Powering the New Year with the Old Book.

Powering the New Year with the Old Book.

One New Year’s challenge that I always look forward to is reading through the Bible beginning January first. Honestly, I don’t always get the whole text read in a year. Sometimes interruptions get in the way.   On other occasions, I find God grabbing my attention to stop and meditate on one single verse in the day’s reading instead of pressing on with the rest of the text.

But I’ve found that a daily practice of systematically working through the Bible has been just as important spiritually as eating a healthy diet is for the physical. The objective is simply coming before the life-changing Word of God regularly and allowing HIM to change us.

In my vocation, it’s easy to check out and look at the Bible as a textbook. By this, I mean merely studying the content for sermon preparation, teaching, and the like. But, unfortunately, that’s probably not too far off for many of us. In other words, it’s easy to take it for granted. Yet somehow, we know there’s something different to this book. The Bible is still the number one selling book of all time. It is both mysterious and rational. It is known to change even the hardest of hearts and bring purpose, clarity, and hope for those honestly seeking answers.

I know; some have argued against or wondered about the validity of the Bible.  On the surface, that is a good question. To that, I have written in places such as here on the reliability of the text. So, yes, there are indeed rational reasons to trust the Bible and learn from it today for those honestly seeking truth.

Therefore, the challenge that I’m passing along to you is to pick up the Old Book in the New Year and dive in. Don’t worry if you miss a day or can only grab a few verses on another. Just pick it up again the next day at the scheduled reading spot. No, you may not end up having read every single word of the text in 2022. But if you are not at least setting a road map, you’ll never travel anywhere. It’s not about legalism anyway. The purpose is not more religious points scored with God but instead preparing the heart for Him to speak into your life and the lives of His people, the church.

I have often remembered a quote attributed to the 19th century English preacher, Charles Spurgeon, who supposedly said, “The Word of God is like a lion. You don’t have to defend a lion. All you have to do is let the lion loose, and the lion will defend itself.” I like that regardless of who said it. It conveys that the Word of God is powerful and will indeed transform your life today.  There are several good online plans to read the Bible through in a year.  This is the one that I use and here are other options.

As for me going into 2022, I’m in. What about you?

 

New Year in the Old Book.

New Year in the Old Book.

One of the things that I’ve been looking forward to as we kick off 2017 is reading through the Bible again devotionally.  I don’t always get the whole book read in a year as some passages are missed because of interruptions in life.  But I’ve found that a daily practice of systematically working through the Bible has been just as important spiritually as eating a healthy diet is physically.  The objective is one of simply coming before the life changing Word of God on a regular basis and allowing HIM to change us.

In my occupation it’s easy to check out and simply look at the Bible as a text book.  By this I mean merely studying the content for sermon preparation, teaching, and the like.  Actually, that’s probably not too far off for many of us.  In other words, it’s easy to take it for granted.  Somehow we know there’s something different to this book and we have at least one laying around our house even if it’s just the white covered gift Bible we got from our grandmother at High School graduation; but we ignore it.  Thus many times it just sits next to the Webster’s Dictionary until we hit the wall emotionally and seeks an answer from the Divine.

A lot of folks question the validity of scripture and speculate whether it can be trusted or not.  Many people suggest that “because the Bible was written so long ago and was translated so many times” that it just can’t be reliable for us today.  If that is true, then the Bible rightly should be questioned. (more…)