How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13 With my lips I declare
all the rules of your mouth.
14 In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16 I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
This year, one of my goals is to read through the Bible in a year. I have often started this and never progressed very far. I have picked books of the Bible at random, yet without a systematic approach to it, I have fallen short. As I thought about my goals for this year, reading the Bible in a year was one of them- but how to start?
That was when the lovely Melissa Kruger’s post on reading the Bible in a year came across my feed. She recommended a fantastic Bible Reading resource to help provide direction in Bible study and the added bonus for a bargain-hunter like me was that it was free!
I began a week late and have to admit I’m already behind. But what I am gaining from reading through the Bible so far has been fantastic. Currently, I am working through Genesis/a Psalm and Mark and I’m finding the stories coming alive. As I read through Genesis, I have been astounded again at the mercy of God. You think your family has problems? Check out the Abraham/Isaac/Jacob family stories and you’ll realise again that it is absolutely nothing that we bring to God, it is all Him, all the time, pursuing us.
Yet, as I have read these family chronicles afresh, I have also seen that as God faithfully works in the messy lives of His chosen people, they grow and change. Abraham and Sarah experience joy at the birth of a son in their old age, and then are prepared to sacrifice him for the God whom they serve. Isaac recognises the importance of Jacob choosing a wife from his people, rather than the pagan-worshipping gods around them and so ushers Jacob off to find a bride. Then in Mark, as the disciples listen to the teaching of Jesus, they have a lot of moments of confusion, yet they also have moments when they recognise Him as the Messiah, the Christ, the Saviour.
So far, the last few weeks of reading through the Bible using this free (!) resource has helped me gain a deeper appreciation for who God is and I have marvelled at the way He works in pursuing us, and then growing and changing us in order for us to long to pursue Him. My prayer is that like David in the excerpt from Psalm 119 above, I will hide God’s Word in my heart, I will delight in His testimonies more than riches and I will fix my eyes on His ways as I meditate on His Word.
Feel free to join me as I read through the Bible this year. Remember, sometimes we fall off the horse- we have good days, bad days and average days- yet we have to pick ourselves up and get back on. God in His mercy extends an invitation to each of us to get to know Him through His Word and marvel at the journey of relationship and change- what an invitation to accept!