If you are like millions of others, you are in the midst of not only Christmas planning and decorating, but planning for the new year as well. You’ve probably bought a calendar that will meet your specifications for planning the next 12 months. You are winding down your filing system for the year and preparing for those dreaded taxes.
You might even be planning how to lose weight….next year…after the holidays!!
Something else that lots of people seem to do during this time of planning, is decide that “this year” they are going to read the Bible through in a year. While out shopping for Christmas gifts, they look through the hundreds of books that can assist them in that endeavor. And it is a worthy endeavor, but sadly, it usually only last about 6 weeks into the new year.
However, with smartphones, tablets, and readers, staying in the Word on a daily basis and reading through the Bible in a year is a bit easier than ever before. But even with all the “apps for that”, it is going to take some effort on your part, some planning, and lots of dedication.
I’m in that planning stage myself and I’d like to share a few resources that I plan to use this new year to read through the Bible with a plan and to study topically.
George H. Guthrie has two books out this year. One is a chronological daily Bible called Reading God’s Story. It lays the reading out for 6 days and leaves the 7th day for reflection. Like most plans, it starts with Genesis. However the readings from the New Testament and other books of the Bible are in relation to the main passage. For instance, day one starts with Genesis 1-2 and day 2 takes you to the book of John and Psalm 8 & 104. Since this is a chronological reading, before the first month’s reading is out, you are reading in Job.
The second book that Guthrie released is used in conjunction with the first, Read the Bible for Life. It goes into more detail of how to understand what you have been reading. It talks about themes throughout the Bible and how to apply it to your personal life.
Along with the books, there are apps for your smartphone and a couple of websites. ReadtheBibleforLife.com gives an overview of both books, videos, and links to the resources that have been developed for these titles, including information on how to get your church involved. There is also access to podcasts to go along with the readings.
Another website that is helpful, not only having information on these books, but many more resources, is MyStudyBible.com. This is a free website that offers some of these resources for free, but you can also purchase more. Once you register, you can access it from any internet linked location and have your notes and library available with the push of a button. Available to users are several full translations of the Bible, some commentaries, several dictionaries, and teaching tools.
Also available exclusively to A Martha Heart readers are 250 FREE ebook downloads of Read the Bible For Life! B&H Publishing Group is allowing our readers to access an on-line version of this book once you register at mystudybible.com. Simply go to msb.to/redeem and enter the code below. Your unlimited access to this book will be added to your library on the site. Thank you, B&H! We have 250 redeemable slots….so go today and get your copy.F4P5Y1WJID
This year, I’ve decided to study topically also. My topic for the next 12 months is going to be Joy. Thankfully, Angela Thomas just released a new 52-week daily devotional on that very subject. I bought the ebook so that I could access it while at work for a quick devotion during my breaks. I read it from my Amazon account in the cloud reader. It’s a free option if you don’t have a Kindle reader. If I read it using my Kindle for PC, I can highlight sections and add notes.
These are quick devotions 5 days, 52 weeks. It’s not dated, so it can be started at anytime. Each devotion has verses that relate to joy. I’m looking forward to pursuing God’s joy this year.
So what are you planning on doing this new year, spiritually? Have you bought a new Bible or journal, ready for fresh insights to be tracked? Have you signed up for a study group? Have you determined that you will spend more time with God and in His Word every day in the coming year?
Go ahead and open that empty new calendar and add your moments with Him. Make appointments in ink, that can not be changed to meet with Him on a regular basis and just sit at His feet, listen to His voice, and grow in His strength.