Resolving to spend daily time with Jesus in 2012

It is resolution time again!   That wonderful time of year when people buy gym memberships, health books and get financial advice for the coming year.  How did you do on last year’s resolution?  Many people find that even with their determination now to make a change, a lot of these resolutions get forgotten not long into the new year.

Many Christians start the year with a plan to read their Bibles through, but that doesn’t always happen either.  We have our winter youth retreats in the coming weeks and with them come new commitments.  But, these commitments meet daily life and often get forgotten.  This year could be different!  What if this year we each take on just one serious committment; to spending time each day reading the Bible.  As a youth pastor I think a lot about what I can do to get youth to read their Bibles because it just doesn’t seem to be happening.  And yet, I firmly believe that what they are not reading is actually the very thing that they need.  Some will say it is not relevant, I would say that it is the most relevant word there is. Adults, this is essential for you too!

“For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

How many Bibles do you have in your home?  Those are not just books, they contain the living Word of God!  Are they being used, or are they collecting dust?  A 2012 with a serious commitment to read the Bible will involve effort because we all know it will not happen on its own.  It is essential to us to read our Bibles to both know Jesus better and make sense of the world.

It is also important to allow the Word of God to cleanse us of our sin. In our sinful state, we are dirty all over.  Any attempt to clean ourselves up, doesn’t last and more often than not just makes things worse.  It is only when we go beyond any human efforts, to God’s Word, that we get cleaned up.

God's Word Cleans Us

How is anyone going to know the difference between what is true and what isn’t true if they aren’t learning the truth! Our society is getting more secular in its thinking and that is making people really question what they believe.  The answers are right there in the pages of Scripture, if we are just willing to read it.

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and our of season; correct, rebuke and encourage– with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” – 2 Timothy 4:2-4

So, do you want to get started reading the Bible in 2012?  Here are some ideas:

Don’t get caught up on the amount of reading to be done.  Many people who have not read much of the Bible simply take on more than they can handle, get discouraged, and walk away.  Some of the reading plans have a lot of reading in them everyday.   Pick something that is realistic for you and do that.  I will list a few at the bottom to help.

Pick a time and place that works each day and make it happen.  Many things in life demand time and we give time to them.  Why not set up a time for the reading of the Word?

Rearrange priorities to more reflect who you are.  One of the most consistent things I hear from teenagers is that they just don’t have time to read their Bible.  That just is not possible.  With television, Facebook, texting, homework, eating, listening to music, sports and sleeping, yes a lot of time is used. All I am saying is that the time is there, it just might need to be rearranged slightly.

 Stick with it.  I know that there are days it might seem dry, but push through that.  Every day ask God to give you a hunger and love for His Word and watch as He does it.  Maybe you want to grab a friend or spouse to partner with on this.  For those that join a gym in January, I bet greater success for follow through goes to those that have someone to work out with.

Remember the Goal.   Get rid of the mindset that this is an assignment to check off a list. It is time with Jesus.  Make the necessary investment in order to turn off the distraction and sit with Jesus; to hear from Him!  It will make all the difference in your life.

 “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass” ~Jesus Christ

*Feel free to comment and share what works for you.  We can all learn from each other.*

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Bible Reading Plans (a few of many out there)

Bible Gateway  3 different reading plans to choose from, with e-mail reminders to help

Nav Press 3 different reading plans that range in time and can be started at anytime during the year

Blue Letter Bible 6 different ones to choose from

Zondervan Have reading plans based on how familiar you are with the Bible, as well as time frames

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14 comments

  1. awesome post, I have started with a daily bible reading plan about 3 weeks ago, and I do it normally in the mornings, i sometimes do more than just the daily amount though because i find i want to read more and not just 1 or 2 chapters.

    1. That is really awesome! When this is done consistently, it does make a difference. I often tell people to just read one verse if they are really that busy…just read something and let it sink in. I know you will be blessed as God grows you through His Word.

  2. I have tried the “Bible in a Year” but always get discouraged when I get to Kings & Chronicles. Those books, to me, are such hard books to read. Gonna try reading just a handful of verses in these books & then switching to another book that is a easier read for me. Hopefuly this will help me to finaly accomplish getting through those two.

    1. That is what many people experience. I think your approach is very wise. I would be curious to know how it goes for you. I am trying a different reading plan this year, just for fun. I will write about it soon.

  3. Both OliveTree and YouVersion have Bible reading plans as well. I wanted something different and will be using Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling. It’s an updated and more appealing take on the God Calling classic.

  4. Trying to teach my SS class to begin having a quiet time that includes Bible reading (starting with just a verse if that’s all they can do). I also tell them how hard it is to get this down and do it consistently, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian. The enemy is always out to distract in one way or another. That’s where that determination thing comes in handy. And an intentional desire to feed the spirit and starve the flesh. Good information:)

  5. Wonderful blog Derek. At this time, I still haven’t managed to read to whole Bible. My problem seems to be the Book of Leviticus. Though it is amazing the amount of work that it took to be “CLEAN”, I am happy that Jesus gave us a reprieve. Like my favorite T-shirt says ” Not perfect, just Forgiven”. Keep up the good work and God Bless You, Grant

    1. That is the beauty of God and His grace. Also, the book of Leviticus can be a challenge. Those are the areas people get discouraged in with these Bible reading plans. I would say rather than stop because you can’t read through Leviticus, read a different area. Thanks for the kind words.

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