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
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.
“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.*
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