Resolved: To read the Bible in a year

Happy New Year from RMPC! As everyone recovers from the night before (including the Edwards household, where we played spades till almost 3:00 AM… we’re real party animals), our minds start to make that transition from “getting through the holidays,” and into “oh man… Spring is only a few months away,” those New Year Resolutions that we avoided thinking too much about start popping back into focus.

New Year’s Resolutions can be a really helpful concept. We see January 1st as a fresh start, opportunity to let last year be last year, and this year be exciting, unfulfilled potential. But inevitably we all trip up and our resolve wavers (especially if you are as ambitious in your resolutions as Jonathan Edwards, who wrote¬†these for himself - not for the New Year, but for the rest of his life). What then? If we’re not careful, our own resolutions can crush us.

The trick to avoiding this is not allowing our faithfulness (or lack thereof) to our resolutions define us. If we do, successfully meeting them will create a heart that is prideful and arrogant (“I met my resolutions, and they were much harder than yours”). If we make them our identity, failing to meet them will make us feel trapped in the same circumstances we made the resolution to get out of (“Well, I’ll never get in shape, so I may as well not even try”). It’s a vicious cycle that can only be broken by trusting not in your faithfulness to those resolutions, but in God’s faithfulness to you regardless of whether you are able to meet them or not. He was faithful to you last year, and will be again this year!

So what are your resolutions? Pursuing a healthier lifestyle? Get out of the house more? Maybe work less and spend more time with family?

Whatever they are, I highly recommend they include getting into God’s Word on a regular basis. This past Fall, I started halfway through a chronological Bible reading plan and (while I’ve fallen behind quite a bit) it has been wonderful. Even as a pastor (or maybe especially as a pastor!), it’s easy to forget how life-giving that time can be. I fool myself into thinking that getting an earlier start on work, or doing something around the house, or even sleeping in just another 30 minutes will somehow feed my soul more than the Word of God. A Bible Reading plan, like resolutions, can be crushing if your motivation is based on your faithfulness, but as I’ve read about and experienced God’s faithfulness, I find that my ability to stick with it improves exponentially. Imagine that!

So, if that’s a resolution you resonate with, click here to download a PDF of RMPC’s Chronological Reading Plan that will get you through all of God’s word in 1 year.¬† Here are some additional tips and helpful reminders to get you started and keep you going as you dig in. If you decide to try it out, let me know so I can be praying for you and check in every once in a while to see how it’s going! I know I could use the cheer-leading encouragement as well!

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