Posts filed under ‘Bible in 365’
I have a confession to make. As soon as the Bible in 365 reading plan finished, my quiet time has been spotty at best. I have had a hard time consistently taking the time to read the Bible and pray. As much as I want to blame it on my 2-year-old who decided that fighting nap-time is her top priority, I know deep in my heart that I find the time to do the things that are truly important to me.
Anyway, some members of my church are doing an in-depth Bible study plan and this week we began the book of Hebrews. The plan just tells us to study Hebrews from March 24th through April 20th and leaves what we actually read or study on a day-to-day basis up to ourselves. I like the flexibility of the plan, but I soon discovered that I needed to create a day-by-day study plan in order to stick with it. I did not make this just so I could check off a box but so that I would take the time to study God’s Word every day. This plan is still flexible; if I need to spend more or less time on something, then I will, but I needed a simple outline to follow.
One note: You will notice I have access to many different study Bibles. This is one of the benefits of marrying a man who was already a Christian. We both had our own bookshelves of Bibles and Bible resources when we got married. Of course, we also added to it over the years. Don’t feel like you have to pay for special Bibles in order to study God’s Word. You can find a wealth of information free on-line at BibleGateway.com or BlueLetterBible.org. And let us not forget that the best study guide is the Holy Spirit. “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26) For without Him, nothing will be revealed to you. And with Him, you can unlock the secrets of eternity. All Bible study must be bathed in prayer.
Maybe you will find this helpful too. Am I also sharing it to hold myself accountable (so please feel free to pester me about having my daily quiet time). So, here it is in case you need something a little more specific like I did.
- March 24th: Read introductions to Hebrews in various study Bibles or on-line
- March 25th: Read the whole book of Hebrews (this is not the time to look into the nitty-gritty but to get an overview of the book)
- March 26th: Listen to Hebrews 1-6; I absolutely LOVE the Bible Experience audio Bible (the best audio Bible out there in my opinion…you feel like you are listening to a movie), but there are also plenty of free audio Bibles you can find on-line
- March 27th: Listen to Hebrews 7-13
- March 28th: Study Hebrews 1 (When I say “study” I intend to read the chapter, read the study notes in my NIV Study Bible, and write down any questions I have about the chapter)
- March 29th: Study Hebrews 2
- March 30th: Study Hebrews 3
- March 31st: Study Hebrews 4
- April 1st: Study Hebrews 5
- April 2nd: Study Hebrews 6
- April 3rd: Study Hebrews 7
- April 4th: Study Hebrews 8
- April 5th: Study Hebrews 9
- April 6th: Study Hebrews 10
- April 7th: Study Hebrews 11
- April 8th: Study Hebrews 12
- April 9th: Study Hebrews 13
- April 10th: Tackle questions from chapters 1-6 (dig in deeper; read cross-references if needed, read other commentary, and/or ask others)
- April 11th: Tackle questions from chapters 7-13
- April 12th: Read the whole book of Hebrews in The Message
- April 13th: Read study notes for the book of Hebrews in my Chronological Bible(as a side note: this is probably my favorite Bible; I love the lay-out and the information found in here; reading through this Bible cover-to-cover truly helped me to organize the historical events in my mind)
- April 14th: Read study notes in the Life Application Bible (chapters 1-6)
- April 15th: Read study notes in the Life Application Bible (chapters 7-13)
- April 16th: Pick a passage to memorize
- April 17th: Memorize the passage; write out what this passage means to me
- April 18th: Write out memory passage 3 times; re-read chapters 1-4 and pick one item to apply today
- April 19th: Write out memory passage 2 times; re-read chapters 5-8 and pick one item to apply today
- April 20th: Write out memory passage 1 time; re-read chapters 9-13 and pick one item to apply today
What Scriptures are you studying lately, and what method have you found that helps you study one Bible book in-depth? Please share your ideas with me.
Well we did it! Can you believe it has already been 365 days since we started reading through the Bible together? What a journey it has been!
Somehow, I must have messed up numbering my blog posts because we do not have a reading for today, considering how we finished with Revelation yesterday. Instead, I wanted to take the time today to thank you for sticking to it.
So, our Bible in 365 goal may be met, but this is not the end. Imagine this was just a small race run in preparation for the lifetime journey of drawing closer to God through Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, and service. I will no longer be blogging daily about my Bible reading, though I may occasionally post something about it if I just cannot keep myself from sharing.
This year, I will again be sticking to the reading plan that my church puts out as there is something extremely motivating about reading the same things as my small group friends and being able to talk through it with others. We do not have our new plan yet, but I have heard it will be less of a “read through” of the Bible and more of a Bible study. We will be taking an in-depth look at a handful of books this next year. I am definitely looking forward to slowing down my reading and focusing more on studying the passages. I am looking forward to really taking the time to think, question, and meditate on God’s word.
But until the church’s new Bible reading plan begins (I heard it will start toward the end of this month), I will be reading some Psalms and Proverbs and mainly focusing on prayer. In fact, this whole year I want to intentionally focus on prayer. Over the past year, I got so caught up in making sure I wrote a blog post everyday that I must admit my prayer life suffered. I am going to read the book Oh God, Please Teach Me To Pray by Leighann McCoy for inspiration and most importantly, I am going to carve out some time every day to actually spend in prayer. What are your plans for continuing your Bible reading over this next year and growing your faith?
And for those of you who were not doing the reading, thank you for putting up with a year’s worth of blog posts about the Bible. I am glad you are still following my blog. My plan for the blog includes a definite break from blogging every day, but I have set a goal to try to write one post a week.
The posts will probably have to do with lessons my children are teaching me, maintaining my marriage, date night ideas, my recommendations for mothers of small children, books I am reading, growing my relationship with Jesus, cooking adventures, the beauty in the world around me, finding the laughter in the ordinary (and sometimes frustrating) day-to-day events, and really any other thing I feel like ranting about in the moment. I hope you will find my posts inspiring and useful. But most of all I hope you will be encouraged to live a life full of joy, the joy that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Worship God!” This simple statement is seen twice in our reading today (Revelation 19:10 and Revelation 22:9). What a great way to end our journey through the Bible: to be reminded of our need to give glory and honor to our Creator.
And how wonderful it will be to worship God on that
day where all is revealed! The Bible compares it to a wedding day. The church (the bride) finally gets united with Jesus. “For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:7)
Just imagine. There will be one day where we actually see the face of God! God’s servants “will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)
No song brings this more to life for me than the song “Beautiful” by Phil Wickham. I have probably shared it before, but I feel it sums everything up so well. Worship God!
The Lord wins!
The great thing about the book of Revelation is that we now know the ending to the war. We know that Jesus is victorious over Satan. We know that Christians are on the winning side.
“[The ten kings] will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17: 14)
What does this mean for our lives today? Well, we all struggle with a battle inside ourselves. Rest assured that, through Jesus, we have the victory. We have already won!
[Our brothers and sister] triumphed over [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11)
Take some time to watch this YouTube video of the song “Overcome” by Desperation Band. It brings to light the victory we have in Christ.
More on worshiping God:
Today we get into some really interesting parts of Revelation, and I am the first to admit that I do not understand it all. Oh yes, I could speculate along with everyone else, but when all is said and done none of us are 100% certain how to interpret these passages.
There are plenty of scholars who have spent years studying these passages and still do not agree on the meaning. At some point I am going to study this book more in-depth and look at what those scholars say.
But until then, I will read this book with eyes wide open and revel in the glory and mystery of God. I will continue to worship my creator as the Almighty and All-Powerful God who is in control of this all.
Just look at the beautiful example of worship we see in this book! “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelation 7:12)
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great powers and have begun to reign.” (Revelation 11:17)
This is true worship. This is humility. This is truth about our God.
There is nothing like the book of Revelation to humble a person. When I read this book, I see God’s majesty and awesome power more than in any other book of the Bible.
Yes, Revelation is complicated and full of imagery and symbolism, but there is no doubt about the bottom line: God reigns above all. Even the heavenly beings proclaim praise to Him.
So as we read through Revelation, be taken aback by God in all his power and glory. We even get a glimpse into the throne room of heaven as we read chapter 4 today!
What about you? Are you singing praises to God today? Need inspiration? Check out Revelation 4:8 and Revelation 5:12.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
These verses find their way into a beautiful song of praise by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. Enjoy!
2 John; 3 John
Today we read an entire book of the Bible written for a woman. Woo hoo!!! 2 John is written “to the lady chosen by God and to her children…” (2 John 1)
She is instructed to be aware of false prophets as being anyone who does not acknowledge Jesus Christ.
The lady is also instructed not to take false prophets into her house, thus aiding the spread of lies. Yet, she is also told to “walk in love.” (2 John 6)
How does this apply to us? Maybe we need to be more careful about who we support, whether financially, with our time, or with our praise. We want to make sure we do not offer support to an organization or person spreading lies about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Instead, we want to make sure our hard-earned dollars and our precious time and energy go toward offering support to those people and organizations that are furthering the kingdom of God.
Do you have any organizations that you love to support because you know they are doing God’s work here on earth? My favorites are World Vision, Compassion International, and Carrie’s Heart. Please share your favorites in the comments section.
How to tell if you are a Christian:
This book may be short, but it sure does have a lot to think about.
The main focus of the book seems to be on how Christians can be sure Jesus lives in them. The conclusion of the matter is that a Christian truly has Christ if the person follows his commands.
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands…But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 1:3-6)
Okay, that is definitely a difficult thing to do, but that does not mean we should not strive to live out Jesus’ commands to us. The question to ask is: Where is your heart? Are you seeking to become more like Jesus?
The book tells us that we can truly see where our heart is by our actions. What do your actions say about you?
2 Peter; Jude
Is your faith effective?
Both of these books are written with an eternal perspective—looking forward to the last days and the subsequent new heaven and new earth. As a side note, these books are full of interesting information about the beginning and end of the world, so turn to them when you feel like contemplating creation.
With this perspective in mind, we realize that our faith needs to be genuine and shared with others. We realize, possibly, that we are being ineffective as Christians. But, Peter gives us some hope and some things to focus on in order to be productive members of the body of Christ.
Peter tells us to add the following seven qualities to our foundation of faith:
- Mutual affection
The above “will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8)
So, then, this New Year’s Eve as you consider resolutions to make, consider focusing on building up one or all of these qualities in your own life. With God’s help, we can become more than church-goers. We can become the body of Christ working together to help others.
Holding the tongue:
How many times have you found yourself right in the middle of a foolish argument? Maybe you just wanted to make your point or maybe you just like the challenge of arguing the opposing side.
Well, whatever the reason, we know that arguments can create some major issues in relationships, so we are told to avoid quarrels.
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” (2 Timothy 2:23-24)
Be kind to everyone? That is a very difficult task, but is definitely something worth pursuing. I guess a good start is to follow that good old saying of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”