(this is basically a re-post from August with an updated reading plan)
Private and corporate Bible study tends to orbit around the familiar and perspicuous (I had to look it up after I heard folks talk about “the perspicuity of Scripture”). In order to know and love “the whole counsel of God,” it is important to study the Scriptures systematically and regularly. One way to do that is through a bible reading plan, to keep you on a schedule so as to make it all the way through the Bible in a set amount of time (typically 1-2 years).
A couple of years ago, Justin Taylor put together a list of several useful plans. Almost a decade ago, I took a reading plan I found on-line and have modified it almost annually until it reached it’s current form, attached below.
Regardless of specifics, make sure you have a plan to abide with God through the Word.
Reading Plan (twice through the New Testament for every time through the Old Testament).
In many cultures it is admirable and highly looked upon when one leaves some kind of inheritance to the generation who proceeds them. Often we have heard people say that they want to make sure their children or grandchildren have the things in life that they did not.
As believers I do not think we have that same approach to our Christianity. As we live out our Christian faith we do not think about how we can work hard for the glory of God to make things better for the generation who comes after us.
Often as believers when we stumble and fall in our Christian life, we forget our place in God’s greater plan. Far too often we are the center of our lives rather than our Creator, and we make Christianty about us and our agenda instead of about Jesus Christ.
One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is found in the little book of Jude. In verse 3, Jude wrote that he was both eager to–and found it necessary to–remind his readers that they were to contend for the faith that was for once for all delivered to the saints.
As he wrote that, Jude was reminding his readers that Christianity is much bigger than we often look at it. When we make Christianity about our own personal desires or agenda we cease to contend for the faith, and we cease to remember the stewardship of the gospel that was given to us.
As Christians we must remind ourselves daily that we are simply one piece of the incredible puzzle the Lord is putting together as he works out his plan of redemption.
So the question we must ask ourselves is how are we contending for the faith? How are we handing down the truths of the gospel to the generation coming after us? How are we going to use the life God has given to us to make his gospel known to not only those around us now but also to those who will come after us?
In the end, for the single mom who worked two jobs to put herself through college, it was worth all the extra work knowing her kids would not have to live in the projects.
In the end, for the believer who worked hard because of their salvation in Christ, did what was nessessary, and made great sacrifices to contend for the faith, it will be all worth it once they meet Jesus and hear him say, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
May the incredible sacrifice Christ made on our behalf compel you to also live a life of sacrifice for his glory.
We’re planning on doing another Peaking with the Puritans on December 17th at 9ish. Out of the fiery revival that was puritanism a corpus of powerful, English-language, Spirit-saturated writings came forth. The Banner of Truth has been re-publishing the best of these writings in various forms for years. They have a series called Puritan Paperbacks.
Peaking is a reference to a word my friends and I used to throw around to refer to intense spiritual experiences. We misappropriated the term. I now see that I didn’t know what a peak experience was.
So, consider this another invitation to join us for periodic discussions of these great works.
December 17th – Josiah’s Reformation by Richard Sibbes. It’s available at Amazon, Westminster Books, and Monergism Books. Trust me, you’d rather be at our house sipping hot drinks than fighting crowds at the mall. Save your shopping for Christmas Eve.
Theses discussions have been very helpful and I hope you’ll consider joining us. And I’d encourage you to check out some of these books, especially if you’re planning on doing some reading over the holidays.
Hopefully, Pastor Aaron’s sermon this past Sunday got everyone fired up about the mission. I just wanted to pass on a few things from Desiring God Ministries.
First, Aaron mentioned a book called Let the Nations Be Glad, by John Piper. It contains many profound insights (especially the definition of a “people group” and how that affects the mission). I think it would be very helpful to have the vision of that book ingrained in RVC’s fabric.
Secondly, DGM is putting on a conference at the end of September called “Finish the Mission.” You can guess what it’s about. It would be nice if some folks went up there, especially for the purpose of casting a vision for our role and networking with like-minded believers.
And lastly, John Piper preached a sermon at Wheaton College a long time ago called Doing Missions When Dying is Gain. I’ve probably listened to it a dozen times and can quote stretches of it verbatim (“Will you please join me in reversing American Evangelical priorities?”). I hope you have time to listen to it and that it will ignite a passion for goers and senders.