Week 42 of Read the Bible in 2011 begins today. I put up a variation of this post every week for those who may not know what I’m doing when they find posts on different books of the Bible on different days of the week. This is the general schedule from Michael Coley’s reading plan that mixes readings from different sections of the Bible.
Sunday: The Epistles: Romans—Jude.
Monday: The Law: Genesis—Deuteronomy.
Tuesday: History: Joshua—Esther.
Wednesday: The Psalms.
Thursday: Poetry: Job—Song of Solomon.
Friday: Prophecy: Isaiah—Malachi, Revelation.
Saturday: The Gospels & Acts: Matthew—Acts.
Posts from weeks 1–13 are on the Winter Quarter page under Read the Bible in 2011, and Weeks 14–26 are on the Spring Quarter page. Weeks 27–39 are on the Summer Quarter page. I’m now putting links to posts on the Fall Quarter page. (Between the Lines Redux explains those without links).
Why is it so important for us to read God’s Word?
In the passage we call the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus finished his teaching by telling a story of two houses:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
To withstand the storms of these difficult times we must have our lives built on rock of God’s Word. In the Bible God tells us who He is and who we are as He “truths” us through His Word. To let our own thoughts or the world’s trump God’s Word is building our lives on deceptive sand, setting our house up to crash. We have to know His Word to live by His Word.
This past week my posts have had the theme of the Word of God and truth. The night before He died, Jesus asked God the Father to:
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
James commands us:
“Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”
Why do we need to heed and obey James’ words?
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?”
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Some daily reading assignments go rapidly through a book, while other books are taken much more slowly. Pace yourself as you need to, but keep reading. The important thing is to read God’s Word daily: the point is not perfection, but perseverance.
If you didn’t start in January, don’t wait until January to start. If you want to start Genesis in the New Year, pick up with this week’s reading or try various plans to see which one you think would work the best for you—but don’t put it off for three months!
If it makes your head spin to read a different book each day of the week, you might try M’Cheyne’s plan which alternates between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It’s set up with family and private devotionals each day. Adapt it as you like; you could go through the family readings before you do the private readings. Ben Edgington has numerous helpful links. This is M’Cheyne’s calendar with his introduction. You can also go straight through the Bible.
Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t know or by what you don’t understand. Come with a humble and hungry heart, and ask God to teach you and enable you to learn what you need to know right now to trust God and to obey Him.
May the Lord be with you and bless you through the reading of His Word.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter