Reading Your Bible in 2020
Pastor Oliver recommends a few Bible reading plans and resources for us to feast on God's Word this new year. Praying that we will all draw near to God and depend fully on Him in 2020!
The theme for Grace Baptist Church in 2020 is ‘Radical Dependence’. It is a call for us as a church to depend more fully on God through the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the main ways in which we both cultivate and express our reliance on God is by means of the reading of God's Word – the Bible. If we are to grow in increasing dependence on God, we need to trust that God's Word is sufficient for our lives and the life of the church. As we read what God wants for us, we surrender to the authority of the Bible. And as we read, we grow in the knowledge of God, and we build our relationship with Him as we learn the ways and will of God. This will result in our joy in God. As authors Justin Dillehay and Ivan Mesa write,
"The Word is already near us—in our pockets and on our coffee tables, like a love letter waiting to be perused or a feast waiting to be devoured."
As we enter the new year, there are several resources available to help us feast on God's Word. Firstly, ESV.org has nine Bible reading plans available. These plans are available for downloads as pdfs here. One of the classic reading plans is the M'Cheyne One-Year plan, which has allocated readings from the N.T. and O.T. for each day of the year. If you are looking to read the whole Bible through in 2020, I would recommend visiting the Esv.org website.
Secondly, the Gospel Coalition has started a "Read the Bible" initiative for 2020. They too have the M'Cheyne's plan available. Besides, they have a daily newsletter, a podcast and online articles available to aid your reading of the Bible. You can access their "Read the Bible" initiative website here.
Lastly, if you desire to decide to instead focus on reading and studying the Gospel of Luke in-depth with us as we preach through this Gospel in 2020, you are welcome to do so. I recommend the following resources: the two-volume study commentaries by Mike McKinley (Luke 1-12 for You and Luke 12-24 for You) in the God's Word for You series. For a ‘meatier’ reference, you can look to Luke by Philip Ryken in the Reformed Expository Commentaries series. I also recommend the ESV Study Bible – it is an excellent one-stop resource for you if you want to study the Gospel of Luke on your own. All these books will help in your reading and understanding of the Gospel of Luke. These books are available for purchase from the various online book stores.
It leaves me to encourage us to ‘Take and Read’ the Bible. I wish you all a Blessed New Year and a Christ-filled 2020!
What is going on in the life of the church?
- Do join us this coming Sunday (the first Sunday for 2020!) for Service at 9am. We will be looking at Luke 3:1-20. Pray that God will prepare our hearts to take heed of God's Word. Do also read the passage 2-3 times before Sunday!
- EQUIP for 2020 will start next Saturday (11 January) from 3.30pm to 5.30pm in Room 310. Do join us for a time of equipping for service in the church as we look at "What is the Bible?" This class will help us understand the nature of Scripture and why we should trust it. Pray for fruit from this first session.
- The first Quarterly Congregational Meeting (QCM) for 2020 will be held next Sunday (12 January) at 11am in Room 310. Come join us as we hear and pray for developments in the life of the church. Pray for God's leading and wisdom as we plan for 2020.