 2021 Study Challenge

Choose One Scripture Each Week to Meditate On


To Meditate on God’s Word is to ponder and dwell on the Scripture. It’s a way to have the Word of God “dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16).


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


To meditate is to purposely stay narrowly focused on a short phrase or verse and ponder it deeply. Meditating on the Word is more like cooking a stew for many hours than a quick sauté in a pan.


Meditating on the Word is not to get more information from the Bible, but to let even one word or phrase from the Bible take hold of your heart and mind.


There are many ways to meditate on the Word of God:


1. Read the Word - Slowly read the Bible verse several times. Discover key phrases or words.


2. Write the Word - Write the entire verse at least once.


3. Memorize the Word - Having the verse in your mind and heart frees you up to not have to look for your place on the page.


4. Speak the Word - Gently speak it out loud several times. It can help you focus and process the verse.


5. Sing the Word - Sing the Bible? Yes! (Col. 3:16) Singing can unlock the heart and emotions. It adds another dimension to meditating on God’s Word.


6. Pray the Bible - Turn the Bible into a dialogue with God. Thank God for the truth that the verse is pointing to. Commit to obey and ask God to empower your heart to follow-through.


7. Picture the Bible - For example, when Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is like a Sower going out to the field to sow seed, picture the scene in your mind. What is God thinking, feeling, and saying?


All of these are ways to meditate on God’s Word and be still in God’s presence. Be sure to write down any insights and thoughts you had and ask God to give you more.


Ref Pursuit Bible (https://pursuitbible.com/ways-to-study-the-bible/)

September 2021 Study Challenge

How many of these descriptions can you match with their Theological terms?


(Hint: It’s OK to call a friend or research them if you’re not sure)


  1. The study of the Holy Spirit _____
  2. The science and art of biblical interpretation _____
  3. The science of giving a defense of the Christian faith _____
  4. The study of what the Bible says is going to happen in the end times _____
  5. Refers to the general truths that can be known about God through nature _____
  6. How God has chosen to reveal Himself through miraculous means. Includes physical appearances of God, dreams, visions, the written Word of God, and most importantly—Jesus Christ _____
  7. The exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis _____
  8. The interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading _____
  9. The study of the church _____
  10. The study of the doctrine of salvation. Discusses how Christ’s death secures the salvation of those who believe _____

  1. Apologetics
  2. Eisegesis
  3. Special Revelation
  4. Ecclesiology
  5. Soteriology
  6. Hermeneutics
  7. Eschatology
  8. General Revelation
  9. Pneumatology
  10. Exegesis

October 2021 Study Challenge

A Prayer Journal

Writing down our prayers can be a powerful way to engage with God by sharing our praises and requests with Him. As we continue forward in our individual faith journeys, it can be valuable to look back and read through the thoughts and prayers that brought us to where we are.

5 Steps to Organizing a Prayer Journal:

1. Set a Pattern
Decide how and when you will use your prayer journal. Fixed time or place? The key element is purposefulness.

2. Record Praise and Intercession
Keep two running lists: thank you notes to God and requests to bring before Him. While the requests come easier, balance is the focus.
Leave space for answers and write them in. This can inspire gratitude for some items and perseverance for others.
Track petitions and praises for those for whom you pray regularly. You will see more clearly how God is using your prayers in their lives and avoid the dangers of spiritual narcissism.

3. Include Personal Worship
Reserve a special page for permanent prayer items. “Lord, give me the perfect love of 1 Corinthians 13” can’t be fully answered in this lifetime, but it is the sort of prayer God uses to transform you and draw you closer to Himself. Likewise, “Father, thank You for Your great mercy and salvation” is a praise that will never end, and fulfills the high purpose of giving glory to God.

4. Store Treasures
Collect prayer “gems.” If a sermon expands your understanding of prayer, note the helpful points. If a quotation says it as you’ve never thought of it before, copy it down.

5. Incorporate “Stones of Remembrance”
Look back to look forward. Prepare your heart for prayer by reviewing the previous day’s or week’s journal entries. Or devote a special time to talk to God about your recent prayer life—reminding you of what needs prayer and His greatness in hearing you.
Mark signposts. Several times a year, set aside one or more journal pages for reflections on the impact of prayer in your Christian experience. How has God used prayer in your life? How has prayer deepened your walk with God?

(Source: Navigators.org)

November 2021 Study Challenge

SOAP Devotion Study


SOAP is a way of reading your Bible and applying what you read in a practical way.

SOAP stands for:


Scripture – Read a passage of scripture and write down a verse or two that jumps out to you.
Observation – What are your personal observations that you note from this scripture?
Application – How does it now apply to your everyday life? What can you do to apply this in your life today?
Prayer – Write a personal prayer based on your observation and application.


Reference: https://praywithconfidence.com/soap-bible-study-method-2/

December 2021 Study Challenge

The book of Luke in the Bible has 24 chapters in it. You can read a chapter a day for the next 24 days, and on Christmas morning, you will know the events surrounding the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

January 2022 Study Challenge

Every January, millions of people begin their year with New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, getting organized, exercising more, eating healthier, and managing finances better are some of the most common resolutions.


But what about making spiritual New Year’s resolutions? What does God want for our lives?


God would be honored if we made spiritual resolutions. Read the Bible, get involved in ministry at church, share our faith with friends, make a step of faith that is so big that only God can make it happen. Resolve to represent him no matter what the cost.


Here are a few resolutions we might consider before setting out on any path in the new year:

Spiritual Resolution #1 – Pray About It – Seek God’s face and pray every morning for the next year. 
Spiritual Resolution #2 – Give Your Time & Attitude to the Lord – Commit to making a difference at home, in the workplace, in the community, and in church. 
Spiritual Resolution #3 – Don’t Do It Alone – Seek Him and His wonderful plan for your life.

(Reference: FaithGateway)

February 2022 Bible Challenge

February Bible Reading Plan (Understanding God’s Love for Us Through Scripture)

Since Valentine’s Day is in February, here are some Bible verses that focus on God’s love.

Day 1: Micah 6:8 

Day 2: Matthew 5:44 

Day 3: Romans 13:8

Day 4: 1 Peter 4:8 

Day 5: 1 Corinthians 2:9 

Day 6: John 13:34 

Day 7: 1 Corinthians 13:1

Day 8: 1 John 3:18 

Day 9: Proverbs 10:12 

Day 10: John 15:12

Day 11: Jeremiah 31:3

Day 12: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

Day 13: Deuteronomy 6:5 

Day 14: John 3:16 

Day 15: 1 John 4:10 

Day 16: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 

Day 17: 1 Corinthians 13:8 

Day 18: Proverbs 8:17 

Day 19: Colossians 3:14 

Day 20: Romans 8:28

Day 21: John 16:27 

Day 22: 1 Corinthians 13:13 

Day 23: Matthew 22:37-39 

Day 24: 1 John 4:11 

Day 25: Romans 8:38-39 

Day 26: Psalm 13:5 

Day 27: 1 John 4:19 

Day 28: Ephesians 6:24 


Reference: Blessings Overflowing

March 2022 Bible Challenge

Quote the Books of the Bible from Memory (in order) by the end of the month. Find at least one person to share your success with.

April 2022 Bible Challenge

The Bible contains many stories - but it is not a random collection; each individual story is part of one large story: the record of God's dealings with humanity. The following are a few recommended readings. Each day read, re-read, meditate on, and study the selected stories. Start with prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you something fresh from God's word.

The Call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9)
Abraham's Faith (Genesis 22:1-18)
The Call of Moses (Exodus 1-6)
Crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-14:31)
The Battle of Jericho (Joshua 6)
Samson and Delilah (Judges 16)
David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11)
The Contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40)
Elisha Heals Naaman's Leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-14)
The Suffering Servant Prophecy (Isaiah 53)
Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
The Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3)
Jonah and the Great Fish (Jonah 1-3)
Preparing the Way (Luke 1:1-25)
The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-20)
The Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-13)
The Triumphant Entry (Luke 19:28-44)
Important Questions (Mark 12:18-40)
The Last Supper (Luke 22:7-20)
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-68)
Peter Denies Jesus (Luke 22:31-34, 54-65)
The Trial of Jesus (Matthew 27:1-31)
The Crucifixion (Luke 23:26-49)
The Burial of Christ (Matthew 27:57-66)
The Resurrection (John 20:1-18)
The Appearances of Christ (John 20:19-31)
The Ascension (Luke 24:44-53)
Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
Peter's Sermon after Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40)
Conversion of Saul (Acts 9:1-22)

Reference: Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines

May 2022 Bible Challenge

In honor of Mother’s Day: Can You Name these Biblical Mothers?


“Then the Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (Genesis 2:18)


“The angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)


"I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her." (Genesis 17:16)


“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28)


“So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water." (Exodus 2:9-10)


“Then _____ took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, “_____ has a son’” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:22)

June 2022 Bible Challenge

In honor of Father's Day: Can You Name These Biblical Fathers?


“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)


By faith ________, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” (Hebrews 11:17-18)


He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. (Job 1:2-3)


When ________ had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, ________ lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, ________ lived a total of 930 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:3-5)


But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, ________; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” (Luke 1:13)


________ was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. ________ had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Genesis 6:9-10)

July 2022 Bible Challenge

ISAIAH SCAVENGER HUNT
Use your bible...
What book comes before Isaiah? ___________
How many chapters are in Isaiah? ____________
What book comes after Isaiah? ___________
How many verses are in Chapter 4? __________
Who had a vision about Judah and Jerusalem in Chapter 1? _____________
What king died at the beginning of Chapter 6? _________
What nation was the prophecy in Chapter 13 against? ___________
In Chapter 15, what nation was the prophecy against? _____________
What are the names of the two fake gods in 46:1? _____________
In 51:17, what city is being told to rise up? _____________

August 2022 Bible Challenge

Learning the Bible is an important endeavor for the whole family, but keeping kids engaged can be a challenge. Below is a fun and creative Bible game and activity for the whole family. This activity is perfect for Sunday School classes, summer camps, family fun nights, or anytime during a busy week. Ready, set, learn! 

Six Degrees of Separation

Pick two biblical characters and see if you can connect them using six or fewer people, relatives or connections.

September 2022 Bible Challenge

The Names of Jesus Tell Us About His Character

In order to grow in our relationship with anyone, we need to get to know them better. It is the same for getting to know Jesus. In the Scriptures, a person’s name had great significance. It reflected that person’s character—telling a story about that person. That’s why the names given to Jesus were so important. Each name of Jesus recorded in the Bible is a way through which we see Him more clearly and know Him better. And knowing Him better is essential so we can reflect His character to the world around us. Use the verses below to learn more about His names.

Explore The Names Of Jesus
For each Scripture reference, answer these questions:
  • What is the name used for Jesus?
  • What does this name reveal about Jesus’ character or calling?
  • How should knowing this about Jesus affect your actions or attitude?
Names of Jesus in Scripture
Making It Personal
1. What new observations did you make about Jesus?
2. When you think about Jesus’ character traits, are there one or two that are particularly inspiring or challenging to you? Explain.
3. How can you become more like Jesus in one of these areas? What specific steps can you take? How will you evaluate your progress?

(Reference: https://www.navigators.org/resource/names-of-jesus/)

October 2022 Spiritual Growth Challenge

“The 5 Stages of Discipleship: What They Are & Why They Matter”

Being a disciple is another way of saying follower, or student of Jesus. Discipleship is helping people grow in their walk with God.

These stages can act as a guide for Christians when beginning their walk with God. They are not set in stone. Discipleship stages are stepping stones in process of furthering one’s walk with God. As people are discipled, they grow in their maturity and relationship with God.

These 5 stages should give you a better understanding of how to go about coming to Jesus and living a life glorifying to God.

Stage 1: Becoming a Follower of Jesus

God desires that none should perish, and the Bible says whoever calls on him will be saved. It is an open invitation to the Jews and Gentiles (which is everyone – they don’t have to be a Jew) to be a part of God’s family.

"Repent, therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19)

Coming to Jesus is repenting of your sin and your own way, and letting God take over.

Once we have repented of our own ways and have faith in God’s grace, then the process of the other stages can begin. We can be in the continual presence of the Lord because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and we can be seen as righteous before God because our sin is forgiven.

Stage 2: Building a Solid Foundation

Our foundation – for what we believe, how we behave, and how we think, should be built on the gospel and what the Bible says as applicable to our lives.

"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 3:11)

Where should we start when building a foundation? We should look to the Scriptures to see how Jesus lived his life on earth. He is our example, and his words and actions we should examine and take to heart.

We can know the truth, and how he wants us to live our lives. The more we know God, and understand who he is, the more we can desire him and obey what he says.

Stage 3: Desiring Christ & Obeying God’s Commandments

Once we are confident in who God is and who he says we are, we respect how God made us be, desire, and rely on Jesus, and begin to grow as a Christian, enabling us to love others well.

Once we are saved, we are dead to sin and alive to God. We must remember that and remind ourselves of that every day. Sin no longer has a hold on us, we must remember this, know the truth, and let it manifest in our lives.

We can keep his commandments because Christ is in us.

"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome". (1 John 1:3)

Stage 4: Building Godly Friendships

God’s greatest commandment is to love him before anything else, then we are to love others as ourselves.

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." (John 15:12-13)

We are to be in communion with other people, and other believers. To love people.

The Bible says that iron sharpens iron, and there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. We have friendships to learn how to love well and build each other up.

Stage 5: Discipling Others

God’s purpose for the church is to fulfill his mission of making disciples in all places. This begins with the body of believers already in the church. Look for people who you can come alongside and be an encouragement to.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

How to begin discipling others? Pray for the Lord to bring opportunities to you. Look around you, at people who are already in your life who may be struggling or may just need a listening ear, and encouragement.

Or maybe they do need help with guidance, discernment, or practical steps to strengthen their relationship with God. Maybe they are in need of help in a situation they are dealing with, or don’t know where to start when diving into Scripture.

Why Discipleship Stages are Important

It is important to view these stages (specifically the first stage) in order because we must become a follower of Jesus before we can do anything else. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and that is the call of a Christian, to live a life pleasing to the Lord.

We can’t build a foundation if we don’t first choose to follow God, and we can’t obey his commandments if we don’t first desire Christ. It is hard to desire Christ if we don’t know who he is, and what he says, and actually wants for us.

Once we learn the basics of who God is, his nature and his character, how the gospel affects who we are, and understand God’s purpose and plan for humanity, then we can love others the way God wants us to, and then we can disciple others and effectively serve the church, ultimately serving the Lord.

Start these steps today. Figure out what step you are in and continue to grow. Maybe find a mentor to help you continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord. Keep pressing into Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith.

(Reference: Excerpts from JustDisciple - https://justdisciple.com/stages-of-discipleship/)

November 2022 Spiritual Growth Challenge

“Is Your Cross too Heavy to Bear?”

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”.
~ Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

The story of the heavy cross is a familiar story told in various ways over the years. It serves as a reminder that despite the burdens or the challenges we experience, God is still with us and He continues to bestow on us His manifold blessings. It also serves as reminder that others are often experiencing challenges much greater than ours. Whenever our burdens seem too much to bear, we must look to the Lord God Almighty and rest in His promises.

Story of the Heavy Cross
"A troubled and burdened man prayed and prayed that God would lift his burden. Day after day he prayed that his life would be easier, and he begged for God's intervention.

One day, Jesus came to the man and asked, "My child, what troubles you?" The man replied that his life was full of turmoil and that it had become too much to bear. He again asked for help stating that he just couldn't continue to go on.

Jesus, feeling the man's anguish, decided help was in order. The man was so happy that his prayers were about to be answered that his burden already felt lighter.

Jesus took the man to a room and stopped in front of the door. When he opened the door, what the man saw was amazing. The room was filled with crosses; little crosses, big crosses, giant crosses. The man, bewildered, looked at Jesus and asked how this would help him. Jesus explained that each cross represented a burden that people carry; small burdens, big burdens, giant burdens -- and every burden in-between.

At this point, Jesus offered the man the opportunity to choose his burden. The man, so excited that he was finally able to have some control over his life, looked around the room for just the right cross. He saw a tiny little cross way back in the corner. It was the smallest cross in the room. After a bit of thought, he pointed to the cross and said, "That one, Lord. I want that one." Jesus asked, "Are you sure, my son?" The man quickly replied, "Oh, yes Lord. Most definitely, yes."

Jesus turned to the man and replied, "My child, you have chosen your own cross. It is the burden you already carry."

~Author Unknown~

As we face the burdens and challenges of life, remember that the Lord never promised that we could pick our cross, but He promised to be there to help us bear it!

December 2022 Spiritual Growth Challenge

The Book of Luke in the Bible has 24 chapters in it. You can read a chapter a day for the next 24 days, and on Christmas morning, you will know the events surrounding the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.