I know, you’re probably not even thinking about 2016. It is, after all 3 weeks away. But, if you’re like me and you work in the event world, it’s been 2016 since July.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on what 2015 meant to me… there was so much change and excitement. It makes me anxious (in a good way) to see what 2016 will hold. I have so many dreams for next year. So many desires and hopes. So many prayers and dreams. All of that is great. It gives us purpose, ambition, something to reach for and aim for. But outside of my own wants and dreams, what does God dream for me?
Each year, I hope and I know that God desires for me to just dig deeper. To draw nearer, to become more like Him. To know Him better each passing day. In 2016, I have a challenge for all of us to do just that.
How to make 2016 awesome is simple: God’s word.
We should read all of it. Cover to cover.
I did this for the first time in 2011. In fact, it’s why I started blogging in the first place, because I was learning so much that it blew my mind and I needed to tell someone, anyone, who would listen. If you’ve never read the Bible in a year, I can promise that it is worth it. Here’s why:
- You are in the Word everyday, no excuses. There is an assigned scripture 6 days a week, so you don’t have an excuse to be between studies, or just that you don’t know where to start. The whole Bible is ready to be devoured.
- You will learn more about God and God’s people that you ever even realized was possible. You will read about King Eglon. It’s a crazy story. According to our plan, you’ll find out around mid-April.
- You will learn a lot about yourself, and how you see God and yourself. God’s word is living, and active. It will pierce through your soul and spirit. It will judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
One thing that I wish that I had done a better job of when I have gone through the Bible in the past, is journaling better. So, here’s the reason that I am telling you this December 8…
I want you to add something to your Christmas lists.
Now, this is kind of like buying cute work-out clothes with the hopes that you will work out more. It’s not going to happen unless you put forth some effort. Buying this Bible and pens is not going to make you a Bible scholar over night, but it will help you become a more aware Bible-reader. The ability to write notes in the margins will challenge you to find something in every passage.
Here are some ways to help us get the most out of our Scripture plan in 2016:
- Pray. Pray for God to speak to you through His word. Pray that He will help you to find Jesus in every passage. A simple prayer like, “Jesus, reveal yourself to me through this Holy word. Help me to focus on you and see you in every sentence.”
- Journal. Write in the edges of your Bible, write in a separate journal. Journal especially on Sundays, when we reflect together on the characteristics of God.
- Grab a friend. Or two, or five. Bring someone along on this journey with you. Someone who is tracking with the same plan, so that you can learn together, and even go so far as to maybe text each other when something stands out. You are also 87% more likely to complete a task when you are held accountable to it’s completion. (Statistics falsified, but you get the idea.)
- Use other resources. Did you know that your Bible has a concordance? A concordance is like an index for the Word. It lists every word that appears and where to find it in the Bible, and sometimes the context in which it appears. Reading online or on an app? There are so many concordances online; you can simply go to Bible.com and search a word to find more of it’s context. (This will be extra helpful during our reflection/devotion Sundays). You can also use commentaries to understand the Word better. I, personally, love Matthew Henry’s Commentary. I also own an ESV Study Bible that is so big it could kill a man, but it provides a verse-by-verse explanation.
So, friends, let’s have an amazing 2016, and dig deeper into the person of Jesus and the character of God.
- This plan starts on January 1, 2016, so be sure to join us then, or you may not be able to catch up!
- Monday – Saturday, there are 3 pieces of Scripture, all of which should take no longer than 30 minutes to read. You will read 1 from Old Testament, 1 from the Wisdom Literature, 1 from the New Testament.
- Sunday’s will be reserved for catch-up days, as well as a reflection and devotion on a characteristic of God. Not only will reading the Word everyday change the way we see God, I want to provide us with an opportunity to reflect on WHO He is as we read and learn together.
- I have it below in one whole document, if you wish to print it all at once and put it in your Bible. I also have it by month, so that you can return and download, if planning ahead ain’t your thing 🙂
- I suggest having a printed copy and also a copy on your phone. Take a screenshot of the plan, or save it in your iBooks. You need to be held accountable to your reading, even if you won’t be at home with your physical Bible.
Download the plan here:
Comment below if you’re joining in the fun in 2016, and tag #effloresce2016 to tell your friends!