So, did you get your Bible? Do you have a notebook and pen? Do you have a plan? Of when you will have your devotional time, of where you will keep it so that you don’t have to look for it each day, of who you will invite to join you? I am excited to get started! I will mostly likely post notes towards the end of the week. Please comment or email me what you are learning. I know God will be generous in His divine lessons for all of us!
Each week, I suggest that you think through and jot down in a notebook the following:
Name one thing that you have learned from the Old Testament.
Name one thing you have learned from the New Testament.
Name one thing you have learned from the Psalms.
Name one thing you have learned from Proverbs.
Before you begin reading your Bible, whisper a prayer to God that He would teach you, rebuke you, correct you and train you in righteousness. Pray that He would reveal any unconfessed sin so that the distance that causes would not keep you from hearing what he wants to teach you.
Your time with the Lord is not just about reading. It is about listening. Listening to the quiet, deeply personal whispers of your God to you, his beloved child.
The Holy Spirit is your teacher. I simply want to be your encourager and accountability partner. I want to share with you what I am learning and hear what you are learning.
May the Lord bless our endeavors this year. May His Word bear great fruit in our hearts and minds and actions this year.
One final note before we begin. In the coming months, I want to encourage you toward this end:
Cherish your Bible. I first thought of other verbs which didn’t set right with my heart. I thought of “read your Bible” I thought of “study your Bible”, but neither of those words seemed to convey what is on my heart. And then I thought of CHERISH.
Webster says CHERISH means: to hold dear: feel or show affection for; to keep or cultivate with care and affection; to nurture. It also means to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.
CHERISH your Bible.
In our travels to China Mont once spoke to a North Korean underground Christian who told about one technique the government used to find underground Christians. The teachers were instructed to ask the children if their parents had a special book, one that they cherished, one that they hid in a special place. When the children answered honestly, they had unknowingly betrayed their own parents to the police. He told Mont that after that, some of the parents disappeared and were never seen again. The children became wards of the state. As horrifying as that story is, I would hope if my tiniest children were asked the same question, they would be able to say, “Yes! My mom has a book like that—one that she cherishes above all others.” There are many great Christian books out there, but they should never take precedence over THE BOOK. It’s not okay to read a good Christian book for your devotion, instead of your Bible. I can say that because I write Christian books. Only the Bible is the Living Word, only the Bible is the Sword of the Spirit which defends you and defeats Satan’s schemes. Only the Bible can give you strength and transform your heart. Cherish your Bible.
As a reminder, I am reading the One Year Bible. This is an easy way to read through the Bible in a year. I have done this for years and it has enriched my life in more ways than I can explain. You can purchase that particular Bible in whichever version you desire. You can download the One Year Bible app. This allows you to listen to the passages if you get behind. But I do encourage you to also buy an actual Bible in book form. Be prepared to mark it up, highlight what you find applicable, date it when you feel the Lord whispering to you, make notes in the margins, circle important words, etc.
When my grandmother died, I inherited one of her most prized possessions—her Bible. I love to flip through it and read her notes in her own handwriting. I hope my own kids and grandkids will enjoy this as much when I go to my heavenly home. Starting this year, my plan is to buy a new Bible each year. I will try out different translations, then probably end up back to the beloved NIV. But each Bible will be fresh, and the notes which inspired me last year will not distract me from seeing something different. And I will have many Bibles with my handwritten notes to pass down to my abundance of children!
Invite a friend to join us! I will be praying for you tomorrow as I read the precious Word of God.