Tag: Devotions

12 Blessings of Life Recovery

12 Blessings of Life Recovery

There are 12 gifts/blessings from God for those who are in recvoery. This lesson is excerpted from the KJV Life Recovery Bible

 

THE TWELVE GIFTS OF LIFE RECOVERY

These twelve attributes are not just results or outcomes for people in recovery, but truly gifts from God. They show that recovery doesn’t merely provide escape from a destructive problem. It also points toward the possibility of a new and exceptional life.

  1. Hope—“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).

  1. Power—“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

  1. Character—“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

  1. Clarity—“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

  1. Security—“The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23). “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

  1. Abundance—“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

  1. Wisdom—“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

  1. Self-Control—“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” (Romans 8:9). “But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).”

  1. Freedom—“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

  1. Happiness—“Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight” (Psalm 119:35). “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.” (Proverbs 10:2).

  1. Serenity—“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come” (Romans 8:38).

  1. Peace—“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).”

12 Mistakes Made in Recovery (an excerpt)

12 Mistakes Made in Recovery (an excerpt)

The 12 mistakes listed below are common among people in recovery. This lesson is excerpted from the KJV Life Recovery Bible

 

THE TWELVE LAWS OF LIFE RECOVERY

These laws highlight irrefutable truths that you will discover in yourself as you experience recovery while following the Twelve Steps. They provide evidence of the progress you have made and highlight places where growth is still needed. As you experience these laws, you will find—perhaps to your surprise—that the laws of life recovery often give back what they initially seemed to take away.

  1. Powerlessness will result in STRENGTH.

We struggle with the feeling of powerlessness because it feels so much like we are helpless. But God often works healing in our lives through what to us is weakness. It is paradoxical that as we experience recovery in our lives, we will find there is great strength in recognizing our powerlessness.

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

  1. Humility will result in HONOR.

In our journey of life recovery, it is easy to take pride in the positive changes we are making in our lives. But in God’s plan, honor is not something we should seek. It is something we receive as we learn to live in humility. Humility is the path to being honored by God and by others.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)

  1. Connection will result in LOVE.”

We all long to be loved, but we overlook the fact that being loved always takes place in an emotionally connected relationship. Prior to our recovery, we lived in emotional isolation from others. But God designed us for connection—for relationship. That’s the only context in which we can experience true love.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. . . . Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:7-8, 11-12)

  1. Willingness will result in GROWTH.

There is the childlike part within all of us that wants to say, “I can do it on my own,” and “I can do it my way.” But true recovery in our  lives begins when we are willing to do it God’s way. That’s not easy, but without a willingness to be open to God’s plan, we will limit our growth. It all begins with a willing and open heart.

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23)

  1. Sacrifice will result in FULFILLMENT.

Before we started on our recovery journey, it was easy to think and act as if fulfillment came from getting, or from what we owned. But again, God’s ways are mysterious and not our ways. We learn in our recovery that sacrifice—doing good and sharing with others, not getting—is the true path to fulfillment.

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)”

  1. Faith will result in HOPE.

In God’s plan for our recovery, problems and trials are a part of the path that leads to a hope that will not disappoint us. It is all in how we handle our problems and trials. When we endure the hard stuff, we build strength of character, which then builds our faith. It is that faith which leads to a hope built on knowing we are loved by God.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

  1. Surrender will result in VICTORY.

James describes surrendering as being “easy to be intreated.” Here willingness is coupled with surrendering. When we truly surrender ourselves, we are saying to God,  “Your will, not mine.” And a truly surrendered life is a life lived out as a celebration of our victory.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)

  1. Service will result in REWARD.

Our acts of service are not to be done in order to gain a reward. They are done out of obedience to what we are learning as we are equipped to do the work of ministry. We are God’s hands, feet, and mouth. As we are faithful in our service, the reward is the peace and satisfaction that comes as the result of our obedience.

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12)”

  1. Forgiveness results in FREEDOM.

We are called to be forgiving people. When we hold a grudge, we are in bondage to the person we refuse to forgive. We forget that forgiveness involves only us, and that the person we need to forgive really isn’t part of the process. So there is no real excuse for not being obedient and forgiving others as we have been forgiven by God.

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)

  1. Confession will result in HEALING.

You may have wondered why it is so important to confess your inventory to another person as part of your recovery. Healing comes  as a result of confessing. We experience something powerful when we confess our shortcomings and failures not only to God but also to another person.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

  1. Restitution will result in CLOSURE.

Not all acts of restitution are financial repayments, although that can be a very effective way in some circumstances to make restitution. But we need also to make restitution for emotional hurts, or for other non-financial issues. Until we explore ways to make all kinds of restitution, we will struggle with moving on and experiencing closure.

“Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.” (Numbers 5:7)

  1. Responsibility will result in SECURITY.

This is one of the most obvious results of our experiencing life recovery. We have not only made restitution; we have also begun to act responsibly in all areas of our lives. Responsibility is living up to our part of life, not blaming or expecting someone else to make up for our lack. We experience a genuine sense of security when we are doing our part—living responsibly in our everyday lives.

“And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised.” (Genesis 17:9-10)”

Valley of Vision and Family Worship

Valley of Vision and Family Worship

 

One of the best devotionals available is the collection of Puritan Prayers, Poems and Psalms known as The Valley of Vision.  Previous to a server failure I had reviewed  it (trying to recover that review). This time around, I want to spend a few minutes on incorporating Valley of Vision into your church family, either on Sunday Mornings or during  your weekly family worship time.

Oder from Christian Book Distributors (affiliate link)

To use Valley of Vision on a Sunday morning, the best use would be either to use it as a guide for your corporate prayer time or perhaps as a responsorial reading with your congregation. I have also palyed with the idea of using it as a teaching aid by offering it to candidates for membership.

A black leather version is aviailble (see link above) and it would make a great gift for confirmation (if your faith tradition practices that) or as a gift in celebratiob of Believer’s Baptism.

The most common use that I have gotten from the Valley of Vision is as an aid in family worship. If you are not the type that is inclined to sing hymns, acapella, at home, you will find Valley of Vision to be a most welcome substitue. Depending on the frequesncy of family worship in your home, you will probably get through it a couple times a year.

I, personnaly, use it mostly on Saturdays. I find that it helps me to focus myself and to prepare mentally and spiritually for the Lord’s Day, especially becuase I am in the pulpit and need as much spiritual reinforcement as possible. The selections elevate the mind and heart as they intensify your focous on the Lord. If it were possible to attain to the heights of Heaven, here on Earth, this would be the vehicle that takes you there. The Puritan is one focused on holiness and God’s glory and I can find no book, other than the Bible, that so richly equips the reader for time with Jesus.

It is actually our intent to re-release our Family Worship Guides and we wll be adding a reading guide for the Valley of Vision as part of those worship guides. 

THE TWELVE STEPS AND SCRIPTURE

THE TWELVE STEPS AND SCRIPTURE

The following, excerpted from the NLT Life Rcovery Bible, is offered as a response to those who insist that 12-step programs are incompatible with Holy Scripture. That is quite far from the truth as any discipleship program, and the 12 Steps are certainly that, must be in an orderly and systematic fashio.

The Twelve Steps have long been of great help to people in recovery. Much of their power comes from the fact that they capture principles clearly revealed in the Bible. On this page is a list of the Twelve Steps and the corresponding Scriptures that support them. This will help readers familiar with the Twelve Steps to discover the true source of their wisdom—the very word of God.

STEP 1: We admitted that we were powerless over our dependencies—that our lives had become unmanageable.

“I know that nothing good lives in me. . . . I want to do what is right, but I can’t” (Romans 7:18; see also John 8:31-36; Romans 7:14-25).

STEP 2: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

“God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13; see also Romans 4:6-8; Ephesians 1:6-8; Colossians 1:21-22; Hebrews 11:1-10).

STEP 3: We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable” (Romans 12:1; see also Matthew 11:28-30; Mark 10:14-16; James 4:7-10).

STEP 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

“Let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the LORD(Lamentations 3:40; see also Matthew 7:1-5; 2 Corinthians 7:8-10).

STEP 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16; see also Psalms 32:1-5; 51:1-3; 1 John 1:2-6).

STEP 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor”(James 4:10; see also Romans 6:5-11; Philippians 3:12-14).

STEP 7: We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

“If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9; see also Luke 18:9-14; 1 John 5:13-15).

STEP 8: We made a list of all the persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

“Do to others as you would like them to do to you” (Luke 6:31; see also Colossians 3:12-15; 1 John 3:10-20).

STEP 9: We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

“If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar and . . . someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God”(Matthew 5:23-24; see also Luke 19:1-10; 1 Peter 2:21-25).

STEP 10: We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall”(1 Corinthians 10:12; see also Romans 5:3-6; 2 Timothy 2:1-7; 1 John 1:8-10).

STEP 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart”(Colossians 4:2; see also Isaiah 40:28-31; 1 Timothy 4:7-8).

STEP 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.“

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (Galatians 6:1; see also Isaiah 61:1-3; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 4:1-5).

~NLT Life Recovery Bible Used by permission of Tyndale House  Publuhsers

A New Beginning: Family Worship Readings 12/31-1/6

A New Beginning: Family Worship Readings 12/31-1/6

We begin our guided tour a day early so that we can have the Bible completed by 12/31/18. Below, you will find 7 days’ worth of readings along with discussion questions and a sample prayer. There is no set formula to use the materials so utilize them in whatever way fits your needs.

 

  • Sunday: Genesis 1:1-2:25
  • Monday: Genesis 3:1-24
  • Tuesday: Genesis 4:1-26
  • Wednesday: Genesis 6:1-22
  • Thursday: Genesis 7:1-8:22
  • Friday: Genesis 9:1-29
  • Saturday: Genesis 11:1-9

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do we learn about God when we read about Him as the Creator?
  2. The sin of Adam and Eve was that they did not trust the revealed truth of God and disobeyed His commands. In what way’s do you find yourself tempted by the serpent’s whisper, “Did God really say…?”
  3. When God destroyed the world, in the flood, He spared Noah and His family. What does this teach us about the character of God, and especially about how He deals with sin?
  4. When the Tower of Babel was built, what were the men trying to accomplish and why did God stop them.

 

Sample prayer:

Father, please help us to see your truth in Scripture. Help us to know you better and to see the many ways that you deserve glory. In Christ’s Name and for His sake, Amen.

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

NLT Reflections Journaling Bible Review

 

 

Initial Thoughts on the NLT Reflections Bible

It’s no secret that I love a wide margin Bible and in the case of the NLT Reflections Bible, these are the widest margins I have, personally, seen in a Bible, 2.25 inches. Tyndale made the margins ruled which eliminates a huge problem for me; for some reason I cannot write in a straight line on un-ruled paper, so giving me ruled margins made me exceedingly happy.

There are 3 covers available, all with sewn bindings so they will lay flat. Tyndale sent me all three (free of charge in exchange for an honest review; my opinions are my own): Ocean Blue (actually more of a teal) cloth over board, Sketchbook (The cover feels very similar to a Moleskine notebook and is the same shade of black), and Mahogany Bonded Leather over board. Of the 3, the mahogany will be the one I carry most. I cannot explain why, but it seems to be the most “pastoral” and since it will be used in a church plant, it seems the natural choice.

From the publisher

Product Description

NLT Reflections is a handsome single-column, wide-margin New Living Translation Bible. Extra-wide 2.25″ lightly ruled margins make this Bible great for note-taking, journaling, recording prayers, doodling, drawing, and other forms of creative expression.

Special features include

  • A line-matching setting that’s designed to prevent text show-through
  • A durable sewn lay-flat binding
  • Matching ribbon marker
  • Elegant spine hubs
  • Presentation page
  • One-year Bible reading plan
  • 8-point text size
  • 75″ X 6.75″ x 1.50″

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1704
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 6.38 X 1.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1496418042
ISBN-13: 9781496418043
Text Layout: Single Column|Wide Margin

 

Text Color: Black Letter
Text Size: 8 Point
Thumb Index: No
Ribbon Marker: Yes
Spine: Sewn
Page Gilding: None
Page Edges: White

The Paper & Font

The paper is a crisp white, not quite so bright that it would be difficult to read in the sunlight but not an off-white either; I guess that eggshell would be the best descriptor. Tyndale lists an 8-point font which I would have to say is the most readable 8-point font I have seen in a while. It is not the same font family as my KJV Concord Reference Bible but it is just as readable. Since I am planning to preach from the Reflections Bible, the font is the biggest factor for me; I am pleased to say that I have experienced no eyestrain when reading from this Bible.

Margins and their use

The margins, as I said earlier, are 2.25 inches and they are ruled for easy writing. I think there is one Bible with larger margins but it is only in KJV, if memory serves. In my case, the margins will be used for main points of sermons and word studies.

For writing your annotations, I recommend Papermate’s Better Retractable (shown in photo below) and I recommend Accu-gel Hi Glider for color coded marking. I have the six color pack and I am using the following color coding:

  • Green: Fruit of the Spirit/Christian Life/Discipleship
  • Purple: Kingdom of God/Eschatological Kingdom
  • Blue: the Godhead
  • Yellow: Prophecies of Christ, His Advents, & Ministry
  • Pink: Salvation
  • Orange: Ecclesiology

 

Naturally, your color coding may vary. There are many important topics that are worth color coding; in my case I chose the topics I believe are most important to a brand new church. How you color code is not as important as actually doing the color code. Color coding is one of several memory triggers that you can use to recall information quickly.

Actually Writing in the Bible

Typically, my annotations are word studies although, on occasion, I have been known to add some topical references. In the example shown in the photos, I have provided markings from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5. Because the Beatitudes fall into the category of Christian Life, I have marked them with the green accu-gel highlighter pen. You will notice that the coloring is noticeable but it is not so bright as to distract from the text. In the margin, there are some brief comments on the word makarios which we translate as blessed. The word to be studied is in red with the definition and references to Strong’s and Thayer’s in blue and my summary remarks in black.

I have also provided a picture of the opposite side of the page from where I made the markings. You can see the slightest hint of a shadow where I wrote but you cannot make out individual letters and the green highlighting barely shows any shadowing.

For Carry/Daily Use

For daily carry and use, this Bible is a great choice. The format lends itself to reading large amounts of text in a single sitting. Of course, the exquisite margins provide the perfect canvas to record your thoughts as you read devotionally or your study notes while you prepare your lessons. In the case of my wife, who has claimed the Ocean Blue, that point you want to remember from the Sunday Sermon fits here nicely as well. The overall size and weight of the Bible lends itself to one handed use without worrying if the Bible will fall out of your hand while reading. I am very peripatetic (walk while talking) and I have not noticed any issues with that habit and this Bible.

Overall Thoughts

I’m really enjoying the NLT Reflections Bible. It works out nicely for my purposes in using it as a pastoral tool. My only suggestion would be to add two more ribbons so that you can study the Old Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, and the New Testament simultaneously. I hope that, after reading this, you will get an NLT Reflections Journaling Bible and that you will customize your own study/devotional Bible.

 

 

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Below, you will find the foundational statement of faith of all Reformed Christians. Officially codified in AD 390, this is a concise statement on the essentials of Christian Orthodoxy.

 

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.

Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan (the Plan I will use in 2017)

Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan (the Plan I will use in 2017)

Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System & Bookmarks

Horner Plan

I have, recently, shared a couple of reading plans with you and, now, I want to share, with you, the plan that I will be using in 2017, Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan. This will be an especially ambitious plan for me because, even though, I read my Bible every day, I do not usually consume this level of content on a daily basis. If you follow this plan you will read ten chapters of the Bible per day. Yes, you read that correctly, 3650 chapters of the Bible in a year. There area 1189 chapters in the Bible which means that you will read the Bible 3.06 times in a year. Since you will go through different sections each day, you will get a better idea of how the Bible relates to itself and how to better interpret it.

Which Bible goes best with the Horner Plan?

There are three Bibles that I recommend with this plan: The Crossway ESV Single Column Legacy Bible, the Tyndale Select NLT Reference Bible or the Cambridge Clarion (ESV, NAS, KJV, NKJV, NIV). I will be using the ESV first and then the Select NLT for the 2nd time through. I will decide on which Bible to use for the 3rd time through when I get there.

If you only have 1 Bible, do not feel bad. Study with what you have. If you are going to buy a new Bible for this plan, here is what I would recommend:

  • Get an easy to read translation. Here is where NIV and NLT really shine
  • Buy a single column paragraph format Bible. I love verse by verse for preaching and study but to get this in depth, you will want as few distractions as possible.
  • Lastly, get a set of colored pens and use them for your notes while you read the Bible
Guided Tour of the Bible

Guided Tour of the Bible

Also from our friends at Zondervan, we have, here, a guided tour of the Bible…

If you click on the link below you will find a downloadable PDF to help you follow along.

Zondervan_-_180_Day_Guided_Tour

(Adapted fromt the NIV Student Bible. c.2002, 2011 by Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

The plan offers a kind of bird’s-eye-view.
The daily readings consist of 180 selected passages, including at least one chapter from each of the Bible’s 66 books. You can read both the chap- ter and its accompanying note in 15 minutes per day.

This “Guided Tour” is exactly that, a guide-as- sisted tour of the Bible’s high points. Such a plan is no substitute for mastering the whole Bible, of course, but it may help lower barriers and point the way down a path for further study. Think of it as an introductory tour through a great art muse- um. You won’t get to see every painting in the mu- seum, but you will learn the basic layout, and may also acquire a taste for art that will entice you to return again and again.

With a few exceptions, the Biblical material appears in rough chronological order. You will read the psalms attributed to David as you read about David’s life. You will read the prophets along with their background history. Portions from the Gospels, too, are interspersed, giving a composite picture of Jesus’ life on earth; and Paul’s letters are scattered throughout the record of his life. This arrangement should help convey the Bible’s “plot.”

 

The Plot Unveiled
Day 1. Genesis 1: A Book of Beginnings Day 2. Genesis 2: One Shining Moment Day 3. Genesis 3: The Crash Day 4. Genesis 4: Crouching at the Door Day 5. Genesis 7: Under Water Day 6. Genesis 8: The Rainbow Day 7. Genesis 15: The Plan Day 8. Genesis 19: A Catastrophe Sent from God Day 9. Genesis 22: Final Exam Day 10. Genesis 27: Jacob Gets the Blessing Day 11. Genesis 28: Something Undeserved Day 12. Genesis 37: Family Battles Day 13. Genesis 41: Behind the Scenes Day 14. Genesis 45: A Long Forgiveness
Birthing a Nation
Day 15. Exodus 3: Time for Action Day 16. Exodus 10–11: The Ten Plagues Day 17. Exodus 14: Miracle at the Red Sea Day 18. Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments Day 19. Exodus 32: The Dream Dies Day 20. Leviticus 26: Legal Matters Day 21. Numbers 11: Trials in the Desert Day 22. Numbers 14: Open Mutiny Day 23. Deuteronomy 4: Never Forget Day 24. Deuteronomy 8: Dangers of Success Day 25. Deuteronomy 28: Loud and Clear Day 26. Joshua 2: New Spies, New Spirit Day 27. Joshua 6: Strange Tactics Day 28. Joshua 7: Slow Learners Day 29. Joshua 24: Home at Last Day 30. Judges 6: Unlikely Leader Day 31. Judges 7: Military Upset Day 32. Judges 16: Superman’s Flaws Day 33. Ruth 1: Tough Love
The Golden Age
Day 34. 1 Samuel 3: Transition Team Day 35. 1 Samuel 16: Tale of Two Kings Day 36. Psalm 23: A Shepherd’s Song Day 37. 1 Samuel 17: Giant-Killer Day 38. Psalm 19: Outdoor Lessons Day 39. 1 Samuel 20: Jonathan’s Loyalty Day 40. Psalm 27: Ups and Downs Day 41. 2 Samuel 6: King of Passion Day 42. 1 Chronicles 17: God’s House Day 43. Psalm 103: The Goodness of God Day 44. 2 Samuel 11: Adultery and Murder Day 45. 2 Samuel 12: Caught in the Act Day 46. Psalm 51: True Confession Day 47. Psalm 139: David’s Spiritual Secret Day 48. 1 Kings 3: Raw Talent Day 49. 1 Kings 8: High-water Mark Day 50. Psalm 84: Home Sweet Home Day 51. Proverbs 4: Life Advice Day 52. Proverbs 10: One-liners Day 53. Proverbs on Words: Verbal Dynamite Day 54. Song of Songs 2: Love Story Day 55. Ecclesiastes 3: A Time for Everything

The Northern Kingdom
Day 56. 1 Kings 17: The Prophets Day 57. 1 Kings 18: Mountaintop Showdown Day 58. 2 Kings 5: Double Portion Day 59. Joel 2: Word Power Day 60. Jonah 3–4: Beloved Enemies Day 61. Amos 4: Street-Corner Prophet Day 62. Hosea 1, 3: Parable of Love Day 63. Hosea 11: Wounded Lover Day 64. 2 Kings 17: Postmortem
The Southern Kingdom
Day 65. 2 Chronicles 20: Meanwhile in Jerusalem Day 66. Micah 6: Pollution Spreads Day 67. 2 Chronicles 30: Hezekiah’s Festival Day 68. Isaiah 6: Power behind the Throne Day 69. Isaiah 25: Eloquent Hope Day 70. 2 Chronicles 32: Battlefield Lessons Day 71. Nahum 1: Enemy Justice Day 72. Zephaniah 3: Rotten Ruling Class Day 73. 2 Kings 22: Boy Wonder Day 74. Jeremiah 2: National Adultery Day 75. Jeremiah 15: Balky Prophet Day 76. Jeremiah 31: Israel’s Future Day 77. Jeremiah 38: A Prophet’s Perils Day 78. Habakkuk 1: Debating God Day 79. Lamentations 3: Poet In Shock Day 80. Obadiah: No Room to Gloat
Starting Over
Day 81. Ezekiel 1: In Exile Day 82. Ezekiel 2–3: Toughening Up Day 83. Ezekiel 4: Write Large and Shout Day 84. Ezekiel 37: Resurrection Time Day 85. Daniel 1: Enemy Employers Day 86. Daniel 3: Ordeal by Fire Day 87. Daniel 5: Like Father, Like Son Day 88. Daniel 6: Daniel’s Longest Night Day 89. Ezra 3: Home at Last Day 90. Haggai 1: A Needed Boost Day 91. Zechariah 8: Raising Sights Day 92. Nehemiah 2: A Man for All Seasons Day 93. Nehemiah 8: Mourning into Joy Day 94. Esther 4: A Race’s Survival Day 95. Malachi 2: Low-grade Disappointment
Cries of Pain
Day 96. Job 1–2: Is God Unfair? Day 97. Job 38: God Speaks to Job Day 98. Job 42: Happy Ending Day 99. Isaiah 40: Who’s in Charge? Day 100. Isaiah 52: The Suffering Servant Day 101. Isaiah 53: Wounded Healer Day 102. Isaiah 55: The End of It All
A Surprising Messiah
Day 103. Luke 1: One Final Hope Day 104. Luke 2: No Fear Day 105. Mark 1: Immediate Impact Day 106. Mark 2: Signal Fires of Opposition Day 107. John 3: Late-Night Rendezvous Day 108. Mark 3: Miracles and Magic Day 109. Mark 4: Hard Soil Day 110. Mark 5: Jesus and Illness Day 111. Matthew 5: Inflammatory Word Day 112. Matthew 6: Sermon on the Mount Day 113. Matthew 13: Kingdom Tales Day 114. Mark 6: Contrast in Power Day 115. Luke 16: Of Two Worlds Day 116. Luke 12: Jesus on Money Day 117. Luke 18: Underdogs

Responses to Jesus
Day 118. Luke 15: Master Storyteller Day 119. John 6: Food that Endures Day 120. Mark 7: Poles Apart Day 121. Matthew 18: Out of Bondage Day 122. John 10: No Secrets Day 123. Mark 8: Turning Point Day 124. Mark 9: Slow Learners Day 125. Luke 10: Mission Improbable Day 126. Mark 10: Servant Leadership Day 127. Mark 11: Opposition Heats Up Day 128. Mark 12: Baiting Jesus Day 129. Mark 13: A Day to Dread Day 130. Mark 14: A Scent of Doom
Final Days
Day 131. John 14: One Final Meal Together Day 132. John 15: Vital Link Day 133. John 16: Grief into Joy Day 134. John 17: Commissioning Day 135. Matthew 26: Appointment with Destiny Day 136. Matthew 27: No Justice Day 137. Mark 15: Removing the Barrier Day 138. Matthew 28: A Rumor of Life Day 139. John 20: The Rumor Spreads Day 140. Luke 24: The Final Link
The Word Spreads
Day 141. Acts 1: Departure Day 142. Acts 2: Explosion Day 143. Acts 5: Shock Waves Day 144. Acts 9: About-face Day 145. Galatians 3: Legalism Day 146. Acts 16: Detour Day 147. Philippians 2: Downward Mobility Day 148. Acts 17: Mixed Results Day 149. 1 Thessalonians 3–4: Preparing for the End Day 150. 2 Thessalonians 2: Rumor Control Day 151. 1 Corinthians 13: The Love Chapter Day 152. 1 Corinthians 15: The Last Enemy Day 153. 2 Corinthians 4: Baked Dirt Day 154. 2 Corinthians 12: Boasting of Weakness
Paul’s Legacy
Day 155. Romans 3: Remedy Day 156. Romans 7: Limits of the Law Day 157. Romans 8: Spirit Life Day 158. Romans 12: When Christians Disagree Day 159. Acts 26: Unexpected Passage Day 160. Acts 27: Perfect Storm Day 161. Acts 28: Rome at Last Day 162. Ephesians 2: Prison Letter Day 163. Ephesians 3: Success Story Day 164. Colossians 1: Spanning the Gap Day 165. Philemon: A Personal Favor Day 166. Titus 2: Paul’s Troubleshooter Day 167. 1 Timothy 1: Growth Pains Day 168. 2 Timothy 2: Final Words
Vital Letters
Day 169. Hebrews 2: The Great Descent Day 170. Hebrews 11: What Is True Faith? Day 171. Hebrews 12: Marathon Race Day 172. James 1: Walk the Talk Day 173. 1 Peter 1: Converted Coward Day 174. 2 Peter 1: Hidden Dangers Day 175. Jude: Sounding the Alarm Day 176. 1 John 3: Merest Christianity Day 177. 2 and 3 John: Pesky Deceivers Day 178. Revelation 1: The Final Word Day 179. Revelation 12: Another Side of History Day 180. Revelation 21: An End and a Beginning

 

Overview of the Bible Reading Plan

Overview of the Bible Reading Plan

From our friends at Zondervan Publishing, here is a reading plan to give you a solid overview of the Bible. (Adapted fromt the NIV Student Bible. c.2002, 2011 by Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)

 

Introduction to the Bible
This is a plan to begin reading the Bible. These two-week reading courses take you quickly into passages every Christian should know. Of the 1189 Bible chapters, why begin with these? First, they are frequently quoted or referred to elsewhere. Second, they are relatively easy to read and understand. Each section is designed to take 2 Weeks to complete so that at the end of 14-20 weeks you will have laid a solid foundation of Bible reading and will have set the discipline of personal time in the word.
1. Two Weeks on the Life and Teachings of Jesus
Day 1. Luke 1: Preparing for Jesus’ arrival. Day 2. Luke 2: The story of Jesus’ birth. Day 3. Mark 1: The beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Day 4. Mark 9: A day in the life of Jesus. Day 5. Matthew 5: The Sermon on the Mount. Day 6. Matthew 6: The Sermon on the Mount. Day 7. Luke 15: Parables of Jesus. Day 8. John 3: A conversation with Jesus. Day 9. John 14: Jesus’ final instructions. Day 10. John 17: Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. Day 11. Matthew 26: Betrayal and arrest. Day 12. Matthew 27: Jesus’ execution on a cross. Day 13. John 20: Resurrection. Day 14. Luke 24: Jesus’ appearance after resurrection.
2. Two Weeks on the Life and Teachings of Paul
Day 1. Acts 9: The conversion of Saul. Day 2. Acts 16: Paul’s Macedonian call and a jailbreak. Day 3. Acts 17: Scenes from Paul’s missionary journey. Day 4. Acts 26: Paul tells his life story to a king. Day 5. Acts 27: Shipwreck on the way to Rome. Day 6. Acts 28: Paul’s arrival in Rome. Day 7. Romans 3: Paul’s theology in a nutshell. Day 8. Romans 7: Struggle with sin. Day 9. Romans 8: Life in the Spirit. Day 10. 1 Corinthians 13: Paul’s description of love. Day 11. 1 Corinthians 15: Thoughts on the afterlife. Day 12. Galatians 5: Freedom in Christ. Day 13. Ephesians 3: Paul’s summary of his mission. Day 14. Philippians 2: Imitating Christ.
3. Two Weeks on the Old Testament
Day 1. Genesis 1: The story of creation. Day 2. Genesis 3: The origin of sin. Day 3. Genesis 22: Abraham and Isaac. Day 4. Exodus 3: Moses’ encounter with God. Day 5. Exodus 20: The gift of the Ten Commandments. Day 6. 1 Samuel 17: David and Goliath. Day 7. 2 Samuel 11: David and Bathsheba. Day 8. 2 Samuel 12: Nathan’s rebuke of the king. Day 9. 1 Kings 18: Elijah and the prophets of Baal. Day 10. Job 38: God’s answer to Job. Day 11. Psalm 51: A classic confession. Day 12. Isaiah 40: Words of comfort from God. Day 13. Daniel 6: Daniel and the lions. Day 14. Amos 4: A prophet’s stern warning.

1. Two Weeks on Becoming a Christian
Day 1. Genesis 3: The first sin creates a need. Day 2. Isaiah 52: Salvation prophesied. Day 3. Isaiah 53: The role of the suffering servant. Day 4. Luke 15: Three stories about God’s love. Day 5. John 3: Jesus explains “born again.” Day 6. John 10: The good shepherd. Day 7. Acts 8: Conversions spread outside the Jewish community. Day 8. Acts 26: Paul testifies of his conversion before a king. Day 9. Romans 3: God’s provision for sin. Day 10. Romans 5: Peace with God. Day 11. Galatians 3: Salvation unavailable by obeying the law. Day 12. Ephesians 2: New life in Christ. Day 13. 1 Peter 1: Future rewards of salvation. Day 14. 2 Peter 1: Making your salvation sure.

2. Two Weeks on Prayers of the Bible
Day 1. Genesis 18: Abraham’s plea for Sodom. Day 2. Exodus 15: Moses’ song to the Lord. Day 3. Exodus 33: Moses meets with God. Day 4. 2 Samuel 7: David’s response to God’s promises. Day 5. 1 Kings 8: Solomon’s dedication of the temple. Day 6. 2 Chronicles 20: Jehoshaphat prays for victory. Day 7. Ezra 9: Ezra’s prayer for the people’s sins. Day 8. Psalm 22: A cry to God for help. Day 9. Psalm 104: A prayer of praise. Day 10. Daniel 9: Daniel’s prayer for the salvation of Jerusalem. Day 11. Habakkuk 3: A prophet’s prayer of acceptance. Day 12. Matthew 6: The Lord’s prayer. Day 13. John 17: Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. Day 14. Colossians 1: Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving.

3. Two Weeks on the Holy Spirit
Day 1. Judges 14: The Spirit gives Samson strength. Day 2. 1 Samuel 10: King Saul’s experience. Day 3. Matthew 3:1–4:10: Role in Jesus’ baptism and temptation. Day 4. John 14: Jesus promises the Spirit. Day 5. John 16: The work of the Spirit. Day 6. Acts 2: The Spirit comes at Pentecost. Day 7. Acts 10: The Spirit guides Peter to accept Gentiles. Day 8. Romans 8: Christians’ victory in the Spirit. Day 9. 1 Corinthians 2: Wisdom from the Spirit. Day 10. 1 Corinthians 12: Gifts of the Spirit. Day 11. 1 Corinthians 14: Gifts of tongues and prophecy. Day 12. Galatians 5: Life in the Spirit. Day 13. Ephesians 4: Unity and gifts. Day 14. 1 John 4: Signs of the Spirit.

4. Two Weeks on Women of the Bible
Day 1. Genesis 2: Eve, the first woman. Day 2. Genesis 18: Sarah laughs at God’s promise. Day 3. Genesis 24: Rebekah’s marriage to Isaac. Day 4. Genesis 27: Rebekah, the manipulative mother Day 5. Judges 4: Deborah’s leadership frees her people. Day 6. Ruth 1: Ruth and Naomi’s deep friendship. Day 7. 1 Samuel 1: Hannah prays for a son. Day 8. 1 Kings 17: A poor widow and the prophet Elijah. Day 9. 1 Kings 21: Jezebel, an emblem of wickedness. Day 10. Esther 2: Esther is chosen as queen. Day 11. Esther 4: Esther’s courage at the risk of death. Day 12. Luke 1: Mary and Elizabeth receive great news. Day 13. Luke 2: Mary gives birth to Jesus. Day 14. John 11: Mary and Martha and their brother’s death.

5. Two Weeks on Men of the Old Testament
Day 1. Judges 6: God calls Gideon to rescue his people. Day 2. Judges 7: Gideon conquers his fears—and his enemies. Day 3. 1 Samuel 3: God calls young Samuel. Day 4. 1 Kings 3: Solomon is given wisdom. Day 5. 1 Kings 19: Elijah runs for his life. Day 6. 2 Kings 5: Elisha heals a powerful foreign general. Day 7. Isaiah 6: God calls the prophet Isaiah. Day 8. 2 Kings 18: King Hezekiah under military siege. Day 9. 2 Kings 19: Isaiah speaks God’s word to King Hezekiah. Day 10. 2 Chronicles 34: Josiah sets his nation back on course. Day 11. Nehemiah 2: Nehemiah courageously begins rebuilding a wall. Day 12. Jeremiah 38: Jeremiah, in prison, refuses to change his message. Day 13. Daniel 1: Daniel risks his life in captivity. Day 14. Daniel 5: Daniel’s word to participants in a royal orgy.

6. Two Weeks on Social Justice
Day 1. Exodus 3: God hears the cries of the slaves. Day 2. Leviticus 25: The Year of Jubilee, a time of economic revolution. Day 3. Ruth 2: A poor woman finds help. Day 4. 1 Kings 21: Elijah speaks to a land-grabbing, murderous king. Day 5. Nehemiah 5: Nehemiah demands justice for the poor. Day 6. Isaiah 5: Warning to fun-loving materialists. Day 7. Isaiah 58: Worship that God appreciates. Day 8. Jeremiah 34: Freedom for slaves. Day 9. Amos 2: Sins against God by his own people. Day 10. Amos 6: Warning to the complacent. Day 11. Micah 6: What the Lord requires. Day 12. Luke 3: John the Baptist tells how to prepare for Jesus. Day 13. Matthew 6: Jesus speaks on material things. Day 14. James 2: How to treat the rich and the poor.

7. Two Weeks on God and Nature
Day 1. Genesis 1: God creates the earth. Day 2. Genesis 2: God creates human beings. Day 3. Proverbs 8: Wisdom’s view of creation. Day 4. Genesis 7: God preserves the species. Day 5. Job 38: The greatness of nature. Day 6. Job 39: The wildness of nature. Day 7. Job 40: God’s mastery of nature. Day 8. Psalm 8: Praise for the Creator. Day 9. Psalm 98: Nature joins in the praise. Day 10. Psalm 104: God sustains the earth. Day 11. Isaiah 40: The ruler of all creation. Day 12. Romans 8: The “groanings” of our present state. Day 13. Isaiah 65: Preview of a restored earth. Day 14. Revelation 22: The end of history.
Further Two-Week Courses for Personal Study
Two weeks on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: Genesis 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33.

Two weeks on Moses and the exodus: Exodus 2, 3, 4, 7, 12, 14, 16, 19, 32; Numbers 14; Deuteronomy 1, 2, 4, 31.

Two weeks on David: 1 Samuel 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24; 2 Samuel 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18.