HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!
What is going to mark your life in 2013? Here is one important idea.
Both God and experience declare that reading and applying the Bible will impact your life’s success more than anything else. So, let’s make sure we all have a plan to make Bible reading a priority this year.
First, some encouragement. If we spend some time and energy on the Bible, we can master it! Don’t let it get crowded out of your life this year. Love God and His Word. Be excited about these Words of Life! Be committed to them. Never assume they are irrelevant or not understandable. Make this your top priority this year!
Now the question, How?
Here are two keys to success in making Bible reading a priority this year:
1. Christian Friendship
Christian friendships are one of God’s greatest provisions for our lives. Good Christian friends can help us understand the Bible and keep us on track living it out more than anyone or anything else can.
Are your Christian friendships doing this with each other?
If so, you are in great shape for prioritizing God’s Word in your life. I just preached an entire sermon on this subject which lays out the “hows” and “whys” in Christian friendships. You can listen to it here, or read it here: Sermon – Christian Friendship, 123012 – MANUSCRIPT.
2. Bible Reading Plans
Bible reading plans work. There are many. Here are the best for our church to consider:
- Our church’s website has for a long time listed this good option – http://www.lc3.com/#/info/bible-reading-plan
- Even better is the fantastic collection of creative Bible reading plans offered by “YouVersion” – a free “ap” on your smartphone, or a free website, at www.youversion.com/reading-plans. I have never seen a better collection of Bible reading plans. And, their daily reminder options are actually very helpful. Here are the types of categories of plans that you can try. There are dozens of plans within these categories:
Related to the works of many of your favorite authors or artists
Seasonal and Holiday themes
And more! Don’t hesitate to sign up for a free account with this website. It’s one of the best web tools out there.
- Pastor Jim’s favorite website to recommend for reading plans and other various helps for exploring and understanding the Bible is www.biblestudytools.com. Be sure to save that one to your “favorites” as well.
- Perhaps the best place to start, however, is with the exciting plan from the appendixes of our recent HEROES study book, the “100 Essential Passages Reading Plan.” My wife, Sarah, and I started reading this together about a month ago, and it has been a fantastic, quick-moving journey through the Bible. Sarah said that it has completely revived her passion for reading God’s Word. It will take 17-20 weeks for us to finish, and then we plan to hop on the YouVersion list to choose another plan together that excites us both.
Download this plan here – 100 Essential Passages Bible Reading Plan
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
You have been encouraged and equipped for a transforming year of experiencing God’s will in your life. The rest is up to you! Enjoy the journey.
Blessings on 2013,
P.S. Here is what’s in store for the upcoming Semester, kicking off on January 20!
Winter/Spring Semester, 2013
Here are a few important dates to put on your calendar right now:
1. The 2nd annual Lake City Family Summit happens Saturday, January 12, 9:00AM-1:00PM. NFL quaterback Jon Kitna and his wife Jen will be our primary speakers, along with several breakout sessions. As usual, the small group leaders training will be contained in one of those 50 minute workshops.
2. If you miss the Summit, a small group leader training make-up session happens Sunday, January 20, during 2nd service (10:50AM-12:10PM), in the Gym.
3. The Official Kickoff Week of Winter/Spring Semester is the week of January 20. Of course, groups have autonomy to start earlier or later, based on their semester plan.
4. Pastor Jim resumes the Luke Sermon Series on Feb. 2/3, a good option for any group who would like to study Luke’s gospel along with the weekend sermons. We will have resources.