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Posts Tagged ‘Bible Reading Plans’

Getting A Little Personal

September 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Bible QuestionThere are so many ways to read the Bible. You can read it like great literature, read it for academic purposes, read it to understand a culture, read it to gain a sense of morality, or, of course, read it for a myriad of spiritual reasons—to know GOD, to know His Son to know the working of His Spirit.

I’ve discovered the best way to read the Bible is to make it personal, to view the message of God’s Word as personal, and to understand the words as written for me—personally. How’s that for personal?

The Bible itself encourages this method of Bible study. David, speaking in Psalm 16:11, says, “You make known to me the paths of life.” David has a personal relationship with God. While it’s true the Bible has a message for all people, God intends for that message to be understood and received by each individual.

Although I read through the Bible every year, I always ask for new insight into how each day’s reading is speaking to me personally, what personal message God is intending for me in the verses, and in what way a particular Scripture can deepen my personal relationship with Him.

How personal can it get? Psalm 139 says it all.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

 

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

For a great selection of various Bible Reading Plans, click here.

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Best “Hack” Ever!

July 16, 2016 2 comments

open book on a cloudIf you’ve spent any time at all on any of the social media sites, you’ve come across something called “best hacks” or “unbelievable hacks.” These are usually discoveries people have made to make life easier. Whether it’s simply a description or a full-fledged video, each discovery uses a tagline to get your attention. My favorite is “this shouldn’t work, but it does.”

Here’s my own “best hack” for having a meaningful, God-glorifying, devotional moment. And yes, “this shouldn’t work, but it does.”

Take almost any Scripture, short or long, random or favorite, and read it through once. Then, go back and emphasize each word, using that word’s meaning to draw your attention to the Lord.

Here’s an example from Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

God–Of course, this is an easy one. Focus on your Creator, the maker of all things.

Is–Focus on God’s state of being; the essence of being the “I Am.”

Our–Focus on belonging to Him

Refuge–Focus on God as a shelter

And–Focus on God being more than

Strength–Focus on the availability of His strength for you

By the time you’ve completed this simple exercise, you will have glorified God and, most assuredly, you will have been blessed yourself.

Come And Dine!

March 12, 2016 Leave a comment

Thanksgiving table decorationI’ve discovered having a successful Quiet Time is a lot like having a dinner party.  To have a successful dinner party, you’ve got to plan well. I do that by asking myself several questions.  Who will I invite to the party?  What will be the main course?  What will I use for a table decoration? Will I use the good china or my everyday dishes?

It’s the same with having a daily devotional time. I have to plan for a successful outcome by asking some pertinent questions. What version of the Bible will I use?  Will I read the Bible through this year or study one book at a time?  Will I record my thoughts in a journal? What’s the best time for me to be alone with God?

I seldom have a party without something unexpected happening. There might be a quick solution to the problem, like making a fast trip to the grocery store when the ice maker stops working.  Sometimes, however, there is no easy solution, and things just don’t turn out the way you’d hoped, although your guests will probably not notice when things go wrong.

You need to expect the unexpected during your Quiet Time too. There will be days when the telephone rings, the dog needs to go out, or the kids wake up early. At those times, you might be able to resume your appointment with the Lord.  On the other hand, some interruptions don’t have quick solutions, and your daily devotional time may seem like a failure, although I doubt the Lord will ever feel your time with Him is ever a failure.

My most enjoyable dinner parties aren’t necessarily those rare ones where everything turns out beautifully. Instead, it’s the one where I forgot to make the gravy because I was hearing about my friend’s hurt feelings or the one where I decided to stop looking for the wooden salad bowl so I could hear a funny story from someone who never tells funny stories.

Having an enjoyable daily Quiet Time may not always involve high moments of ecstatic wonder or theological insight. A pleasing time with the Lord may be consumed with painful confessions or heartbreaking requests. Yet, in the end, the real reason for having a Quiet Time, like the real reason for the dinner party, is to set aside time in your day for sharing yourself with a friend.

Complimentary words from guests as they leave your home when the party’s over are always nice to hear. But, listen to these complimentary words from the writer of Psalm 119 after spending time with the Lord, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”(Psalm 119:103)

Tomorrow’s The Day!

December 31, 2015 Leave a comment

 Goodbye, 2015. Hello, 2016.

Tomorrow, January 1st, is a day of promise. To many, it holds the enticing thought of a brand new start, a day to wipe the slate clean, to begin anew.

January 1st could rightly be renamed The Day of Hope.

  • We hope to lose weight, get more sleep, eat healthy.
  • We hope to be more productive, not procrastinate, get organized.
  • We hope to get a better job, earn more money, buy a new house.

But, so much of what we hope for tomorrow will just be wishful thinking.

There’s a different kind of hope that’s not just wishful thinking. It’s a hope centered on Christ, a confidence that what God has promised He’ll bring to pass. It’s the future tense of faith.

How can we have this hope that’s not just wishful thinking? Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” It’s the Word of God that makes faith and hope possible. All of your days in 2016 can be A Day of Hope by reading God’s Word.

Check out these Daily Bible Reading Plans for hope-filled days in 2016.

 

 

Why Not Start January 1st?

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

dribb-1A New Year. A New You. That phrase, or some variation of it, often appears in commercials and print advertisements around this time of year. It’s used to motivate a consumer to purchase a product which will make a difference in a person’s  health, appearance, or career choice in the new year. At least that’s what’s promised.

While such products may indeed change a person’s health, appearance, or career choice, a true version of the “New You” only comes through the One who created it all, the Creator God. Ezekiel 36:26, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

This same promise is repeated in the New Testament. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

How does God work to bring about the “new heart” or the “new creature” described in these verses? He’s sent His Word down to earth, to His Creation, to do just that. “And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” John 1:14.

By putting faith in His Word,  that is, in His communication with man in the form of His son, Jesus Christ, a person can become a new creature.

Faith in Christ is what makes you a New You.

However, the New You must be renewed daily. Renewal in Christ comes through reading His Word. ” For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.

Why not start your daily renewal of the New You on January 1st? Explore all your options for daily spending time in His Word on these websites.

Bible Reading Plans for 2015

Resources for Reading The Bible in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have A Plan?

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year, the transitional week between putting away the Christmas decorations and bringing out next year’s calendar, between eating the last of the Christmas cookies and considering a good diet to begin New Year’s Day.  But the main thing I do during this week is to finalize my decision as to what plan I’ll use to read the Bible next year.  Every year I try to read through the Bible using a different plan.  Occasionally, I’ll skip a year of reading the whole Bible and just do either the Old Testament or the New, and I’ve even opted to just do one whole book for the whole year, like the Gospel of John, reading it several times and reading someone’s commentary on it.

This year our church is reading through the Bible together as a church body, using a comprehensive plan in which the pastor will also preach each Sunday’s sermon on the material the congregation has just finished reading the week before.  This plan is called “Read The Bible For Life.”  You can read more about the plan and access the readings here.

I’ve also decided to do my reading on my iPad using the ESV Study Bible app.  Instead of making notes in the margins of my Bible (which is plenty full of notes already), I’ll be using the note feature of the app and typing in my notes.  I also plan to take my iPad to church with me and make notes in the Bible app as the pastor preaches.  (I just hope no one thinks I’m playing my Words With Friends during the sermon!)

There’s a very good reason to feed on God’s Word every day:  Jesus said to do so.  He explained that daily physical eating was not enough and admonished us not to live that way, “but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)  Paul in Colossians 3:16 said that God’s Word should build a home within our hearts and teach us wisdom.  I don’t believe this happens by hearing a once-a-week sermon.   I believe a daily intake of Scripture is the only means of discovering the beautiful jewels hidden in the bountiful treasure of God’s revelation of Himself.

Do you have a plan?   Here’s a comprehensive link for discovering some great Reading Plans For The Bible.

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