Friday, December 30, 2016

Read the Bible in 2017

Here's a note I sent to one of my small groups this morning:

Good morning brothers,

As we approach the new year I want to encourage us to read at least the entire New Testament in the coming year. In the past I've sent out a reading schedule to help us do that, but I can't find it this morning so I'm including a link to a website that contains a number of Bible-reading schedules. I hope if you are not currently using a reading plan that you will select one of these.

Reading one NT chapter a day means that we can read the entire NT by mid-September.

If someone still has this year's NT plan I'd love for you to send it to me - I hate losing files that I've worked on. 

Here's the link:

Of course, we are called to know the Old Testament as well, and so a plan to read the OT on a regular basis is also important. 

There are many reasons to know the Bible - the greatest reason is that in the Word of God we meet the God of the Word. If we don't know the Bible we will always be at the mercy of others and we will be kidding ourselves if we think we can "wing it" as Christians without knowing the Scriptures. 

One of the main points that Harry continually worked with us on was that we need to always ask the question, "What does God say about this subject? What does the Bible say?" In one sense it really doesn't matter what I think or you think - what matters is what God says and whether we are going to align our thinking and actions and feelings with God. 

Francis Schaeffer said that one reason he read the Bible daily was to cleanse his mind - I like that. We live in a toxic world, what people say, what our eyes and ears are exposed to, what assaults our minds, is toxic. We are deluding ourselves if we don't think all of this toxicity affects us - the Word of God, the Bible, is the best defense and antidote there is to toxicity. 

In addition to the above, in my own life I read the Bible for the sake of others; for my family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I need to be connected to God's Word so that I can be, by God's grace, a blessing to those around me. I need to be anchored in God's Word so that I can be, in some measure, a place of peace and encouragement and witness for others - because in case you haven't noticed, the world is drunk on anxiety and madness. 

As Ed Cole used to say, "Being a male is a matter of birth; being a man is a matter of choice." Men who follow Jesus Christ read and meditate on the Word of Christ, the Word of God. Frankly, the Bible give us courage to live in a world of cowards, it gives us courage to go against the grain, to be identified with Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

Much love,


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