Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Loving God's Word

I am a big fan of Bible reading and using a Bible reading plan. This is a copy of an email I sent out to our church email list on January 1st.

Beginning The Year Right

A Commitment to Reading God's Word

A new year is upon us and this is a great time to re-commit to God's Word! Being a HUGE fan of the Bible, I'd like to share a few tools that might be helpful to you if you are interested in Bible reading in 2013.

A Must-Have FREE App/Website
If you love God's Word or want to spend more time in his Word this year, a must have app is YouVersion. They have pretty much every version of the Bible. Whatever you read or do can be synced across your devices (computer, phone, iPad) and it's a great way to take God's Word with you everywhere. You can also follow your reading plan or follow along with sermon notes from the Vine that are on YouVersion from time to time.
Bible Reading Plan
I'm not a proponent of legalistic reading just to check it off for the day, but I am a BIG fan of Bible reading plans, and here's why. The best way to understand the Bible is to let the Bible interpret itself, and the only way to do this is to read ALL of the Bible. The easiest way to read through the entire Bible is to have a PLAN such as a Bible-in-a-year plan. If you miss a few days, don't stress and don't try to read four days at once. Just pick up the next day where you left off. If it takes you a year-and-a-half to read through a one year Bible reading plan, what's the big deal? 
There are so many plans to choose from: Genesis to Revelation, chronological order, Old and New Testament together...and many more. Here's two links to get you started: YouVersion's plethora of Bible reading plans and the Bible-in-a-year plan used by the Vine Fellowship. A Bible reading calendar is put in the bulletin the first Sunday of each month and links for daily reading are included in the weekly announcement email. 
Understanding The Bible
If you are going to commit to reading the Bible throughout the year, you need to find a Bible you can understand. Here is a link you can use from BibleGatway to compare two or more versions side by side (adjust your versions using the drop down menu at the top of each column). Here is a chart that tells a little bit about different English translations.
Be encouraged...you CAN understand the Bible for yourself! Are you used to using a devotion book to help you understand the Bible? May I suggest trying this simple six question guide when you read the Bible? You may just discover you are writing your own devotion book! (This can be used with ANY Bible reading plan).
  • “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”-St. Jerome, Roman Catholic church father
  • “A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education.”  -Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, 1858-1919
I'll be reading through the Bible again in 2013. Will you? I invite you to join me!
Pastor Rob

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