2018 DDCommunity Challenge
Did you feel like something was missing this Christmas? The holiday season intensifies our connection to loss and emptiness. Countless reasons exist for our heaviness of heart. But at the core, the problem is Christ is missing. Desperate Dependency: Finding Christ Relevant to Every Area of Life addresses this very problem.
But what’s the solution? Foundationally, finding Christ relevant to every area of life is the solution. Yup, we discuss this in Desperate Dependency too! Admittedly, Desperate Dependency does not have all the answers. BUT, the Word of God does!!! And while Desperate Dependency attempts to connect the reader to God’s Word in a deep way, we would like to offer you a challenge for 2018. We challenge you to read through The One Year NLT Chronological Bible with DDCommunity in 2018.
Consider the DDCommunity Challenge
In years past we wrote blog posts with a challenge to read through the Bible during the new year. At the end of 2015, we wrote Got Plans. In that post, you find ideas on how to read through the Bible, and suggestions on which Bible to read. At the end of 2016, Connect to God’s Word 2017 shared Shirley’s story and the insights she gained from reading through the Bible.
Here, at the end of 2017, DDCommunity challenges you again to connect to God’s Word daily. AND we plan to walk with you through the process in 2018! In Got Plans, I mentioned that my usual Christmas gift is a new Bible. This year’s Bible is The One Year Chronological Bible Expressions which happens to be a journaling Bible as well! Tyndale states,
The #1-selling daily reading Bible is more personal than ever with space to read, write, and create! With generous two-inch, lightly-ruled margins and more than 100 artfully drawn verses waiting to be filled in with your most creative ideas, your daily reading experience has never been more personal.
The One Year Chronological Bible Expressions contains the entire text of the New Living Translation divided into 365 daily readings. Each day’s reading focuses on a specific moment in biblical history, taking you through the events of the Bible in the order they occurred. Readers are guided through the entire Bible in a sequential, unforgettable journey that’s easier than ever to make your own.
Would you like to go on this unforgettable journey with us? It is not absolutely necessary that you purchase the Expressions Bible because we will offer alternative ways for you to join the journey. But, I know you will love the benefits of journaling as you read, and you might even decide to take a coloring break or two along the way!
While the Expressions Bible comes in a paperback version, I don’t recommend it at all! You will be investing a year of your life in this adventure, so use the more durable hardcover version! Plus, it is MUCH prettier than the paperback version!! The links included are for the hardcover version only. The Amazon links are affiliate links, so DDCommunity will receive a small percentage if you purchase from these links. If you choose Desperately Dependent Community as your favorite charity on AmazonSmile, DDC receives benefits every time you shop on Amazon. We would deeply appreciate your support!
The One-Year Chronological Bible
I unearthed my notes from the first year (2004) I read The One Year Chronological Bible with a group of ladies at our church. Those ladies still talk about the life-changing impact of that study! We journeyed through the New Living Translation (NLT) in the order the events occurred in time. In chronological order, all Scripture is arranged according to the time sequence of the events. Because most of the ladies never read the NLT before, the variations as well as the ease of the text (7th-grade reading level) made the stories come alive in new ways.
Two Questions Daily
As in the past, the DDCommunity Challenge directs you to ask two questions during your daily reading.
1. What have I learned about God?
2. What difference does that (what I read and learned about God) make in my life?
With these two questions at the forefront, by the end of the year, you will have a sketch of God to shape your character. While it is easy to be wowed by all the stories the Bible contains, the primary focus of God’s Word is to connect us to God so that we may learn how to live as image-bearers. You remember that we were created in God’s image, right?
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:27 ESV)
And then God gave the command for mankind to be fruitful and multiply so that the earth could be filled with His image.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Gen. 1:28 ESV)
Can you imagine what the world would be like if all of us looked like God? Some people think they are god, but we struggle to bear His image truly!
Why Commit to the DDCommunity Challenge?
Proverbs 2 elaborates on the many benefits of connecting to God’s Word.
1 My child, listen to what I say,
and treasure my commands.
2 Tune your ears to wisdom,
and concentrate on understanding.
3 Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.
He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8 He guards the paths of the just
and protects those who are faithful to him.
9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.
12 Wisdom will save you from evil people,
from those whose words are twisted.
13 These men turn from the right way
to walk down dark paths.
14 They take pleasure in doing wrong,
and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
15 Their actions are crooked,
and their ways are wrong.
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,
from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
17 She has abandoned her husband
and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18 Entering her house leads to death;
it is the road to the grave.
19 The man who visits her is doomed.
He will never reach the paths of life.
20 So follow the steps of the good,
and stay on the paths of the righteous.
21 For only the godly will live in the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it.
22 But the wicked will be removed from the land,
and the treacherous will be uprooted. (NLT)
The first step in spiritual maturity is to connect to God’s Word. Only by interacting with His Word do we learn who God is and how we are to relate to Him. The Bible reveals God and His plan for mankind. When we neglect His revelation, we choose our own ways instead of His best purposes. I don’t know about you, but I prefer God’s best over my good!
Join the DDCommunity Challenge
This week we invite you, your friends, and your family to consider the DDCommunity Challenge. Will you read through The One Year NLT Chronological Bible with DDCommunity in 2018?
If you are unable to secure a copy of The One Year NLT Chronological Bible by January 1, you may start reading using YouVersion. DDCommunity created a reading group on YouVersion using The One Year Chronological Bible reading plan. Use and share this link to invite others to join. DDCommunity Challenge will specifically reference the NLT version throughout the year, so we would love for you to opt for the NLT translation as well.
Join us at DDCommunity Center on Thursdays, beginning January 4, 2018, to discuss your weekly reading and the impact on your life. Each Thursday throughout the year we will meet to dig deeper into the text of the week while we engage and encourage one another to find Christ relevant to every area of life. Choose the Morning Group (10:00 – 12:00), or the Evening Group (7:00 – 9:00) and reserve your spot by registering online.
Are you too far away to join us in person? We would love for you to share your comments and insights on the special Facebook page we created for the 2018 DDCommunity Challenge.
Crank It Up a Notch
Because we are promoting The One Year Chronological Bible Expressions, you may decide to take your Bible study to a different level. Are you brave enough to consider Bible Art Journaling? I have been learning the techniques for several years now, but never took the leap to actually add art to my Bible. With the Expressions Bible, you may want to give it a try! The best resource I have seen so far is the Complete Guide to Bible Journaling: Creative Techniques to Express Your Faith by Joanne Fink and Regina Yoder. We’d LOVE to see your artwork on Facebook!
Excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis.