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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Start off the New Year Right

Books on Christianity and faith abound, but perhaps the best way to pursue a personal relationship with Christ is to read the Bible each day. Reading enough each day to get through the whole Bible in a year is even better.

It was through reading his Bible in a daily reading plan that President George W. Bush deepened his faith. Bush was new to Bible study when he joined a community Bible study in the mid-1980s.
"Soon I started to take the sessions more seriously. As I read the Bible, I was moved by the stories of Jesus' kindness to suffering strangers, His healing of the blind and crippled, and His ultimate act of sacrificial love when He was nailed to the cross. For Christmas that year, Don Evans gave me a Daily Bible, a verison split into 365 individual readings. I read it every morning and prayed to understand it more clearly. In time, my faith began to grow."
Bush goes on in his memoir Decision Points (p. 32-33) to describe how he journeyed from a tentative faith troubled by doubts to a more confident faith moved by God's love.

For several years I've enjoyed the Victory Bible Reading Plan, which takes the reader through the Bible chronologically. I highly recommend finding a plan that goes through Scripture chronologically, for it is a tremendous help in sorting out the context and meaning of the books of prophecy in the Old Testament as you read them along side the historical narratives.

Last year, however, I started reading the Bible with the M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. D. A. Carson's two-volume devotional set, For the Love of God Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, gives daily devotional commentary on the readings in the M'Cheyne plan. The Bible reading plan gives four selections from Scripture each day


Meredith said...

Thanks for the link to the Victory Bible Reading Plan. I wonder how it compares to other chronological plans? I guess, I am thinking out loud here (!!) it depends on the perspective of the person constructing it and when they think certain things happened, especially with the Prophets who are harder to place. Although for the most part they all ought to be pretty consistent.

But yes, amen to reading through the whole Bible in a year which is such a worthwhile endeavour. And as you say, being prayerful about it is absolutely key. I have found using John Piper's IOUS prayer schema helpful at the beginning of my Bible reading time. Have you heard of that?

And by the way, love the photo of Lydia on your header. She is absolutely gorgeous. It must feel like Christmas every day in your house with her in your family. It will be fun when she starts to talk and you find out what's going on in that clearly very active mind of hers.

Mrs. Edwards said...

I don't know about Piper's IOUS prayer schema. I'll look that up; it sounds helpful.

I haven't really compared the Victory Bible Reading plan to other chronological plans, so I'm not sure. It isn't extremely precise, but does have you going from the historical books to the prophets and back again, which is very helpful. I think it was thanks to this plan that I finally understood how Daniel and Haggai fit in with Ezra and Nehemiah, and so on.

Do you recognize Lydia's outfit? She's sporting imported fashion straight from Australia! :) Thank you again for that lovely onesie-shirt. Every time she wears it I think of you and I'm sad that she is beginning to outgrow it.

Meredith said...

I thought that might have been the outfit, but I wasn't 100% sure. Glad she has got some use out of it.

John Piper's IOUS prayer schema is...
I—Incline "Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain." (Psalm 119:36)
O—Open "Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law." (Psalm 119:18)
U—Unite "Unite my heart to fear your name." (Psalm 86:11)
S—Satisfy "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." (Psalm 90:14)

I first read about it here
at a friend's blog, which is now in recess and the suggestion was made that it was a good prayer to use before Bible reading. I actually checked it out at the DG site and Piper uses it to pray for people - so it is a good all-rounder!

I have it written at the front of my Bible and have used to as I commence my Bible reading often. But now I am inspired to apply that prayer further.

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