New Year’s Resolutions are the Sea Monkeys of annual commitments.
Energized by imagination….
Dead in a few weeks…
But there’s one resolution I dare you to take this year. In fact, I triple-dog dare you (TBS’s 24 hours of a Christmas Story hasn’t worn off quite yet).
Read the Bible.
I know, I know. You’ve tried. You hit Leviticus. I get it.
But give a renewed 2012 kind of effort and check out what God might have to say to you this year. Not my interpretation of it. Not your pastor’s sermons about it. Not your toddler’s felt-figure pop-up storybook synopsis of it.
The real thing. For yourself. Here’s a few tips that might help:
In my opinion, the best online Bible around. Pick from countless translations and paraphrases, see what others have to say about specific verses, post your own thoughts, questions, and insights, and perhaps even choose a reading plan that fits into your life. The mobile iPhone and iPad apps are stellar.
Reading plans are a great way to stay disciplined. But never forget, it’s not about getting through a passage of Scripture. It’s about allowing Scripture to get through you. When in doubt get the benefit, not just a completion mark. (Hint: there’s a “Catch Me Up” feature if you get a few days behind. Don’t quit. Use it).
7 Minutes a Day
My friend, Dr. Mike Elmore, designed his own approach to reading Scripture that I’ve also found to be a powerful asset. Commit 7 minutes each day. (Why seven? I don’t know. God’s perfect number? Six obviously wasn’t an option, and eight was already taken by that ab shredder program). But seriously, who doesn’t have 7 minutes a day? Liar.
- Pick a passage of Scripture (Mike usually sticks with one for a week or two).
- Read through it.
- Meditate on it (ponder it, question it, run it through the lens of your life experiences).
- Journal about it.
- Pray it.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Just a few thoughts as you head into a New Year. Get into Scripture. Let Scripture get into you. I guarantee a longer shelf life than that packet of brine shrimp masquerading as an underwater family.
What does God want to say to you in 2012?