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  • Writer's picturejacarroll71

Keeping up and keeping motivated

Week 2 in the Bible -- Jan 8, 2021

A look back

Last week I posted some thoughts to clarify that the Bible is about God and Mankind including our relationships to Him and to one another. I listed some benefits which come from a knowledge of the Scriptures: that the Bible gives us a divine perspective on reality, a compelling basis for ethics, and a hopeful message of eternal glory. I hope your first week of reading went well.

Time commitment. Out of curiosity I checked to see how long it would take to read the assignments in the old and new testaments last week. The total time which it takes to read aloud was about 90 minutes, or 13 minutes per day. At that rate it takes 52 weeks to read the entire Bible.

Consistency is the key. Obviously, the amount of time taken to read the whole Bible is not that great but reading daily is about consistency. That may be our greatest challenge. As someone quipped “freckles would make a great suntan if they were more consistently spread.” If we are “hit and miss” with reading, that will result in not finishing.

Stay ahead. I have found the best way to be consistent is to aim to stay a day ahead. If you are caught up, read one more day and get ahead and stay ahead.

Tips and suggestions. If you have ideas that can help us please feel free to share in the comments section of this blogpost. Questions are also welcome. So far, I have never been swamped by comments or questions.

A look ahead

This week in Concealed and Revealed: a year in the old and new testaments, we will be reading Genesis 20-35 and Matthew 7-11.

As you read the Bible, are you aware of listening to God’s word? Every line of Scripture states or assumes that God rules over all things and that He speaks. In His speech He tells us what He wants us to believe about Him and how we should live before Him. He is Ruler of all but not a cruel dictator. Rather He is a loving Father. His word was given through the prophets and apostles by His Spirit. To read the Bible is to hear the thoughts of God toward us. Those thoughts include commands, testimonies, promises and warnings all for our good. [1]

In the readings for this coming week, notice how God warns us of pitfalls which can hinder our walk with Him:

· Presumption. (What I do does not matter because God will always forgive me.)

· Delayed repentance. (How can God keep forgiving me? I need to improve myself; only then can I ask God for forgiveness.)

· Prayerlessness. (Life is hopeless. What good is prayer?)

· Fear. (What can I do? Life is so hard, and I am overwhelmed.)

· Pride and self-sufficiency. (Strong people do not need the crutch of religion.)

When these attitudes creep into our hearts, God calls us to trust Him and to obey Him. Let us allow His word to shape our thinking and our actions this week.

Believers are called into a special fellowship.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (ESV)

Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1: 3b (ESV)

Let us remember that, if we are believers, our time in the Bible is fellowship with God.

If you do not have a copy of my book you may want to order one here. However, you may also access the daily audio recordings generously provided by my friend and pastor Charlie Evans here. These may be found under the “Resources” tab on my website.

Here is this week’s schedule:

January 8/Day 8 Faith that Works (Genesis 20-22; Matthew 7) Audio here.

January 9/ Day 9 The Dramatic and the Mundane (Genesis 23-24; Matthew 8) Audio here.

January 10 / Day 10 Crisis and Failure is not Hopeless (Genesis 25-26; Matthew 9:1-17) Audio here.

January 11 / Day 11 Solving the Labor Shortage (Genesis 27-28; Matthew 9:18-38) Audio here.

January 12/ Day 12 Understanding Family Hostility (Genesis 29-30; Matthew 10:1-23). Audio here.

January 13/ Day 13 Fearful Followers Reassured (Genesis 31-32; Matthew 10:24-42). Audio here.

January 14 / Day 14 God’s Election and the Free Offer of Salvation (Genesis 33-35; Matthew 11). Audio here.

Have a great week in the Word.

[1] See JI Packer Knowing God, Downers Grove, Intervarsity Press, 1973 p. 98ff. ch. 11 “Thy Word is Truth”.

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