Happy New Year 2009!

Praise God for one more year in our lives and in the ongoing history of mankind. We’re one more day and one more year closer to the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ and I hope He will find us faithful and full of faith when He returns and in each moment until He does.

Today is a great day to start reading through the Bible in a year. A few weeks ago I read about a 15 year old young man and believer (named Christian) who lives in southern Mexico. He was kidnapped for ransom a couple months ago and was released after 76 days in captivity. A couple weeks into his captivity, he was offered a television to watch but he asked to have his Bible returned to him instead. His captors complied.

Here’s an excerpt of a family report following his release:

My first question to Christian was, “Did God teach you something through this time?” His answer was “A LOT!” When he was first taken he hid his Bible on him in his clothing but they found it and took it away for the first 2 weeks. Then they asked him if he would like to have a television. He told them, “No thanks, but I would love my Bible.” So during the rest of the 61 days captive he would read the Bible. He was able to read it through once and almost twice. He began to concentrate more on specific books after finishing the Bible the first time. He was able to take some notes about what he was learning until they took his pen away. Then he began to tear a piece of paper and put it in the spot where the Lord had taught him something. By the end of his captivity, in his own words, his Bible “was really fat.”

I don’t know about you but I find this to be very inspiring in a number of ways. Ultimately, I find it inspiring that a boy would choose God’s Word over a connection to the outside world, to entertainment and news via a television. We who are not held captive by kidnappers at this moment in time…do we also choose God’s Word and our connection with God above all else?

I’ve added a new gadget to the blog in the left column. It posts a daily read through the Bible passage in ESV and you can scroll through each day and read it along. Another neat feature is that for each passage there’s a button to click in order to listen to the same passage. I have never read the English Standard Version but I looked at the website for it and discovered it is reviewed quite positively by John Piper (a favorite of mine) and other scholars. Perhaps you’ll find it easy to listen to the audio for reading through the Bible in 2009. Feel free to drop in every day to listen and/or to read it in the scrollable box.

We know how difficult life and temptations and trials can and will be. Each day of this new year will bring us new challenges and opportunities in our walk with Christ. May we all be faithful in our reading of God’s Word and in our devotion to God in 2009. God’s grace and peace to you.

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2 Responses to Happy New Year 2009!

  1. Ellie says:

    Years ago, when I was young, single, and childless, I read about J.O.Fraser’s habit of Bible reading. He would read through a whole book in a day, and read the same book through for a week. the next week, he would read the next book through seven times.I admired that. I never did do the book a day, but I began to read like that – one book over seven times before moving on, and reading large sections at a time. It changed my view of the Bible, taught me to see things in large contexts, and began to give me understanding and connections in some of those “boring books”.I must confess, though, that I never continued on past Numbers… (face turning red)… maybe I’ll pick that up again this year.I liked the discipline of it, and I liked seeing the book as a whole. I used this once for a Hebrews class. I couldn’t make heads nor tails of Hebrews, so I simply began to memorize it. It took me about three years to do it, but I memorized the book of Hebrews, and wow! did it start to make sense to me then.I grew up as an MK, aware of kidnappings and persecution. My parents had also been MKs. They really believed and taught us that there may be a day that the only Bible you have is what you have in your head, so taught us to memorize. I was the only one who kept it up, but I have grown to appreciate it greatly. When I am really down or really struggling, there is that bulk of Bible that my mind (or God?) can call to mind without much effort.

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  2. Jim says:

    I’m continuing with my chronological Bible reading (in Spanish), something I’ve never done before. Great to hear you’re reading through too – feel free to ask me how it’s going, and I’ll do the same! :)I have a “completed” graph on my sidebar, though it’s a little behind at the moment.

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