Resolving to spend daily time with Jesus in 2012 (revisited)

As I wrap up vacation, I am sharing a couple of posts from the past. This one was from the beginning of the year when people were making resolutions.  This might be a good time to recommit to reading the Bible, as by this time in the summer many people have stopped.  We will be back to new posts on Wednesday.

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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6 comments

  1. We have been going over that passage in our sermons these past two weeks, on Christ offering eternal life through his blood and flesh and the stories behind it in the Bible. A few years back, when I was on our Church Council, we decided to have communion every week. My wife, raised a Baptist, disputed it saying Communion in their church came a lot less often and helped you appreciate and think about its signifcance. I agree on both views. What do you think?

    1. We have it on the first Sunday of the month. I don’t see a problem with either, except that I do tend to lean more toward your wife’s view on it. The reason is that it could become more routine and lose the “do this in remembrance of me” significance. That can be true about anything. The point is not how often we do it, it is why we do it. There is no need to have communion every week, unless you want to.

  2. I push this so hard with my kids! How can they learn anything if they aren’t in the Word!!?? I am thinking of making or buying a “calendar” of some sort with scripture on it as a gift so they can at least read a bit every day that way. It just occured to me reading this that I can pray for God to give them a hunger and thirst for His Word!!!! I’ll let you know how that works out 🙂 This and daily quiet time/prayer are struggles we will always have with us. It takes discipline. Angie

    1. I am going to try something new this year with my leaders and students who want it. We will ask kids if they want to receive a text message once a week with a verse from a leader. This does two things: 1) it gives the leader a contact with a student 2) it gets the student at the very minimum one verse of scripture a week. That is a start. God can bring the increase on that.

      1. That’s a great idea Derek! I send txt messages most weeks with a little teaser about the Sunday School lesson coming up or to ask if they kept a commitment in the last one. Adding a scripture txt is a great idea. 🙂

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