Renewing Our Minds in 2010

It’s that time of year for reflection, rejoicing, renewal and planning.  We look back to assess 2009 and face the new year with prayerful hope and expectation.  One serious undertaking is considering which Bible reading plan I am going to embark on.  Last year, I started with reading the Bible chronologically with many others in our church.  However, I got sooooo hungry for reading more of the New Testament that I decided to drop that one.  I switched to an old favorite by Professor Horner.  It is an intense, vigorous but wonderful Bible-reading program!  I read the 10 chapters a day in my more youthful college-years but 4 (almost 5) children later, it’s difficult to find the time to keep up with it.  I do highly recommend it though!

Another favorite of mine is the M’Cheyne bible reading plan.  It goes through the Bible, reading 4 readings a day.  It’s separated for family worship and private reading but some like to read one part in the morning and the other in the evening.

This year, I found something that can go on my ipod.  YouVersion has 20+ reading plans that you can choose from.  I wanted to read through the OT once and the NT twice and well, there it was! There are many websites that offer a list of reading plans but you can start with looking at the ones I’ve linked to in the side bar.

Whichever plan you choose, remember, this is only a plan.  I find that often a reading calendar is a source of pride or fall.   “Yup, I’m totally caught up!” with a little air of self-satisfaction.  Or, too often, with shame and discouragement, “I dropped off the schedule by the end of February.”  It was good to read this blog where it was mentioned that a Bible-reading plan is not something that is to bind the conscience.  Too often, it’s another checklist or resolution that invokes guilt and resentment instead of being the tool that it is.  To have a Bible reading plan is to have a plan.  It puts “a sense of organization and structured thinking to a Christian’s life.  If I don’t follow the calendar every exact day, it’s no big deal.  The main thing is that I would organize my schedule and delight in God’s inscribed Word…”

Undoubtedly, reading and meditating on God’s Word is foundational in our Christian walk and discipline.  May the glory of God be deeply impressed on our heart, souls and minds this year as we delight in His Word!

“Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest, and strongest Christian.” Thomas Brooks

“It was only yesterday, after laying down the Bible, that I wondered what kind of mind I would have had if I had not the Book of God, the Book containing the astounding idea of ‘from everlasting to everlasting,’ the development of all that is worth knowing … One would think, that as I have critically and, I think, devoutly read and examined every verse, every word in the Bible, some a score of times over, I should not require to open the pages of that unspeakable blessed Book. Alas, for the human memory! I read the Bible today with the same feeling I ever did, like the hungry when seeking food, the thirsty when seeking drink, the bewildered when seeking counsel and the mourner when seeking comfort. Don’t you believe all this? For alas, I read it sometimes as a formal thing, though my heart condemns me afterwards … I am yet astonished at my own ignorance of the Bible!”  Robert Mofatt

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Reading to Know Christ

*Title edited: it was bothering me to have the Lord’s name so flippantly stated in the title.*
I have been truly enjoying reading my Bible – yes, it’s only been a week since I’ve started chronologically!  I’ve never used a study Bible before to read through the year, I’ve always had what I call a ‘no-cheat’ Bible with only references and lots of margin to write in!  It’s a treat to have some additional insights along the way. 
This morning’s Revive Our Hearts key quotes set the tone for reading and studying God’s precious Word.  I wanted to share their thoughts:
  • “The Bible does not thrill. The Bible nourishes. Give time to the reading of the Bible and the recreating effect is as real as that of fresh air physically.” (Oswald Chambers)
  • God loved us so much He gave us this Book to show us His heart, to teach us His ways, to teach us His plan.
  • Don’t miss the point of Bible study. Don’t miss the point of Bible reading. Don’t just consider it as something to check off your to-do list. The purpose of getting into the Word is to meet Jesus.

The full version is here.

Delight and Meditate in 2009

Last week, our pastor took time to encourage us to read through the Bible as a church family.  What could have been redundant and cliche ended up refreshingly motivating.  The emphasis was not on reading, rather, the appeal was to delight in the Lord and meditate upon His word.  

Year after year, I start out with different Bible reading plans and somewhere along the way I lose momentum and then fall far short of the finish line.  I’m so grateful that the Lord gives us a brand new year to try again!  I’ve linked to a few websites that have excellent reading plans and ideas.  Choose something and pray for diligence and for joy as you delight and meditate upon His Word.

http://www.esv.org/biblereadingplans

http://theologica.blogspot.com/2008/12/bible-reading-plans.html

http://www.backtothebible.org/index.php/Bible-Reading-Guides.html