Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The New You in the New Year

I'll be the first to admit that I shy away from the idea of making New Year's Resolutions. Yes, I've done it before but in my view there's something phony about it. However, there is one resolution worth making over and over again - that of reading God's Word on a daily basis. Despite how many times you seemingly fail at this, you must try and try again. Keep at it! God's Word is too important for us as Christians to take lightly.

Many of us begin each year with a new and inspired devotion to get into God's Word on a regular and consistent basis. In my view, a goal for all Christians should be to read through the entirety of the Bible each year. However, somewhere in the middle of Genesis, or perhaps we've made it all the way to Leviticus, we begin to labor and breathe hard. The task becomes too big for us and we soon grow disgruntled with it and quickly leave it until the weekend where your bound to get the only dose of it you'll need to get you through the week - Right? Wrong? You need it more than on Sunday mornings.

So, where should one start as they begin the New Year? I would recommend picking up a good devotional that guides one through each day of the week. Most of the time, these are short and inspirational in nature. One of the most popular is Our Daily Bread, which also has a track to take you through the entire Bible in a year. You can find these for free in many locations or by visiting their website at www.rbc.org for the online version. A visit to your local Christian Bookstore will offer you a plethora of other choices, but you will need to be selective to find one that matches your personality and needs.

If you choose to forgo the devotional but would still like to read through the Bible in a year, many recent Bibles put out by Zondervan and others have tracks to help you do this which consists of about 3 or 4 chapters per day of reading.

If your planning on setting your own course, let me suggest that you don't start in Genesis in hopes of making your way all the way to Revelation. It's a tough road and only the most diligent will ever make it. A better way, in my view, would be to daily read two chapters from the Old Testament as well as one or two chapters from the New Testament. You might start in Genesis in the OT while also starting with one of Paul's letters (i.e Philippians) or even the Gospel of John in the NT.

Remember, our source of power as Christians comes from a regular diet of God's Word. So this year, to borrow the American Express adage, "don't leave home without it."