New Year! Resolutions! We make them and break them. So let’s change our perspective of resolving to have “daily quiet time.” I’m anything but quiet, and when reading Song of Solomon (blush) the Lord is pictured as robust in His love towards us. So I started thinking of my time with the Lord, not as quiet time, but a date! Now here’s the thing, the Lord will never stand me up! If I make a date with Him, I am 100% guaranteed He will be there. That’s pretty exciting!
Now what if I called you on the phone and asked if you wanted to get together tomorrow? You, of course, say yes. And I reply, “Great!” and hang up the phone. Problem? Yes! Where? What time? Now, of course, we would never do that to a friend! So let’s not do that with Jesus! Let’s plan and get ready to date our Savior! Tell Him where and when. He will not let you down. And when you are dating Him regularly, get ready for passion!
I don’t remember exactly when it started, but come each December I begin asking the Lord for a plan to help me read through the Scriptures. I need help with structure, but I like variety, so over the years I have undertaken a plethora of reading plans. This year I am finishing a three-year plan that also included a Psalm or Proverb every day. I loved it!
Besides the plan, I also ask for a theme for the coming year to assist me in purposefully seeking Him and His work in my life. (Intentional Moments, Tenacious Thanks, Desperate Dependence are a few from past years). Because I am very easily distracted, I find journaling my thoughts and prayers from my daily time in His Word invaluable in reinforcing the theme and keeping me focused.
So to help you get ready, make a date (the time and place) and make a plan. I would like to invite you to join me in my three-year plan. You will find the Three Year Bible Reading Plan on the Menu page. It includes a Daily Reading as well as Psalm or Proverb. This plan has three parts.
Part 1: The Daily Reading
If you only have time to commit to one part, follow the Daily Reading from His Word. My theme for the coming year is from John 3:30 “He must increase but I must decrease.” In my daily blog we will seek to witness, experience, and extol the Lord magnified. I sense a need to be less concerned with myself, so I am praying as He increases, self will disappear (Okay, that’s asking a lot, but prayerfully self will decrease!)
But remember, if you can only commit to one thing, please skip my blog and read His Word! Please don’t ever neglect His God-Breathed Word in exchange for the thoughts and musings of mere man.
(If you follow the Reading Plan, in three years you will read through the entire Bible once and Psalms and Proverbs seven times.)
Part 2: Psalm or Proverb
We need to be honest before the Lord and accept rebuke and correction as needed, as well as His promises of faithful lovingkindness and blessings to those who love Him. Psalms and Proverbs often focus on our needs, circumstances and relationships. This can be a tremendous impetus to pray to the Lord of Hosts!
Part 3: Journal
If journaling sounds daunting to you, here are some ideas that may encourage you. I journal like I talk- I’m all over the place. I don’t try to be rigid, because I would get frustrated and quit. I write what’s on my heart. Some days I start with thanks; some days I’m overwhelmed. Often I recount what happened the day before. I journal answers to prayer. I journal prayers. I just journal! Try writing one or two sentences about something you don’t want to forget from your time in the Word.
The year 2014 was the culmination of three of the most trying years of my life. I felt led to read my 2014 journal through the month of December. It was completely astounding! I read about things I had prayed for only a few months before and now they were answered! It strengthened me to keep praying for the answers I’m still waiting for. I could remember how I felt at the time I penned my groanings, but in the midst I sensed His presence and comfort. I was reminded of so many prayers and answers to prayers I had already forgotten! Reading the year in my journal during December has become one of my most treasured gifts.
I so hope you’ll be encouraged to start dating our Savior. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Actually I am convinced your life will be forever changed. I am praying for each of you…