A new year is now upon us. With the dawn of a new year, many of us may make resolutions for the new year. Most of which are forgotten by March. Others call it goal setting. I set goals, but then I forget to review my goals so I do not know if I actually achieved any of them or not.
But one resolution I made about six years ago has become an annual resolution for me every year. I read the Bible through from cover to cover. Most years I choose a different reading plan, but my favorite reading plan is the chronological one. I like the linear, timeline approach.
This year I came across a passage penned by David and his resolution concerning God’s Word. David wrote in Psalm 119:15-16, “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word” (NLT).
Looking at the above Scripture, I realize there are four parts to taking in God’s word–study, reflect, delight, and remember. And because I don’t focus on all four, this year, my resolution is to take my Bible reading up another level.
Let’s review the four parts:
According to dictionary.com, to study means “a personal effort to gain knowledge.” We are to make our own personal efforts to understand what the Word of God means.
One of the best tools is a study Bible. One of the first Bible’s I received as a gift was a Bible with study application notes. I suggest everyone purchase a study Bible. This past week while visiting with a friend, I learned she buys a new one every year in order to mark up and make notes on the passages that speak to her current situation and circumstances.
For those with tablets and smart phones, which is my favorite way to study, there are a myriad of apps for Bible reading such as YouVersion and Olive Tree. Those are free sources, so we are without excuse.
As I read the Bible, one of the ways I reflect or meditate on Scriptures is to write down one or two Scriptures that seem to stand out to me in a journal. As I hand write out the passage, reading it slowly, it often speaks to me more than just reading it alone.
Another way to mediate is to read the passage out loud several times.
Writing and speaking out loud the passages on a daily basis allows God’s word to sink into our hearts and our minds so that we renew our minds and develop a heart like His.
I look forward to my daily quiet time with the Lord. Most days, I set my alarm to wake up and meet with Him. Often, I wake up before the alarm goes off. I am eager to start my day off by seeing what word the Lord has waiting for me.
Some days, I desire to sit with Him longer than time allows as I feel He pours so much out of His word for me. I’m saddened I have to get up and go. But I take what He’s shown me into my daily to-do’s.
Have you ever left your cell phone at home and you needed to call someone, but could not remember their phone number because it is stored in your cell phone? If we never actually dial the number, we won’t know it.
That is true with Scriptures too. With technology available in the palm of my hand, I confess, I am more quick to search for a passage than to memorize it. However, this year, I resolve to commit more Scripture to memory. I will attempt one or two verses a week.
There have been times that I can easily paraphrase a passage, but my translation may not be accurate. So I desire to memorize His word and remember the address.
In this new year of 2014, I encourage each of you to make Bible reading a worthy resolution. If you delight yourself in His word, then all the other areas will begin to grow as well. We are all a work in progress.
Have you ever read the Bible through in a year? What are some of your favorite Bible reading plans?
© 2014 Shonda Savage