Bible Study, Resolutions, Spiritual Disciplines

Bible Study and Reading plan

cup of coffee alonside open book, notebook, and pen

Just finished a 25 Day plan of reading through the entire Bible! It was a great experience to get an overview of the Word of God and to see the powerful hand of God at work in His creation and to see the MANY examples of His mercy and patience with fallen man. The 25 day reading plan is found here: 25 Day Plan  This was made with college students in mind, to be completed over their Christmas holiday break. My Sunday school teacher has asked me to bring in a copy, so I’m working on updating it with current dates. I’ll post it here if I remember. [Update: I made a 35 Day Bible Reading Plan. You can find a link to it on the Resources page.]

Neither the plan creator nor I would advocate only completing a quick read through of the Bible, but it was beneficial as part of a larger reading plan.

For the rest of 2020, I am planning to follow a chronological reading plan (One plan is linked here: Chronological Bible Reading Plan ).  As I go through the Bible, I plan to record insights on this blog but I wanted to use this separate post to explain my goals and process.

  • Each book and chapter will be both tagged and have separate categories made.
  • As I learn more about a passage, I may go back and edit the original post, so that I may keep the insights of a particular passage together. I’m going to make new posts as I go and use categories and tags to group similar subjects instead of adding on to the original posts.
  • I’m studying the Bible with a chronological plan, so my posts may not follow the canonical order of books.
  • I’m a participant in other Bible studies, outside of my personal study, that are currently studying New Testament epistles. So, some posts may jump ahead to the New Testament if choose to record what I’m learning in those other study groups. That’s why I’ll make sure to use Categories and Tags for each book to make searching easier later.
  • The insights will be primarily from my personal study of the Word of God. I like using commentaries, but my goal is to gather insights from reading and asking God for knowledge and wisdom first, before I read the commentaries. I am thankful to God for faithful, knowledgeable Bible teachers. He has given the spiritual gift of teaching to some for the building up of the body of Christ, so we are wise to pay attention to good teachers. However, as with the Bereans, see Acts 17:11 , we must know the Scriptures ourselves in order to be armed against error and to build up our powers of discernment, by the grace of God.
  • As I record the insights of others, I will properly credit other sources used in my study.
  • I do all this writing, reading, and studying prayerfully, remembering that we make plans but it is God Who establishes all things. Prov 16:9
  • I am doing this as part of an overall goal to be more disciplined. I was delighted to finish the 25 day reading plan; I even finished a day early! I don’t often follow through with my plans, however, and that’s something I would like to change. I want to be more disciplined in posting and studying to the glory of God.

What are your goals for reading and studying the Word of God this year? May God bless you in all your efforts!

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. – Prov 16:3 ESV

May God bless you in all you do for His glory. Happy New Year!

books on a table

Images by Jaclyn Clark on isorepublic.com

Resolutions

Stumbling and Crying

Well, barely five days into the New Year and I blew a resolution. Not surprising, I suppose, for me or anyone else on the planet. Still feels awful.

It began when I had to get gas on Sunday. I needed to go inside to use the ATM to get cash for my tithe, instead of just paying at the pump as I normally do, and while I was inside I bought a drink and some donuts. I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I was ravenous by then. I was telling myself “this isn’t exactly fast food; I mean this isn’t a restaurant–more like a wee grocery store” and on and on, basically trying to find a loophole in the resolution I had made.

The next day, Monday, I had a doughnut for breakfast. Bad choice. After visiting with a friend in the morning, I was shaking from hunger. I had a cleaning job do after that visit and on my way I chided myself for not eating a proper breakfast. I started looking for somewhere to eat. I was getting shaky and nauseous and abandoned any thought of trying to make it through work without eating.

On a brighter note, instead of my usual gargantuan meal, I made a more sensible choice this time (both in terms of finance and caloric intake) by ordering a small sandwich and small fry off the discount “dollar menu”.

I can see that one bad choice led to another; first, the doughnuts purchase; then, eating a doughnut for breakfast the next day; then, not bothering to pack a healthy snack to ward off temptation; and, finally, ordering fast food. *Sigh*

I’m happy to report that after work Monday I finally did some grocery shopping that I’d been putting off, so I have some fresh food again.

Now that I think about it, the problem really began by putting off buying groceries for so long. If I’d had bread, milk, fruit, cereal, etc., I could have easily had a decent breakfast on Monday morning and probably wouldn’t have been so tempted to buy the doughnuts! I also could have gotten my tithe money sorted out ahead of time,  by getting cash back at POS in the grocery store so that when gas was needed I could pay at the pump and not have to go inside and battle the temptation that comes from seeing all the junk food available.

The past couple days haven’t been good emotionally. I have wet my pillow with tears, crying out to the Lord for help with my present situation. I am in need of extra work to pay bills. I am thankful that the Lord has provided for me in the last few months that I’ve been alone, either through gifts or through selling things. However, I don’t want to rely on handouts. I’m growing very weary and trying to be patient. I know I should be grateful and keep trusting, remembering that the Lord was patient with me and that I don’t deserve anything good. But, sometimes, the full weight of my situation just comes tumbling down upon me and I can barely breathe. I am battling against despair. If anyone reads this, please say a prayer for me.

Casting my burdens at bedtime,

patricia

Resolutions

Good Intentions; Drive By Dinner

Well, I started the New Year with some extra time to work on this blog, and had grand plans about my first postings.  Then, sickness happened. Thursday night I began to cough and get a scratchy throat. By the time I got home after work today, I couldn’t keep warm.

We can make our plans,
    but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Hopefully, I can get a few more words in before crawling back in bed.

At least I didn’t overeat today! In fact, my first specific resolution (and it’s a biggie for me–no pun intended) is to avoid fast food this year. Stopping for fast food has been a strain on both my wallet and my waistline for YEARS.  I spend more time in my car, driving between jobs, and there are so many choices where I live for a hot, sugary, fatty, greasy, crispy, salty lunch that I couldn’t avoid driving by these establishments. What’s worse, one of my clients often has me stop to pick up lunch for her at these places. So tempting.

However, if I can’t do this one thing, as hard as it may be for me, do I have any hope of settling into a joyful, cheerful obedience to my Lord and Savior? Is it too much for me to pack a lunch and have healthy snacks on hand to avoid temptation? On my own, even these simple solutions are hard. I am such a wretch. I need the strength of Another.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 NASB

Comparing Paul’s experience of writing these words from a Roman prison and me struggling to stay away from a hamburger feels a little sheepish.  But, we all have been placed in different situations by God. And, praise to His Name, He can (and will!) be glorified in all of us, one way or another. Do you know Him? Do you know that you need Him?

Stifling a cough,

patricia grace