“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
This is one of my favorite verses. The Word of God is my lamp. It removes the fear of this world by shining light on the shadows that hover around me. It opens my eyes when all I can see is darkness.
I made a commitment in 2002 to read the Bible through and I have been doing this each year since. That is not to brag or throw the attention on me as some kind of super-Christian, but it is to share with you how to be prepared for whatever lies in front of you. God’s Word is our lamp, but if the lamp is not fully prepared it can become dim and may not illuminate as it could.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.” Matthew 25:1-5
Reading the Bible through is like the wise virgins who took the oil with them. Not only did they have their lamps, but they kept them filled. It was an exercise of wisdom. Just like the commitment to read all the way through. The Bible is meant to be ingested; each word taken into our souls and devoured. Reading the Bible for Bible studies and Sunday morning sermons should be fuel kept in addition to a full flask of knowledge gained by reading the Word over and over again until it becomes a literal part of us.
Reading the Bible through is hard. I’ve shared this before, my first year I was always playing catch-up. But I’ve also shared that as much as I beat myself up for my lack of discipline, God began to show me that my lack of discipline was His opportunity to train me up into the child He wanted me to be. If you are making this commitment for the first time, God bless you as you read. I have created a Facebook group Read the Bible Through in a Year for accountability and would welcome you to join us. We each need the support of Christian friends.
As you begin, remember that Satan will do all that he can to keep you from completing this mission that God has called you to. He can discourage you, but he can’t take over your mind. Just a few things to remember as you light your Lamp for 2019:
- Start with prayer. As a matter of fact, let me pray with you right now; “Father God, let those who are reading this take heart that you are calling them to fill their lamps with the reading of your Word so that when you return, they will be ready. As they begin this commitment, let each of them understand that what they are doing is not the mission, but it is what You want to do in them that is their calling. Help each of them to know that You are right there with them in the presence of your Holy Spirit to guide them into understanding and to not try to analyze each word in relation to our life on earth, but by your heavenly interpretation. And, Lord, let us not take our Sunday school verses for granted. You know, the ones we have memorized, but let us see these same verses in a new light, the light of your Holy Spirit. Help us to be accountable, for none of us are perfect. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
- It is not eternal. Your plan, that is. I start out each year with a schedule: first coffee, then Bible reading, then journaling. Needless to say, this schedule usually doesn’t last long and my busy days often creep in. So what if I don’t start the day with Bible reading, put it as the last thing you do so that you have peace as you go to sleep. Or steal a few minutes between when the hubby leaves for work and the baby wakes up. When you read is not that important, but reading faithfully is. Don’t get discouraged.
- Read every word. Don’t skip the “begats” just because you don’t think they matter, every word matters. Have you ever read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson? Life changing insights from a “begat.”
- Be open to accountability and be there for others. We are all weak in and of ourselves. We need the Christian community to lift us up when we fall, to cheer us on when we lag behind, and to praise God as we move forward.
I hope you will join me on this journey; we need each other.