In a few short days we will turn the calendar page to conclude 2015 and begin the adventure of 2016. As our family gathered this Christmas we all shared our stories of how astonished we were at what transpired for us on so many fronts. One year ago we had NO IDEA about the MAJOR life changing events that would reshape our lives forever! A new ministry center. A move across the country. A new baby. . . .
What kind of plans do you have for 2016? Are you making New Year’s resolutions? How many times have you heard the famous Zig Ziglar quote, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time”? New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside but plans established by the Lord succeed. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, / and he will establish your plans” (Prov. 16:3 NIV). The first step on the road to spiritual maturity is to connect to God’s Word.
“And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.” (Prov. 8:32–35 NLT)
EVERYTHING WE NEED
One plan that I (Melanie) continuously make at the beginning of a new year is to daily connect to God and His Word. That is a plan established by the Lord and if it fails it is because I have allowed it to fail. God has given us everything we need for accomplishing His plans.
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3–4 NLT)
HOW TO READ THROUGH THE BIBLE?
People often ask how I go about my daily Bible reading. My favorite way is to read through a Bible each year. I say “A” Bible because often my Christmas present is a new Bible. It doesn’t have to be a nicely bound leather copy. It may be a hardcover, inexpensive copy. It may be a different translation and or a new study Bible. I grew up reading and memorizing the King James Version, but when our girls were small I realized they were not grasping God’s wonderful truths with that translation so I explored the International Children’s Bible (ICB) translation by taking a year to read it. Boy, did that especially make the Old Testament stories more exciting! I HIGHLY recommend this Bible for ANY age!
WHICH BIBLE SHOULD I READ?
This brings up a good point for discussion. Various Bible translations are geared for various age levels. If you remember elementary school reading word lists, you know that each grade level included more and more words that should be recognized each year. Kindergarten included “See Spot Run” while you may have studied the King James Version of the Bible in 12th grade. The ICB, for example, is geared for a 3rd grade reading level. Click HERE for a link that shows Translation Reading Levels.
Another fabulous reading Bible is The One Year Chronological Bible. The New Living Translation is geared for a 6th – 7th grade reading level, and The One Year Chronological Bible places the events in the order they actually happened. Surprisingly, you can read the entire Bible in a year in as little as 15 minutes a day. If you prefer to use the Bible you have to read in 2016, The One Year Bible also offers a personalized reading schedule HERE. This link offers a wide variety of options including various translations, languages, and schedules.
For a more in-depth Bible study I have enjoyed reading through diverse study Bibles. As I am reading through the Bible text, I also read the study notes included for the day’s passage. The Life Application Study Bibles are engaging for this method. (They come in a lot of different translations.)
The ESV Study Bible is certainly at the top of the list of my favorite study Bibles!
This year the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible was recommended to me. I am delighted that it included a link for a digital version and also a year long reading schedule in the back.
Would you like to join me in daily reading through the Bible this year?
I would LOVE to hear about your discoveries along the way!