I began 2013 committing to focus on one word for the year: Believe. This turned into Believing God and a secondary focus on God’s Promises. I set out to scour the Bible to learn about God’s promises and how I could rightly apply those promises to my life. This was, in a way, my mission statement for the year.
As 2013 comes to a close I realize that, while I have learned much and been given many opportunities to “Believe God,” I still have so, so much to learn… about the Bible. In my pursuit of God’s promises I realized that I really have only scratched the surface of the depth and breadth of the Word of God. Perhaps one will never come to the end of this depth but I have come to realize (admit) that, despite my pride, I really don’t know the scriptures as well as I think. Why does this matter?
Some of the other insights gleaned from this year of Believing God, include a proper instruction and total conviction of the living and active power of the Word. As a believer in Jesus, God’s word is the most valuable asset in which to invest my time and on which to build my life. I think that I have done the best I could up until now. I have memorized verses, I have read chapters of the Bible, some verses are highlighted and others are underlined. I have definitely spent alot of time over the years of my life studying the Bible. But I have never read it all. I still have so much to learn.
Furthermore, and I have said this on the blog before, the biggest insight of this year is that the entire Bible is a promise. All of it. A promise of redemption, forgiveness, salvation, freedom, eternal life and more, if there could even be more than those. So for me, what started as a quest to know God’s Promises turned into a realization that, in order to best understand God’s Promises I must obtain a clearer and firmer understanding of the entirety of his Word.
So my focus for 2014 is going to be on God’s Word. Its a broad topic for sure. But I am thrilled about it because I will learn SO MUCH along the way. I am especially looking forward to obtaining a deeper connection and personal application to the concepts of mercy and grace found all throughout the Bible.
To help me in this new quest, for Christmas my husband gave me four extremely valuable resources to get me deeper into my study. I am going to read the Bible chronologically using a method called Read the Bible for Life, written by Dr. George Guthrie, a professor from my alma mater, Union University. I am so excited to dive into a chronological reading of scripture. The readings are thematically chronological, for example I wont read the entire book of Psalms at once, the Psalms will be placed in chronological order as their context applies to other books of the Bible. I probably didn’t do a great job of explaining that but I hope it makes sense.
What I love about this plan is that it lasts all year, unlike other Bible studies that typically only last 8-12 weeks; its all laid out and ready, all I have to do is make the time to read it. The daily readings are not dated like other year-long reading plans so I wont feel super stressed if the calendar doesn’t match up with the day I am on in my reading because lets face it, I am going to fall behind a bit. There is no way around that one, I have baby, a toddler and even more surprises to come in 2014.
So my hope is that this time next year I am celebrating something I’ve never been able to complete in my life: reading through the entire Bible. I can’t wait to discover all the richness that awaits!
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
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
But Jesus answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4