Welcome to 2009!! I hope your Christmas and New Years were memorable and fun. I also pray that in 2009, God keeps you and your family healthy, happy, and safe.
A few months ago, I wrote that I was taking charge of my Bible studies - by starting to read the entire Bible from start to finish. Those of you who have tried this before probably just sat back and chuckled. Yeah... it didn't go so well. I'm on Exodus. But apparently lots of other people just within our church must have tried this technique out too (and failed) because God has impressed upon the leadership in our church that we should all be reading His Word (completely), and the church leaders have taken that call to action:
My church purchased the Daily NIV Bible for EVERY MEMBER (2500+) of the congregation as well as Bibles for each of the school age children! This particular edition provides a section of the Old Testament, a section of the New Testament, as well as a Psalm or Proverb each day. The kids' Bibles provide a section of the Old Testament and a specific verse from the New Testament. It breaks down to just 2-and-a-half pages per day if you stay on track! And, by the end of the year, the adults will have read the entire Bible while the kids will have read every major story!
In last Sunday's adult Bible fellowship class, our leader discussed "manuals" and how every major purchase, toy, gadget, appliance, electronical, etc. comes with an instruction manual. Actually READING the manual and following the directions for set-up, usually makes the usage of whatever gadget much easier. The same is true for life. God made an instruction manual for His creations!! Within the Bible, you can get answers to life's most pressing questions, quick FAQ's for a smoother life, or troubleshoot problems that may arise! Yet most of us (myself included!) just open the Bible when we have to look up a specific verse or deal with a specific problem. It will work so much better for us if we actually know the context in which each of those verses are given, because how can we know God's Will if we don't know what the Bible even says??
New Year's Resolutions are so easily broken, forgotten, or discarded. So instead of calling it a resolution, make this a GOAL of yours for 2009. Join me in reading the entire Bible this year. Apply what you learn, and let God work through you. If you want to join me in the 2009 Bible Challenge, just visit our church's website: http://www.ccmason.org/about/ttbible.html. They have .pdf's of the portions we have to read each day so you can follow along with your own Bible! Happy reading!!