Most of us make New Year’s resolutions and it doesn’t take long before we lose steam and forget about what we really wanted to accomplish in the new year. So this year Janet and I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions – until this week…
We figured that if we let the first week pass and then prayerfully considered what we wanted to accomplish, we would have a better chance of sticking with it. With that thought in mind, it has been a number of years since we read the Bible together cover to cover. Frankly, one or the other of us read every page out loud when we were together. Sometimes, it was over the phone if I was away on business, but it was important for us to do this as a couple.
We didn’t quite get it done in a year, but we did finish in under 18 months and although I had read the Bible cover to cover before in seminary, it was Janet’s first successful completion. It gave both of us increased knowledge and insight as to what Jesus wants and hopes for each of us. Of course it is the greatest book ever written – by human authors under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It also seems to me that it was something of a rite of passage – even though there are many Christians in our country, relatively few have ever completed a reading of the Bible. I can assure you that the Holy Spirit will reveal more of Himself to each of us when we stay in the Word of God.
Now we could get into a big discussion about whether the Bible has different interpretations based on where we are in our spiritual lives, but I was taught in seminary that there is really only one interpretation of the Scripture. However, there are many applications that can change throughout our spiritual growth and life. In other words, God’s Word can speak to us differently as we mature in our faith and it is common for people who undertake to read the Scripture at different times to have different biblical truths revealed to them each time.
So Janet and I are going to read the New Testament together again his year. No… we are not committing to the entire Bible – we don’t want to bite off more than we can chew, but only five chapters a week will allow us to complete the New Testament by the end of the year. If you are interested in doing this with us, you can download the YouVersion Bible app that contains the BibleProject New Testament reading plan. It is a free app and the specific plan is called “New Testament in a Year.”
Our verse for tonight is from the apostle Paul to his young pastor friend, Timothy. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul reminds him of the things that he has been taught. Paul tells us, in 2 Timothy 3:14-17, “But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
By the way, this is the Day 1 reading on the Bible app, so if you do decide to read with us, you have completed day 1 already!!! WooHoo!!! There is a short video that you can also watch if you choose, but that’s up to you… My encouragement tonight is that Jesus wants each of us to know Him better. The best way to do that is to spend time with Him – reading the Bible and communing in worship and prayer. My prayer is that 2021 will bring us closer to knowing Jesus in a more intimate way. I hope that you will think about reading the NT with us. Tomorrow’s chapter is Matthew 1… and if you have problems downloading the app, write me and I can talk you through it… Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…