posted on December 29, 2015 18:39
What’s Your Plan for 2016?
January 01, 2016 is just days away. Spiritually, it will not be an easier year than 2015 – in fact, this could be the most challenging year for me or for you or for both of us – maybe for all of us. Start the New Year right. Prepare your heart spiritually and your mind psychologically to commit to the regular, consistent and consecutive daily reading of your Bible throughout 2016.
We value the importance of plans, routines and schedules in every other sphere of our life if we intend to move forward, accomplish goals and to make progress. Why is it, in the most critical aspect of our lives, we think we can wing it? Read a bit here and there – sporadically with inconsistent spurts of prayer and hope we can cruise on autopilot based on what we have spiritually enjoyed in the past? Why? If we short-change anything – it’s not our employment or our games or our relaxation activities – it’s usually, with a sigh of helplessness or inevitability – that we say: “Things are way too hectic to focus on reading my Bible this morning.”
If I am only reading my Bible two or three times a week, I am kidding myself if I think I am really loving the Lord and prospering spiritually.
There is no substitute for reading your Bible diligently, daily and consistently. We need a daily intake of spiritual food if we are going to thrive spiritually for the Lord. (Psalm 119:9-16)
You can find many Bible Reading plans online. Make sure you choose one that is balanced. Make sure the one you choose has at least one reading in the New Testament every day. At this link you will find three such plans that I have uploaded to the scribd.com website for your viewing.
Print out the Plan you choose and keep it in your Bible.
Are you afraid to start following a Bible Reading Schedule in case you miss a day or two here and there? You're afraid to commit to a schedule in case you can't follow it? You don't like New Year Resolutions - because you can't keep them? What do you have to lose? Let's say you followed the plan until March and then you got off track with the schedule.... what have you lost by following it in January, February and March? Nothing!! Go for it! Try it!
TIPS for EFFECTIVE READING:
- Before you read, pause to confess your sins to the Lord and ask Him to speak to your heart as you read His Word.
- Keep a journal. Try to discipline yourself to record at least two sentences each day about what you read. So many find it helpful to actually formulate the written sentence(s) into a prayer.
- Read prayerfully. As you read, pause at certain verses or phrases and speak with your Lord about what the verse means and how it might pertain to your own life.
- Block out a 30-minute time slot that is most likely to be convenient for you to read your Bible - the same time every day. Even if you have to set your alarm clock earlier - go for it. Rigor and discipline is required. Satan will never hand you extra time on his silver platter to read your Bible. If you are going to read your Bible, you will have to take the time.
- If you miss a day every now and then, don't try to go back and catch up. You’ll find that too difficult and discouraging. If you have lost a day or a week because of extraordinary events in your life, just get back on schedule and read only where the Plan states you should read for that day. You can read the missed chapters next year, if the Lord spares you.
- If you have completed all your readings for the day and you are about to close your Bible without enjoying anything, force yourself to select one verse and mull it over in your mind for a few minutes and pray.
Let's say you selected Job 21:13 out of your readings: "They spend their days in wealth and in a moment go down to the grave." You could think of the wealth of sinners and how shallow it is compared to your wealth as a believer. You could think about 'a moment' - in a moment you could be at home with the Lord. In a moment the Lord could come and you could thank the Lord for the 'moment' you trusted Christ. Or you could think about 'going down to the grave.' Your body may go down but you will go up. Praise God! It may not seem like much, but at least it is some little nugget for you to have in your mind as you go through your day. Underline that phrase or that verse in your Bible. Jot down your little thought in your specially designated Bible Journal. Record a minimum of two sentences each day.
- Get at least one other friend to adopt the same plan and then challenge each other with the Lord's help to follow the Plan.
- Your daily reading, according to a schedule, is the minimum. Each of us should also spend time 'studying' the Word of God each day.
Finally, may you and yours be drawn closer to the Lord throughout 2016.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
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