Who Will You Be in 2019?

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Dr. Bob Jones, Sr, often said, “There are no stains on the pages of tomorrow!”  That’s a challenge, comfort and encouragement.  Truth is, what I plan today has effect upon my tomorrow which will become yesterday and then collectively a life.

With that in mind, I want to share some resources to help you move forward in your walk with Christ, your growth in the knowledge of God and the application of the Word of God on a daily basis for 2019.

The most important thing you will do in 2019 is keep your eye on Christ and watch what He does through His Word.  I am so intrigued that on His divinely human side Jesus did what we are to do:  Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel (John 5:19-20). I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me (John 8:28).

First of all, what is your plan for reading God’s Word in 2019; His fresh Love Letter to you?  The YouVersion Bible app provides many plans for you to follow.  May I remind you that the goal of reading the Word is not to check off boxes, but to come to know the mind and heart of Christ whereby we think and act biblically (Psalm 119:9-11; Matthew 4:4; John 6:63; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12).

Along with reading the Word of God, may I strongly suggest using a journal to record what God says to you each day.  It may be one sentence or a whole paragraph or more.  Think about it!  The God of Heaven and Earth is speaking to you; your Heavenly Father if you are born again (John 14:6)!!  Therefore, it is important to watch Him as Jesus did.  You don’t want to miss it! Then after a few days, read back over what you have written and see how God is leading you, what He is teaching you about Himself, and what He has revealed to you about you.

Use a spiral-bound notebook, a journal, your tablet or a journaling Bible.  I simpley record the day and date, the Scripture passages I am reading, and even what the weather is like on that morning.  Here is what my journal looks like from yesterday:

Tuesday, Jan. 1                                          51 degrees, partly cloudy

Matt. 1:1-17; Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 1; Genesis 1-2

As I read through these passages today, the Lord reminded me that Christ Who was active in creation and came to redeem a genealogy of sin, is the One I am to be a witness of as I delight and walk in His Word, planted by the rivers of living water.

That thought ran through my mind all day.  As Denise and I were enjoying our annual New Year’s Day brunch at Cracker Barrel, I was brought to tears as I looked at all kinds of people in the restaurant and wondered if they knew this Christ, my Savior.  The Word I had read in the morning moved me to see people as Jesus does and softened this old, selfish heart for them.

I will share more tomorrow about some other resources.  Let me close by sharing the following.

Last Sunday morning, a dear, godly lady said to me after the morning gathering, “Pastor, last week I was going through some things and counted 16 spiral-bound notebooks of my Bible study notes.  I don’t want to throw them away.  Perhaps they will be found someday and be an encouragement to my son who needs the Lord.”  I can attest that when you are in conversation with this dear saint of God, you are speaking to a Word–filled believer.

Let’s meet with the Lord today!  He is waiting for you (Matthew 11:28-30; Luke 10:38-42).  Listen to Him (Revelation 2:7).  Start with a clean page.

2015 Plans and Goals: Gold or Honey?

“Static Christianity” does not exist. Every day of our life we are either growing in our relationship with God or we are digressing. Every second of life we are either operating out of our flesh or walking under the control of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). God the Father has redeemed and reconciled us back to Himself through the cross work of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-26; 5:1-11) to enjoy fellowship with us and for us to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).  In order to do so, we must be growing in our knowledge of God and His Son, Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).  We are exhorted to grow in Christ, in the faith, in the Word and through the Word (1 Peter 2:1; 3:15; 5:10; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Hebrews 5:11-14).

Please note from Psalm 19:7-11, what God says about His Word; the power of the His Word that created and sustains all things:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward
.

So, what is your plan to know God even more through His Word in this coming year of 2015? What is your written, intentional plan?  What passages of Scriptures are you going to memorize this year?  What is your Bible reading plan so the Word of God can read you every day and change you into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17)?  I submit without reservation that the most important plans you make for 2015 concern your growth in Christ!  Read Psalm 19:10 again.  What should you search for more than gold?  What should you give more planning to than your work, your children’s schooling, your vacation, etc.?  Where do you find guaranteed reward (Psalm 19:11)?

So with those challenging questions and Psalm 19 as our backdrop, let me zero in on some Bible reading plans.

These links offer many, many options to fit your goal for 2015:

Biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan

Biblegateway.com/reading-plans

Youversion.com/apps  – A smartphone app with many, many options

2015 Bible Reading Plan

So, which will you gather the most this year?  Honey or gold? (Psalm 19:10)  Remember, you won’t be static.