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

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

 

Gluttony, Health

Resolutions 2015

  • “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
  • “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24
  • “… likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,  but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”  1 Timothy 2:9-10
  • But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good…” 2 Timothy 3:1-3  Read verse on BibleGateway

In light of these verses (and many others) it’s easy to see that self-control is valued in the eyes of God.  My own struggle with self-control largely deals with the amount of food that I consume. I can certainly see the wisdom in making a New Year’s resolution to change one’s diet and a lack of self-control certainly comes into play when dealing with overeating.

How many times have I tried and failed at dieting? What about you? I’m pretty certain that I am not alone in my horrible track record in resolution-keeping, especially where diet is concerned.

If the beginning of finding a solution to a problem is to name the problem, then let’s name the problem specifically, in all its ugliness. Let’s get to the root of the matter. My problem is gluttony. One might call it “emotional eating”, “stress eating”, or “overindulgence”, but I think these terms might only serve to remove personal blame, as though the problem is solely circumstantial and not resulting from a problem in one’s own heart.

“Overindulgence” might be a bit more appropriate, but I think “gluttony” paints a better picture of the ugliness of the problem. Even further, gluttony is essentially just another form of (gulp!) idolatry.

A few months ago, I prayed to the Lord for help with my gluttony. What I found shortly afterwards, was a website offering a free course about dealing with the sin of gluttony. I’ve found the lessons to be Biblical  and solid, offering real help and hope. The website is titled “Setting Captives Free”, and the course I’m taking is called “The Lord’s Table”. A mentor is provided that corresponds with you via email, or you can choose to have your lesson activity sent to a friend who has agreed to be an accountability partner. *[UPDATE 4/30/2016: The Settings Captives Free site has changed. The owner has made philosophical changes to the site, along with a site name change, and I have not searched the new site enough to be able to recommend it.]

I’ve found my mentor, Janet, to be very helpful in encouraging me to stay on task. The best part of the course is that it’s not really about dieting, but about finding satisfaction in Christ the Lord and “feeding on Him”. Have you found satisfaction in Christ? Are you interested in the course? If so, I’ve added the course details below. Connect with me here at Gospel Wine and share your progress. Let’s encourage one another in the New Year.

settingcaptivesfree.com/courses/lords-table/  *Site has changed. I may update the link if I find the new site to be helpful and discerning (i.e., biblical).

Happy New Year,

patricia grace

 

(Verses taken from the ESV, with bold print emphasis added)