OYB December 31

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Malachai 3-4
NT: Revelation 22
Ps: Psalm 150
Pr: Proverbs 31:25-31

Today´s notable verse:

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen.

Revelation 22:21 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, which ask:

Are you someone who makes New Year's resolutions? Do you have any resolutions for 2007 that you would be willing to share in the Comments section below?

Honestly, I've never really been one for making New Year's resolutions. While the turning of one year into the next represents renewal, as Christians we have the source of Ultimate Renewal living within us every day. If I know that I need to resolve to do something new or differently (or to cease doing something), why wait until the rather arbitrary New Year's Day to make the change? Why not take advantage of that most blessed day that God has given each of us: Today.

Having said that, I can also recognize that the New Year offers a great opportunity for reflection and introspection - and it is those efforts that lead to a realization and resolve to change more so than the opportunity itself - that is, New Year's - that leads to change. So perhaps I can take this opportunity to realize that reflection and introspection are not limited to the changing of the calendar, but rather are available every day. And as I reflect back on the past year, I recognize that this daily participation in the One Year Bible study has led to much more daily reflection and introspection, which ties back into yesterday's question:

For those of you wrapping up the One Year Bible here in 2006, I'd like to ask you to post up your reflections on this experience in the Comments section below. The reason for this request is because we have hundreds of new folks signing up to take the One Year Bible journey in 2007. What advice would you give them? Any encouragement? What has reading the Bible on a daily basis meant to you over the past year? Has this experience changed you in any way?

I have studied the Bible my whole life, in various forms; but until 2006 I had never read through the entire Bible in a year - in fact, I'm not sure I had read through the entire Bible at all.

My advice and encouragement would be similar to what I told my sister-in-law, who is also going to be reading the One Year Bible in 2007:

Really, it takes only about 15 minutes a day. If you get in the habit of doing it first thing, it becomes really easy as a daily ritual - and, it has really been a blessing each day to begin with the Word.

If you want to be successful with the One Year Bible:

  1. Make it a Habit. Whether you choose first thing in the morning, right before bed, on your lunch break, after work, or whenever, be consistent. Block out 15 minutes in your day, and set this time aside no matter what. Give it at least three weeks straight, and you will have begun a habit of Bible study.
  2. Don't Get Overwhelmed. Do your best to stay up with the readings every day, but don't get discouraged if life sometimes gets in the way, and you get behind. Pick up on the current day's reading, and catch up on the ones you missed as you are able. Don't try to catch up before moving ahead, or you will only find yourself falling further behind.
  3. Journey With Others. Don't go it alone. Write about the daily readings on your blog. Start a blog. Comment or trackback to the One Year Bible Blog. The participation and interaction will help keep you encouraged, motivated, and accountable to continue throughout the year.

As for encouragement, I can personally testify to the blessing that comes from daily study of God's word - and especially from reading His entire Word in a year. After reading the Old Testament, you will never read the New Testament the same way again. You will begin to recognize references to Old Testament Law, prophecy, customs, and wisdom that you never before recognized, and suddenly you will find that you are gaining new insight that you would not have been able to understand previously. Likewise, every sermon, devotion, or message will come with greater light. You will begin to see beautiful, intricate, and wonderful thread of consistency throughout the Bible, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. You will listen to worship and other Christian music with a greater appreciation for previously unrecognized allusion to Scripture. You will find new focus and direction in your prayers. You will find renewed encouragement and promise as you walk out your faith and live your life each day. You will read Psalm 119 and see it not merely as the longest chapter in the Bible, but rather as a deeply passionate plea and desire for the Word of God.

I can say each of these things to you because they are what this experience has meant to me over the past year; I have seen many of these changes in my own life. I hope and pray that you would join us in 2007!

OYB December 30

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Malachi 1-2
NT: Revelation 21
Ps: Psalm 149
Pr: Proverbs 31:10-24

Today´s notable verse:

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

Proverbs 31:10 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, which asks for reflections from the past year of One-Year-Bible blogging. I'll make those reflections tomorrow, as part of wrapping up the year and beginning the journey again. (I'll also announce what I hope will be an interesting twist on my OYB blogging approach for 2007.)

The Butcher is Dead

Filed in PoliticsTags: Military, War on Terror

Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging. Coverage from Fox News, Michelle Malkin, Pajamas Media, and probably most of the blogosphere.

OYB December 29

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 14
NT: Revelation 20
Ps: Psalm 148
Pr: Proverbs 31:8-9

Today´s notable verse:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.

Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)

God has always been concerned with the welfare of the less fortunate, and He has charged His followers with caring for the needs of the needy and advocating for those unable to advocate for themselves - because all human life is equally sacred and equally valuable. It is the same principle found in the Declaration of Independence, and upon which the founders of this country based their argument for severance from tyranny:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 28

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 12-13
NT: Revelation 19
Ps: Psalm 147
Pr: Proverbs 31:1-7

Today´s notable verse:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:11 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 27

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 31, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 10-11
NT: Revelation 18
Ps: Psalm 146
Pr: Proverbs 30:33

Today´s notable verse:

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God

Psalm 146:5 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 26

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 31, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 9
NT: Revelation 17
Ps: Psalm 145
Pr: Proverbs 30:32

Today´s notable verse:

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.

Psalm 145:13 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 25

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 31, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 8
NT: Revelation 16
Ps: Psalm 144
Pr: Proverbs 30:29-31

Today´s notable verse:

...blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.

Psalm 144:15 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 24

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 31, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 6-7
NT: Revelation 15
Ps: Psalm 143
Pr: Proverbs 30:24-28

Today´s notable verse:

9 This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'

Zechariah 7:9-10 (NIV)

Rather than fasts or feasts, God wants sacrifices of mercy and compassion. In this Word we have a glimpse of the Higher Calling of the Gospel: it is not merely enough to act in love toward others, but rather we must think in love toward others. God is more concerned with our inward state, since what is internal bears that which is seen externally.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Psalm 143:10 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB December 23

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Posted December 31, 2006; back-dated.

Today´s reading:
OT: Zechariah 4-5
NT: Revelation 14
Ps: Psalm 142
Pr: Proverbs 30:21-23

Today´s notable verses:

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)

Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit - what was true for Zerubbabel then is true for us today. Let us remember that everything we accomplish is done so by neither our own might nor our own power, but by the Holy Spirit working within and through us.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Revelation 14:13 (NIV)

Christians truly have no need to fear death, because for us death brings an end to earthly labor and strife and the beginning of our rest in the presence of God - for all eternity.

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.