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Jan 2012

Bible Reading in 2012

“The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” Proverbs 14:15

The proverb above teaches that God desires for His people to be wise and thoughtful (cf. Matthew 10:16). There are many aspects of our lives which we should plan for, and the most important of these should always be those centered on God. John Piper exhorts “…plan how prayer and meditation on the Word are going to be significant parts of your life. Without a plan these most important things always get pushed aside by urgent pressures.” As a new year begins, don’t neglect to take time to plan for your spiritual growth this year, including how you will daily engage God’s word.

Being fed daily from the Bible is awesome. It is the very word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13), the means of salvation (Romans 10:17), the chosen instrument of instruction and correction (2 Timothy 3:14), a medium of encouragement (Romans 15:4), a lamp shining in the darkness (2 Peter 1:19), that which will bring people into the inheritance of the Lord (Acts 20:32), the witness to true life (John 5:39), that which is valiantly protected by the Lord (Revelation 22:18-19), alive and active (Hebrews 4:12), the revelation of Christ to the whole world (Romans 16:25-27), the test of one’s truthfulness in communicating God’s desires and declarations (1 Corinthians 14:37), the words of restoration (Isaiah 29:18,19), a preacher of the Gospel (Galatians 3:7-9), a basis for conversion (Acts 17:2,3), utterly truthful (Proverbs 30:5,6), the tool of the Holy Spirit for good (Ephesians 6:17), a witness of the Lord forever (Isaiah 30:8), and that which should be made fully known (Colossians 1:24,25).

There are many ways in which you can read God’s word on a daily basis. For a lot of people, using a Bible reading plan can be a great help and encouragement. If you are interested in using one, we found a couple resources that may help you. First, Justin Taylor has a great blog post with numerous resource. If you’re a smartphone user, YouVersion is a great app with numerous reading plans built in. Finally, Zondervan has put together a lot of different reading plans based on length and topic.

If you do decide to start using a Bible reading plan, as in all things, it is important to be grace-driven. Focusing on the gospel allows us to avoid both the pride and despair that can come from following a reading plan.

First, there is the matter of pride. Sometimes when we are particularly disciplined, we tend to feel superior to others who drag behind. We boast in ourselves, rather than in the Lord. We must know that our righteousness before God does not come from what we do or accomplish, like checking off a box next to a reading assignment – “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In light of Christ’s sacrifice, all who are in Him have no room to look down on others or think themselves great based on any of their own doings. The gospel allows us to celebrate God’s gift of His word and His drawing us into it.

Second, there is the matter of despair. For those less disciplined, who struggle with keeping up to any prescribed plan, there can come a feeling of inferiority and dejection when your Bible reading isn’t going as well “as it should.” Again, the answer to these feelings is to know that your righteousness in God’s eyes comes through Christ and not yourself. Though you may struggle and want to grow in your disciplines, know that you have a loving Father who devotedly, graciously, and impartially gives encouragement, strength, and wisdom to all of His children whom He will never cast out of His presence (Acts 1:8, 2 Timothy 1:6–7, Isaiah 41:8-10, John 6:37).

Reading plan or not, in 2012 may the very word of the Lord be your counselor and guide.

Post by Mike Landis. Mike is a first year MDiv student at Southeastern Seminary and is helping out around the Redemption Hill office while on winter break.

imagrs

1 Comments

Evette

January 12 2012 Reply

Hi
This was an excellent post. I was inspired by all the helpful hints, sights, suggestions and encouragements. Although, with life being at such a hectic pace, I am desperately trying to figure out how to get my bible reading done. I was unaware of youversion, so that was an extra boost for me. My phone is never far from my hands, so I can read verses anytime.
So I wouldn’t get discouraged, I decided to do partial Bible reading and set short goals of topics of books.

Thanks so much.

In his grace,

Evette

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