2020 modified me. Most of us can say the identical. Our world grew to become an unfamiliar place that few imaginations may have even conjured. However a choice I made on January 1st, 2020, earlier than any of those unprecedented occasions have been a actuality, modified me probably the most. That New 12 months’s Day I learn Genesis 1:1,
“At first God created the heavens and the earth.”
And daily of 2020 I continued studying, till on December thirty first, 1,034 pages later, I concluded with Revelation 22:20-21,
“He who testifies to those issues says,
‘Sure, I’m coming quickly.’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus
be with God’s folks.
In God’s sovereignty, the Spirit moved me to decide to studying by way of the whole Bible in a yr, whereas on the identical time, this un-sovereign human had no notion simply how a lot she would want its reality, encouragement, and perspective. In a yr that turned the world the other way up, my basis was day by day strengthened as I burrowed deeper into the rock that’s my religion.
Most 2020 mornings discovered me on my favourite nook of the sofa with a steaming mug of espresso, my Bible, and a pencil. Whereas I labored by way of the primary couple of months and infrequently fell behind, consistency grew to become significantly simpler. When the world stopped in March and I not needed to get 5 children out the door to high school every day, the routine and construction of my morning Bible studying grew to become a balm to my overwhelmed soul. The truths I learn anchored me in unsure instances.
As a Christian since childhood, I’ve typically participated in Bible research or learn choose parts of my Bible, however not day by day. Generally I might wrestle to determine what I ought to learn, sometimes resorting to the previous “close-my-eyes-open-the-Bible-and-read-whatever-my-finger-lands-on” technique, hoping it will be relevant to what I used to be coping with in my life. Generally, I might wrestle with how any of what I used to be studying (notably within the Previous Testomony) had any relevance in any respect to my life or the world I lived in. Generally I simply felt bored and uninterested. (Are Christians allowed to confess that?)
What my day by day perseverance and the method of studying beginning-to-end taught me was that the Bible isn’t about me in any respect.
It doesn’t exist for me to search out myself in its pages (except it’s to acknowledge my placing resemblance to these rebellious, ungrateful Israelites).
It doesn’t exist to supply pithy inspiration and encouragement (although I do imagine that I can do all issues by way of Christ who strengthens me).
It doesn’t exist as an encyclopedia of guidelines for me to laud over folks (although in my residence you should still hear me quote Ephesians 6:1, “Youngsters obey your dad and mom within the Lord, for that is proper.”). No, its function is that I’d know God and His character.
The Bible, starting to finish, is a seamless story about God:
His nice love for fallen humanity
His pursuit and redemption of us
I’m not in these pages in any respect, besides because the one in determined want of rescuing. Studying the Bible is the proper antidote to the self-focus that I so typically wrestle with.
Studying by way of the whole Bible has helped give me a extra full image of God. It has given context to many verses I had beforehand learn in a vacuum. I now know that the comforting promise in Jeremiah 29 the place God guarantees to prosper and to not hurt, to provide hope and a future, are usually not really guarantees for normal humanity (i.e. me). They have been for the Israelites. Whereas they do reveal God’s nice love for His chosen folks and His sovereignty over their circumstances, I could need to rethink writing it in highschool commencement playing cards.
Most significantly, studying by way of the whole tapestry of scripture has extra deeply revealed and jogged my memory whose world I’m residing in. That is my Father’s world. He has dominated and reigned because the starting of time and nothing that has ever occurred or will occur surprises Him. It has all handed by way of His sovereign palms. And whereas I do know the top of the story and anxiously await Jesus’ return, His phrase is right here to maintain and nourish me till I meet my Savior face-to-face.
Studying the Bible from starting to finish will not be one thing I merely checked off a bucket record. It’s a lifestyle for me now. On the final day of 2020, I felt grateful that God had helped me succeed and type of needed to revel within the accomplishment and catch my breath for just a few days. However I additionally didn’t need to fall behind on the studying plan, and a part of me knew that I nonetheless wanted this, would all the time want this. And so January 1st, 2021, I started over again. I now have a brand new chair in a brand new nook with a stunning view of the birds and the bushes. However my identical tattered Bible awaits me every morning, and I proceed studying that I’d know God higher.
Blessed is the one
who doesn’t stroll consistent with the depraved
or stand in the way in which that sinners take
or sit within the firm of mockers,
however whose delight is within the regulation of the Lord,
and who meditates on his regulation day and night time.
That individual is sort of a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf doesn’t wither—
no matter they do prospers.
I’ve used the Bible Recap podcast and studying plan. It breaks the studying into about 3 chapters per day and is a chronological plan, so slightly than learn straight by way of the Bible because it has been compiled, there’s a little bit of hopping round. I’ve actually loved this technique. The podcast presents about eight minutes day by day of abstract and useful historic context for the day’s studying. It doesn’t draw back from exhausting questions or various views. I can’t advocate this useful resource extremely sufficient. And excellent news! We’re starting the New Testomony on October 1st, which is a good time to leap in.
Kara is the spouse of 20+ years to Caleb and the mom of 5, together with 2 by way of the miracle of adoption. She and her household dwell on 8 acres, elevating cows, goats, chickens, and turkeys, in addition to a big backyard. She is captivated with hospitality, mothering, the intersection of farm-life and religion, and discovering magnificence within the commonplace. She enjoys her classics guide membership, strolling her nation street, and touring together with her giant household. She sometimes blogs at goodgiftsfarm.com, however you possibly can sustain together with her extra repeatedly on Instagram @good_gifts_farm.