Whether or not you made any new year's resolutions; here's one I beg you to make. The Lord has put it on my heart to invite and implore you to do this most important thing. Starting today, resolve to read the Bible every day for thirty minutes. It will change, and can even save, your life!
This morning, January 1, 2021, I embarked upon Nicky Gumble's "Bible In One Year" (BiOY) reading plan. His strategic approach will lead participants through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation in one year. Gumble is the Vicar (aka Priest) of the Church of England's Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London and a very gifted teacher.
Over my many years of reading the Bible daily, I have used many other resources. Last October I happened to be looking for a new one when a friend suggested BiOY. I sampled it right away and loved it. I started following the reading plan in the fourth quarter of 2020, jumping in mid-stream to recommended daily readings. Since then, I've looked forward to starting from the beginning today.
The Bible In One Year's daily content is delivered in an excellent smart phone app, which provides a daily theme and introduction to day's three readings, the complete text for each reading, a short reflection and prayer for each, and a final word from Gumble's delightful wife, Pippa. The app also provides audio for all of this in case you prefer to listen. I've found this feature very helpful and have enjoyed their brisk, British accents.
To learn more about the Bible in One Year click here! The app is also available in your smart phone's app store.
Following BiOY's lead, my own Bible reading this morning, especially this excerpt from Psalm 1, inspired me to encourage you.
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take I
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
The following excerpt from Gumble's reflection I found to be very helpful:
"The promise is that if you ‘delight’ in God’s Word and ‘meditate’ on Scripture ‘day and night’ (v.2, MSG), your life will be blessed. Happiness comes from what happens to you. Blessing is what happens to you through knowing God and meditating on his words.
God promises you fruitfulness (‘which yields its fruit in season’, v.3b), vitality (‘whose leaves do not wither’, v.3c) and prosperity ('whatever they do prospers', v.3d), though not necessarily material prosperity!" - Nicky Gumble, BiOY, 1/1/21
I really cannot overstate how important spending time reading and reflecting on the Bible is to me. When I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2017, this time became more important and life-giving than ever. Spending time in God's word enabled me to feel God's presence, hear the voice of Jesus, and grow in faith. I received peace, assurance, guidance, healing, and more.
As a bonus, here's an excerpt from my book, How Cancer Cured Me, in which I write about the Bible's importance to me. This is from chapter 1, "Courage," which is about how God used cancer, to increase my courage and help me overcome my fears. The Bible is at the root of this and all of the transformation I have experienced.
Please make this resolution today. Get started and get ready for the most fruitful, vital, and prosperous year ever! God will bless you! Happy New Year!
Your friend in Christ,
My blog: www.davidgira.com/blog
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