11/21–11/27

CHOICES INTRODUCTION TO DEVOTIONS

1.) The purpose of our Devotions is to give encouragement and guidance from the Scriptures. • • • To support and further exposition for subjects taught in morning worship. To give opportunity for meditation on themes of Scripture, that we might study the whole counsel of God. To encourage reading Scripture. Each devotion includes references that could be looked up in the Bible, giving the reader experience searching the Scriptures. • To learn how to find passages, becoming familiar with key sections of the Bible. • To learn to use the Table of Contents (in the front) or the Concordance (in the back) to help find any passage with confidence. • • To give practical applications for the passages that are studied, so that we might learn how to apply God’s Word to our daily lives. To give models of prayer, that we might learn how to pray more earnestly and effectively.

2.) The devotions this week parallel key elements of the teaching we received this week, January 9, 2011, from Pastor James Hilton. This begins a new series: “Choices.” 3.) These Devotions are written by Thomas Warren. 4.) Other resources: the Journey Website: www.thejourneyoc.net; and http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/, a searchable on-line ESV Bible; and http://esv.org has devotions and a Bible reading calendar. See especially: http://desiringgod.org, John Piper’s website—this site has great teaching and study that are Biblical, and that are accessible for anyone who wants to grow in faith. These resources are not only very faithful and helpful, but many of them—hundreds of sermons, conference addresses, and Bible Studies, all in MP3 format, as well as some printed materials— are free. 5.) This week’s devotions are designed to be a practical guide, a step by step manual to help you choose to pursue your relationship with God by reading, meditating, and praying his Word. 6.) Each day has an exercise to guide you to grow in intimacy with God by understanding, reading, and hearing his Word. 7.) There is an appendix with practical steps to help you meet God by reading his Word.

but because you are loved and accepted by God for the sake of Christ’s death for you.” This is not writing a sign across the sky or whispering some words in your ear. but in fact. 1 Peter 2:21 says that we walk “in his steps. but that God must help you make. but there is a tangible. or to stop certain sins. That word is comforting. Another test of your personal and intimate relationship with God comes by means of the little choices you begin to make as a follower of Christ. to measure your heart by the language of this incredible passage. Patience doesn’t just happen. Some of those choices are seen in Galatians 5:22–23. that we are the children of God. and that nothing can separate them from God. The first and greatest choice that you make as a believer in Christ is to put your trust in him. passions. and selfcontrol are all qualities that any kind or disciplined person might understand. or answer some questions asked of them by a pastor when they joined the church. 17:8. That is the kind of language that those who have a true faith use toward God. Love. assuring. kindness. joy. faithfulness. if you have used your gift of faith. or to come to a specific church. Romans 5:1-5. You could not have made that choice apart from God or separated from the gift of faith that he gives to those who have a true faith. Peace is something you must pursue. 2011 Read Psalm 37:23. He loved the Father. 6:47. gentleness. Some people think they have made the crucial choice. Jesus said that eternal life begins the moment you trust in him. “Abba!” The Spirit of God assures us within our hearts. He did God’s will.” No one walks like Christ walks without first being changed by God on the inside.SUNDAY JANUARY 9. real assurance that is given to every true Christ-follower that they know the God of creation and redemption. The Spirit within us bears witness that we are the children of God. Choosing to believe: Assured of a true and saving faith . Love is a decision. or not? There are several tests you can apply to yourself to evaluate whether you are a true Christfollower or not. There is a communication between God the Spirit and you. How do you know if you have made this choice. when you are relatively quiet. True assurance is based on a choice that you made. peace. and it brings you confidence to come to God. but you could never have made it unless God gave you the gift of faith (see Ephesians 2:8–9). So this decision is made by you. you love the Father. but if they have not made this most important commitment. Kindness is more difficult than it sounds. and decisions. When you trust him you come into a relationship with him. like Romans 8:15–39 and as you read that. John 5:24. but they are a set of qualities that are a growing part of your life as you follow Christ and as you become more and more like him in your affections. They are choices you make. Did you receive a Spirit within you that cries out. their choice was to improve themselves morally. 11. goodness. 26. and Galatians 3:1. 8:15–39. Before you can enjoy intimacy with God you must first be assured of your relationship with him. The Spirit of God who lives within you begins to form in you a set of qualities that you did not have to the same degree or in the same measure before you came to know God personally. A simple test is to read one of the Scriptures listed above. Joy is a choice. not from fear. “Abba” to God? Abba is the name that a little child would use in calling for her father. not when you die (John 3:36. choices. 54). or get baptized. Some people might think they are followers of Christ. they do not. This is an “inward testimony. you do . He is our Heavenly Father and we are free to address him with the language of endearing love and tenderness. patience. To walk like Christ walked is to live in a manner that is very similar to the way he lived.

There might be dozens of reasons to be cautious. but it is about following your loves. hope. He was loving. peace. A Christ-follower has a freedom to choose God that is impossible for a person who does not know God. Or you see the same car at a good price and you say yes. Having confidence that you know God and are loved by him opens the door to a new world of choices. your desires and hopes. more profitable for you. When you live like Christ. We reason through options. Others might tell you that you are at peace with God. but there should be some choices. trouble those who are not so related to you yet. and to live for him every day. you are kind to others. decide between alternatives by working through those options to figure out which are the better or the worse for us. some values. you also are loving. Application: Do not presume that because someone has told you that you were a Christian that they were right. Memory Verse: John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. God helped your make that choice by giving you faith to trust him. Our hearts may need to be taught to be more reasonable. to love him. Amen. assure your children of your saving work in their hearts. Choices: I have come to know Christ as my Lord and Savior.God’s will. Buying a car can be like that. others come through the heart. and fruitfulness in your life. Only you can be assured of your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Some decisions we make with the mind. to know God better. This is not about being reasonable or rational. You choose to love someone because you love them. but they cannot exercise faith for you. I choose to walk with God and I desire to experience all that God has for me. That began your journey toward God that will end until you stand before him (see 1 Corinthians 13:12). Hebrews 13:5. He was kind to others. rational. MONDAY JANUARY 10. By Christ we ask. You can yield your life in obedience and trust in his will. you are holy in your moral choices. It was a decision to trust God by faith. But Scripture calls us to . 1 Peter 1:3–5. Only you can know for sure. but love is not a game of reason. Do you choose God with the reason or with the heart? Do you follow him because his ways are best. and to obey him. Assurance is very important. 2011 Read Psalm 119:55. It shows that you have made the most important choice of all. The decision to trust God is followed by a million smaller decisions to keep on trusting him every day. but only you know if that were true. Other people might desire that you become a Christian. and our reason no doubt needs to lighten up a bit. You are being guarded by the power of God (1 Peter 1:3–5) but you are also free to choose to move closer to him or to keep away from God. That confirmation of your true faith must come from within you. You can surrender the problems of today to God. I know that my sins are forgiven and that I will live with him forever. you are choosing to be like him. or because you love him more than anything? Some of us come to God through the faculty of reason. No one is perfect in this imitation of Christ. or you can fret about them. Because I have chosen him by faith. or you can be resistant to his will and do what you want. He was holy in his moral choices. But there are also decisions of the heart. I choose now to exercise the faith God has given me and to trust him. that they might seek you with all their strength. some priorities that you both share. freedoms. 1 John 5:13 Following Christ. 2 Timothy 2:8. This is moving into the world of romance and love. Give us grace to live so that our faith touches every choice we make. You find a good car and if the price is too high you say no. Prayer: Faithful God and Savior.

and in everything. Ezra 7:25. It accepts that God is wise and loving. But simply stated. strength. Application: Surrendering to God means to let him determine which way you will go. Memory Verse: John 8:31. How do you make your choices? Heart or head? Love or reason? A lot of conflict between couples comes from the different ways people make choices. and the love of God for my life. Choices: By faith in my Savior I freely choose to surrender my will to God’s will. mind and strength to God. The Word of God is not absorbed by symbiosis. you are truly my disciples. the truth of God. It shows us how we are to live in him and for him. 56:9. When we make choices involving God. In surrendering to you. Romans 7:22 God’s Word. It teaches us about God. God-honoring people tell us that the secret to their lives. It tells us how great God’s grace is and how much he loves us. that you are worthy of my trust. it is where we hear from God directly. their hope when they are being tested with . When we make really bad choices it may stem from a decision of the heart that was made when we should have had a little more logic. So Jesus said to the “If you abide in my word. you are willing to go through it because God is with you and he never leaves you nor forsakes you (Hebrews 13:5c). nothing is better than you. the power of God. godly. and so we need not be anxious about anything. We follow God because we trust him. in every day. It is the source of our confidence before God. God’s Word is not just a selection of religious talk or nice ideas about God. to grow in my faith and to begin to walk with God every day of my life. whatever comes. I choose to trust the wisdom of God. That is almost pure reason impacting our emotions. 1 Kings 18:37. With all you are. I choose to surrender my heart. In every case. Jews who had believed in him. Love God with all your heart. mind. How surrendered are you? Do you trust God’s wisdom? Do you believe that God’s ways are best? Do you believe that obeying God is really the best choice? Or do you surrender to God when it doesn’t compete with your heart or your head? Some choices to follow God don’t seem very rational. soul. 2011 Read Psalm 1:2. I will begin to explore the Word of God. God’s Word is the measure and authority by which we live our lives. and it really works. soul. It is where we experience a face-to-face dialogue with God about the choices we are making today and the life God has for us to live right now. We can reason that God’s grace has come into our lives. TUESDAY JANUARY 11. mind. their love for others. By Christ we pray. we should make those choices with our whole person. the Bible. Open your Word to me that I might know you better and obey your because I love you. God speaks to us in the Bible. Surrender to God is lived out in the million decisions you make after you decided to love him. nothing can defeat you. therefore God loves us. It must be read or listened to. their power in prayer. Amen. their faithfulness under trial. Others choices are almost pure rationality. help me surrender my heart and my mind to you that I will neither argue with you nor doubt your love for me. Nothing is greater than you. Holy God. Surrender to God covers both the reasonableness of God and it extends all the way to his amazing love. But we have to open up the Book and read it or listen to it. if we are to hear from God.love with our minds (Romans 12:1–3 our “reasonable” logical worship) and with our hearts (love the Lord with all your heart …”). Surrender means. heart. Or when we were so logical in our choice that we forgot about love. Prayer: Thank you. It is not caught like a virus. Surrendering to God begins with learning more about God. good. soul. and strength. It means that you are admitting that you don’t have a clue.

The Word of God requires us to think about what is being communicated to us. Doing a word study might be pointless to one person and radically transformative for another. Any plan you pick is infinitely better than having no plan. Try to read effectively and with understanding. It takes away that horrible question: “What will I read today?” You know where you will read by looking at your plan.trials. podcasts. And finally ask. Take your time. Its meaning is plain enough for everyone to understand it. what was the circumstances he was writing about. free pdfs. read slowly. This takes a verse it seeks a way to respond to what it says. Help is here. Many people discover as they read the Bible day by day that they improve their reading speed. The Bible (Billy Graham quoted an old saying) was written so that a Charwoman (a maid or household servant) could understand it. the speed with which you read doesn’t matter as much as reading something in the Word each day. even if it is only one little verse. commentaries. Read as much as you can take in. At the end of this devotional you will find several different study guides and Bible reading plans to help you. That is easy! If you are a slow reader. Reading the Bible is different from reading a novel and many people today have little experience in reading more serious literature that requires real thought and intense concentration. sermons. You can understand the Bible. where you have been. There are thousands of books about the Bible. what it means. pamphlets. study guides by the hundred. Do what fits where you are and who you are in Christ. The Bible says that Christ is risen from the dead. reading plans. It means that Christ’s death is something we celebrate because our sins are forgiven. every day. “What does it mean?” This question is seeking to discover what the author was he was hoping to have in the lives of those he was writing to. It would be better to read just a few verses and understand the flow of the paragraph than to read several pages in a rush finish some reading goal (like you are running a race) and understand little of it. Read slowly with pencil in hand and mark key words. Think about what the author was saying and ask “What does it say?” This question is about who is speaking. With a plan you know where you are. Reading the text carefully and slowly is more beneficial than . Then ask. and our time available. and it has challenged the greatest minds who ever lived with its depth and insights. you don’t know where to read. and where you are headed. Working through a 3-year course of Bible doctrine might be boring or completely frustrating to one person but life-changing for another. You are overwhelmed and you won’t keep at it. We have amazing resources that can be accessed by computer or in bookstores that can answer just about every question we might find as we read the Bible. online study helps. “What are the implications for my life?” This is the most personal part of reading the Bible. Having a plan for your Bible reading is critical for your success. The essential principle is that you should be in the Bible. with some specific response to it. and much more. How did the Word become so precious and helpful for them? Each of us needs to discover a way to read the Bible that fits our style of learning. Have a notebook handy to jot down questions or to write down a verse that jumped off the page to you. in whatever way works for you. and what was the purpose of it. our need for interaction with God. Reading about Christ’s death and your forgiveness might prompt you to see the implication that you ought to forgive someone in your life because God has forgiven you. Be that as it may. and picking up where you left off. There is almost universal agreement that reading the Bible should be done with a pen or pencil in hand. audio studies. Without a plan you are lost. all of these gifts comes from the Word of God.

look for another version or translation that fits you. God will speak to you. if God permits. His love can be experienced as you take its message into your heart. Some of you have 30 minute commutes and that hour-a-day time warp could get you through the Bible in about a year. Those Bibles read like people talk today. Application: God’s Word is inspired by God. to find a time in which I can meet with God regularly. and your interests. You don’t need any professional to tell you how you ought to live. We use the ESV at the Journey because it is a faithful modern translation. your life. heaven and redemption. Listening to the Bible has helped thousands of people to become familiar with the stories and teaching of the Bible. By thinking about the text. Some people are helped by reading a paraphrase version of the Bible. but they are interpretative and they do some of the work for you. He gave us the Bible so that we can hear from him directly. There are zillions of reading plans. I choose to set time aside every day. so they could read with more understanding and impact on their lives. The New American Standard Bible is very close to the original languages in word order and it can seem out of sync with modern English when you read it. His voice can be heard as you read it. The King James Version is very difficult for most modern readers to understand. If you read with understanding. you are building your life on the foundation of God’s Word and you are getting to know God better. He has a lot of amazing things to say to you. You can read it for yourself. or invent your own. We are aiming at understanding and listening for God to speak through his Word. If you read a few verses outloud and you can’t follow what you’ve been reading. It was written in the 17th century and many words are unfamiliar to us today. Get a Bible that you can understand. praying through difficult passages. and you will understand it better. study and meditating. You can read God’s Word and see for yourself. but it is a little wooden. to be with God by reading or listening to his Word. God speaks through his Word to you. No one needs to tell you what God’s will is. It is best to read the Bible in your heart-language. . You should have more than one translation around if you are doing any serious study. is that you will know God better. it will be more encouraging to you. Some people who really struggle with reading have found that listening to the Bible on CD or MP3 player works well for them. Paperback versions are cheap and available everywhere. Choices: I choose to find my own Bible reading and study plan to help me grow in my faith and to become close to God in my daily life. they were already familiar with what they were reading because they had heard it on CD. but that can make it sound wooden or the word order may seem a bit odd. Other Bibles are less literary or smooth when you read them and are more literal and they follow the order of the words from the language the Bible was written in more closely closer. The vocabulary of your heart language will speak to you with more power.zooming through a chapter. We surrender to God by knowing his Word and doing what it says. and they found that when they opened the Book to read it. like The New Living Translation or The Message. find one that does. If you find that your plan isn’t working. Choose one that fits your time. meditating on sublime and lofty sections dealing with God’s glory and majesty. The English Standard Version is accurate and faithful. that is in the language you grew up speaking. The end of that reading and praying. His will can be known as you search it. I choose to look at my schedule and my daily routine.

At the center of their maturity. to examine themselves. is the Word of God. time. and they make good decisions. Application: Knowing that you can walk with God means that you are the one who must determine how much effort. and energy you give to this relationship. they don’t try to hide their sins.Memory Verse: Matthew 14:23 And after he had dismissed the crowds. teachable. What choice do you make so that you. 2011 Read: Genesis 5:22. and that my joy in you might be complete. adoration. continuous relationship with God that is not at the mercy of the kind of day you had. They read the Bible and learned how to avoid certain sins that can wreck you relationship with God. humble people don’t fall out of the sky. But they didn’t settle with just being forgiven. You can become more godly—more like God in your character and in your choices. repentance. To move toward godliness. Amen. They must have made it a priority every day to spend time with God. to repent of their sins. as the core of their decisions. rejoicing. That relationship with God is the single constant in your life. and to know him better. If you value God you will find a way to meet with him. Praying the Bible is one result of reading the Word on a regular basis. People who walk with God may be rare. sorrow. and they made choice after choice. Choices: I choose to walk with God because I love him and want to know him better. heartbreak. Walking with God is having a living. They read the Bible not only to learn about God. By Christ I pray. to hear its message. When they fail they admit it right away. He speaks in his Word to you and you pray it back to him in petition. They must have taken the time to be with God. Lots of people walk with God. real. But the Bible mentions just two of them in that language: Noah and Enoch. how to talk with God. not-very-loving. But you can be one of them. Show me how to hide your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Prayer: Give me a hunger and thirst for your very Word. they aren’t impressed with themselves at all. to aspire to purity and humility and all those qualities that are so precious and powerful in the lives of the godly. he was there alone. or reading your Bible when there is a crisis. they grasped the fact that other people had walked with God and were intimate with him. and to apply it to my life. they are humble. can walk with God? Wonderful. Show me how you want me to study it. mostly-proud people who had come to Christ. and they wanted that too. praise. how to listen to him. Praying the Scriptures is a completion of the conversation with God. without fail and always. day after day. and how to restore a relationship with God after you’ve broken it. and overwhelming joy in forgiveness. When evening came. The begin as not-sowonderful. Walking with God. and when they succeed they give God all the credit. or how sick the kids are. They choose God. Dear God. amazing. loving. I desire nothing more than God. Psalm 1. If you want to grow. but to learn how to walk with God. The godly are known because they know their weaknesses. ungodly. You can walk with God. They read the Bible to think about their own lives. 6:9. WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12. Walking with God is not seeing God occasionally. Ever wonder why so few have walked with God? Maybe it is because to walk with God requires effort. year after year. confession. too. to become the person that God wants them to be. My relationship with God is more important than any relationship I have. I will choose . he will teach you and guide you to know more about him. thinking about him once in a while. Help me find a time to meet with you every day. or how much money you have in the bank. godly. he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.

You can do two or more things fast. little stores that had cubicles where you could lie down in silence and be given purified air with high oxygen. A recent study showed that multi-tasking is a myth. and keep it. Too much pressure. and that teach us how to live for you. Kids are so used to having music or words running through them all the time they will go into shock when that flow of sound and noise and words is taken away. “The world is too much with us.” writes William Wordsworth. and the world is too much with you. You have places where you do things. or a place outside that you can claim for that time you have set. Determine how much time you will give to that appointment. When you read it. Some years ago there appeared in large metropolitan areas like New York City and London. and that show us your face. Make it more important that anything else you have to do in your day. away from the noise and rush of city life. study hall at school. 10:30 A Time. in your smart phone. Reading God’s Word requires a time. Luke 5:16. But when the phones are ringing. Prayer: O God who has spoken in your Word. But in some way you are setting aside that place as the place where you meet with God. a Place. Some people are very good and extremely fast at switching back and forth. Psalm 104:44. fixing the car. expecting to meet God there and hear his voice in the words of Scripture. Make an appointment with God. on your to-do list. keep it. study. Or you use a special notepad. you cook. you play. God is deserving of our attention. Acts 10:9. You read. . when you are trying to pick up or wash up. a quiet nook in your home. a break room at work. you are not doing one thing. 145:5. Your brain will try to find 500 other things for you to do while you are reading. when the kids are calling for you to come help them. Amen. your rest. You have a time and you have a place. a kind of reflection that is possible only when that is the only thing you are doing. Too little quiet. Memory Verse: Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. a kind of quietness. you do it best when you have set apart a time for it. ask them to give you their texting cell phone. so having a place that you use just for this purpose can help. Having a place to read the Bible minimizes distractions. Matthew 6:6. but you are really only doing one thing at a time and switching between them. Too much noise. a chair perhaps. Begin with that appointment or end your day with it. you need to have a place. For your time with God. Too much work. or get ready. Place. 14:23. thank you for revealing yourself in words that we can read. THURSDAY JANUARY 13. We can only do one thing at a time. take into our minds and hearts. but whenever you make it. or trying not to be late. Too much running around. Perhaps you put a soft blanket on a chair while you are reading. The world is too much with us. a Quiet .to build my relationship with God by using my faith when I read the Bible. or have it at noon. but they are still doing only one thing at a time. 2011 Read: Deuteronomy 6:6. By Christ we ask. Put your time with God on your calendar. If you want to have a conflict with a teenager. Give us a hunger for your Word so that we desire it more than food or comfort. mowing the grass. or pen that you use only for that time. They were a great success for a while because people in the city needed a place to be quiet. or take away their MP3 player. Reading the Word of God requires a kind of thinking.

He had spoken to bring other living things into existence. nor angels nor rulers. 2 Timothy 3:16. but for man he breathed into him. I choose a place in which to meet God. Young mothers and fathers are always on duty. When God made Adam he breathed into him the breath of life. noisy chatter. to drown out the quiet. The image is God . a place . Hebrews 4:12 God’s face and his breath. when you first get still in your place of quiet. nor anything else in all creation. By Christ I pray. I will give God the glory. Give me a time and a place where we can meet. Choose a quiet. Choices: Now that I have looked at my schedule and my obligations for the day. I now choose a time each day in which I will meet with God in worship. I choose this as a priority in my day. If you read God’s Word in a place that is zooming with interruptions. and a quiet ? Application: Choosing to be with God runs against everything in your culture. Romans 1:2. and think only of him. will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. nor powers. If I fail. Turning on a fan or an air purifier can give you a little place of quiet. “white noise” machines. Some people use an MP3 player with some soothing music to be a way of finding “quiet” in the midst of a noisy home or an apartment with too-thin walls. Choose a place. loud clashes or intrusive music. nor things present nor things to come. prayer. and reading or listening to God’s Word. and no matter what time I have selected. and then you read or listen. 39 nor height nor depth. FRIDAY JANUARY 14. 2 Corinthians 4:6. You breathe quietly and let the presence of Christ become more real. the quiet can become the most precious and grace-filled place on earth. Quiet is abhorred by our culture. or a barking dog next door. 2011 Read Genesis 2:4–7. People are so stimulated with music and words that when they have silence. teach me how to pursue you in the quiet. The world tells you that you must have sound flowing into your life. I choose a quiet (a time of day. Choose a time. Many people find that the first thing they do before they read God’s Word is to take some time to become quiet inside. No discouragement or barrier will keep me from seeking the Lord. a place that has few distractions. If I succeed. You rest in the Lord. Do you have a time. Or they may find a time at lunch or during a short break at work or school. I will be forgiven and will try again. To be quiet in God’s presence is wonderful. Some have found it a great joy to turn off the radio in the car and to use that place for a little moment of quiet to be with God. Some use the ambient sound generators. I long to be with you. I will see that as an appointment with God that I will keep unless I am hindered by something I cannot control (“an act of Providence”). By weaning yourself a little at a time. to find a kind of quiet. Noise and begin constantly entertained is addictive. or a way to create quiet by music or other means) in which I can meet God and give him my complete attention. They may need to find a time before or after the kids have gone to bed. Prayer: Great God. they immediately turn something on to interrupt it. Quiet and alone is hard to come by. You may have a little withdrawal from the din of noise that is around you. you won’t have a chance. Amen.And now the quiet. Memory Verse: Romans 8:38 For I am sure that neither death nor life.

been enlightened to produce songs of praise and glory to God. Paul said. that they have trembled. The breath of God rises from the pages of Scripture and it is useful for us. or crumbled into selfabnegation when their sins were laid bare and their selfish hearts brought into the light. It is useful only when its content. God’s face before our face. sins. When we come to Paul’s description of the Word of God. It is not a textbook on chemistry or physics. or successes. corrections.coming before the lifeless body of Adam and giving him life. “All scripture is God-breathed …” All of Scripture is inspired. every reasonable question we can ask about God. It is what we need.” Some translated it “inspired” but that doesn’t nearly capture this word. It tells us everything we need to know of God (facts like we can never know everything about God). It has been read by God’s people and it has always been found to be profitable for them. At best. it speaks God’s words and will. it is accurate every time. though where it speaks on science. It means to reflect on how the Bible speaks to your particular needs. Like everything from God. It covers every kind of situation. teaching. or drifted into songs of sweet praise that angels could sing someday. meditation means to think about your life. but it also keeps us humble. Christ’s authority establishes the “usefulness” and “profitability” of the Word. His apostles are given his authority to write what Christ wanted to be in his Word. reproof. Prophets are quoted by him. it addresses every conflict we will face. Some have experienced God speaking so clearly to them by the Word of God written. communicates with man the finite and limited. and suggested God’s care and the capacity that people would have for a relationship with God. It is an astonishing picture of God’s love. Application: The Word of God is useful. The Bible is living in that it applies its message. face to face. Christ places his authority upon the Word of God. personal. Meditating of the Word means to think about what it says. in a special and personal way. The Bible is special. if we choose to read it. But in some wonderful way the Bible is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). or shouted for joy. . This breath of God that gives us the Bible is the whisper of God before our face. message. and your relationships in light of the teaching of God’s Word. every kind of sorrow. It is “useful” (NIV) for “teaching. the infinite and unknowable. They have also been emboldened to take courageous stands of conscience. to every person who trusts Christ. uses language that we can struggle to understand fully. your decisions. This doesn’t mean that the Bible has heart and soul. The Bible is rich and it speaks to every situation we can face. The Bible speaks to every need. The creation of human beings was intimate. or inspiring books about God. or wept. Because God inspired it. and reproofs make entry to your life through your mind. by reading or hearing it. hurts. you can feel his breath on you. The Bible is amazing. People shared life that was given to them from the face of God. God has not answered every question we might ask him. No one masters the Word of God. But more than just thinking about it. correction. his language reminds us of the account in Genesis. It is the way by which God. the Bible gives us enough. The word is only used here (2 Timothy 3:16) in the New Testament. joys. In a way similar to the way God made Adam. and every dilemma and conflict we can experience. It wears cultural garments.” It is useful because it comes from God. No one can meditate on God’s Word if they haven’t heard it or read it. but not all of it can be mastered. and training in righteousness. The Word of God is “God-breathed. God breathed his Word. it masters you.

wealth. By starting with what you know. They find new and expansive ways to describe the way the Bible affects their lives. The writers of Scripture use many metaphors to describe the Bible. a temporary measure until the fullness comes. 103. too often. incinerate impurity. The Word is gold and honey. SATURDAY JANUARY 15. The Bible is just words. The fire of God’s Word is not going to destroy you. They saw the Kingdom of God and heard of its eternal value and they chose to give up the treasures of this world in order to be faithful to the Word. just your sin. the authority and inspiration of the Word. and his promises to us who love him. We can be judged by the Word. you are introduced to what you don’t know. Amen. what a car is. consume any trust in things. some are fearsome. teach. rebuke. I ponder the work of your hands. Fire. disk brakes. That is the chief reason we don’t like to read it. The Word is light. words. Bring me close to feel your warm face in the pages of your Holy Book. the power of the Word of God. and a few are very sweet. but the painful message of his displeasure with our actions. destruction and devastation to our lives. the faith that comes by the Word of God. It speaks not only God’s love and forgiveness to us. are sweet because of the God of the Bible and his Son Jesus Christ. Jeremiah 5:14. There is nothing in this life that is sweeter than the promises and the comfort of God’s Word. but the word tells us the “sweetest name I know. his comfort. The light of the Word of God is an interim light. I choose to meditate on a portion of God’s Word and to seek counsel in these pages when I make important decisions and moral choices. I choose to make God’s Word a part of my daily life. Take something you know about and use that to describe something new. and thoughts. and correct your children.Choices: I choose to hide God’s Word in my heart that I might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). I meditate on all that you have done. It is like a fire that consumes those things in us that God hates and. light. and they can get the general idea. Psalm 19:9–10 teaches us that the Word is like precious gold. The Word is honey: it is sweet to the taste and it fulfills longings for the delights that can be found only in God. 2 Peter 1:19 tells us that the Word is a light shining in the dark. Christ-followers know the sweetness of the Word because they have read it. A metaphor is a way to describe something that is unique. heard it. just bigger. his purposes. Reading the Word is like holding a flaming book in your hands. The truth of Scripture. and hid it in their hearts. gold. honey. and mirror. 119:24. They gave up earthly gold to have the gold of God’s Word. But tell them they are a bit like a child’s wagon. applied his Word to our lives by the Spirit who has been given to us. Try to explain to someone who had never seen one. his love for us. It can scorch pride. 23:29. milk. and smog controls. 2011 Read Psalm 19:9. Your breath breathed a kind of life into the pages of Scripture. Some people have chosen faithfulness to the Word over vast fortunes. because it is here that you speak. hammer. O God. The Word of God will last .” The honey of the Word creates more and more longings for the God of the Bible. The Word is fire. By Jesus Christ I pray. the things we love. Jeremiah 5:14 and 23:29 tells that the Word can bring judgment. James 1:23. or status. something that is like the thing you know about. Prayer: Forgive my neglect of your Word. The sweetness of the Word tells us about the nature and acts of God. and they’d be dazzled with talk about internal combustion engines. Memory Verse: Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old. comfort. Some of these word-pictures are clever.

We immediately begin to forget. into my mind. Water to name a few. We now live in a spiritually dark world. By Jesus Christ I ask. sit down and begin with a short prayer. a notebook and a pen or pencil. God knew that we’d struggle. James 1:23 reminds us how fleeting our understanding of ourselves is. then pour within me your honey and rain—rain upon me your gold and snow that I might be made rich and refreshed. Personal Worship. and teach me about yourself. Teach me the gravity and vileness of my sin. close the book and walk away. 1. or rather. the light of God. 3. Set up your place. Find a Bible you can understand. The New King James Version. This personal study of God’s Word is called a Quiet Time.forever and ever. Our appearance looks unfamiliar. Select the chair or spot you will be for your reading/listening. But now it seems to have slipped away from us. In learning about you. and The Message are very easier to understand. The Word is a mirror. We glance at the mirror and are surprised at what we see. What do you choose? Choices: I choose to trust the Word of God because Christ has assured me of its authority and inspiration. That is the same way when we read the Bible. to be true and critical to our lives. but when we come into the presence of God. Now you are ready. Sword. the purpose of the written word will have been fulfilled. Holy Father. Other good translations are: The New International Version. and look at yourself in God’s mirror. If you want a little easier-to-read version. Prayer: Meet me in the pages of Scripture. The reason we need to be in the Word of God regularly is because we soon forget what we learned. The New American Standard Version and there are many others as well. There are many more metaphors that describe the Word of God. Soon we have only dim memories of what we knew with such conviction just a few hours ago. or gold. Seed. only when you read it or hear it. STUDY HELPS: GETTING STARTED IN YOUR PERSONAL TIME IN GOD’S WORD There are many ways to study the Bible. When it’s time for your appointment with God. and as a source of my strength. experience a new a deeper ministry of the Spirit in heaven with God. of the light of Christ and his light shined into our lives one more time. Get your Bible. Bible Study or many other similar names. Amen. We look into a mirror and an hour later can’t remember what we looked like. I know myself more honestly. 2. Sometimes we don’t know which way we should go. We use the English Standard Version at The Journey. the gold of God. . Application: Whether the Word is fire or gold depends on your choices. Snow. and are faithful to the meaning of the Word. and have it ready before you begin. So he gave us his Word as a light upon our path (Psalm 119:105. Ask God to speak to you through his Word. Find the way that works for you. Pick up the fire of God. 130). or honey. The New Living Translation. So we must return to the mirror of God’s Word and look again at the reflection of ourselves. Solid Food. We have forgotten exactly how we looked the last time we combed our hair or brushed our teeth. Rain. I choose to permit the message of the Bible into my heart. speak with Christ face to face. into my soul. The Word becomes Rain or a mirror. Devotions.

just read for the amount of time you have. Begin there. Some people go through several little notebooks a year. read the about ½ of Mark Chapter 1. who is speaking. If you can only give 5 minutes a day. The key is consistency. and who is in the audience. Identify the various people in the scene. 6. 2011. with kids. It’s up to you. you will find a thousand reasons to quit. There is no value in reading an entire chapter if you don’t understand it. jot down the date you read it.Open your Bible. . and leave it there when you finish. Bible reading demands you think about what is being said. Pay attention to details. and the rest). and it will be there when your next scheduled appointment with God comes around.” Don’t worry about how many verses you read. and begin to read. we are suggesting that you begin reading the Gospel of Mark. If you take a Chapter a day that is 16 days. If you think you can only have a time with God 3 days a week (you are really pressed for time. Make a note of what you read in your notebook. Have your notebook handy. 4. Mark 1:1–20 {you could write questions or key verses here} The next day you’d write: January 10. then you are up to 32 days. Mark up your Bible. Make a choice: “I choose to read ½ a chapter of Mark’s Gospel every day for the next month. to check off what you’ve read): January 9. 2011. Others will use the same notebook for many years. It has 16 Chapters. You would write in your notebook (or use the Bible Reading Record that is attached to the end of this devotional. Your notebook will become very valuable to you as you study. If you take about ½ Chapter a day. set that for your goal: “I choose to read 5 minutes a day. Keep your notebook near your Bible. If your time is pinched. work. Choose wisely. what the setting is. Mark 1:21–45 5. Take up your pen/pencil. (If you are listening to a Bible cd or MP3. Read a little every day is better than reading for an hour once a month. If the Mark study is too much for you. don’t jump in to a two-hour daily Bible study. If you are not already in a study. Mark key words that are important. begin with a goal you can reach. set that as your goal.” Or something that you decide. Read slowly and with understanding. you know what to do. To get started. and you are on your way.) Tip: Don’t run a race. You could just read Mark’s Gospel for the amount of time you have available.

6. 28. You could spread it out over a longer period. HERE IS A 61 DAY PLAN TO COVER KEY SECTIONS OF THE ENTIRE BIBLE: MONTHS! Day Today's Scripture Reading Description JUST 2 Day 1 Genesis 1-3 Creation and Fall Day 2 Genesis 12. 1 Chronicles 15-17 King David Day 14 2 Samuel 11-13. Israelites enter the Promised Land Day 9 Judges 1-4 and 13-16 Period of the Judges Day 10 Ruth 1-4 Story of Ruth Day 11 1 Samuel 7-10. 16. 28-31. and 34 Moses' last message to the Israelites Day 8 Joshua 1-6 and 23-24 Joshua. 15. and 20 Moses and the Law Day 5 Leviticus 1. and 25-26 Instructions Day 6 Numbers 3-4. 12 King Saul Day 12 1 Samuel 15-20. 12-14. Isaac Day 3 Job 1-3 and 38-42 Story of Job Day 4 Exodus 1-5. and 22 Abraham. and 11-14 Journey to the Promised Land Day 7 Deuteronomy 5-8. and 31 King Saul Day 13 2 Samuel 5-8. if you wished.Here are a few Bible Reading Plans for you to look through: This first plan is a survey of some key portions of the entire Bible. The great thing about it is that you get an overview of the whole Bible in just 2 months. even over an entire year. 15. 10-11. and 18 King David . Use it as it fits your life and time.

2 Chronicles 33-35 Manasseh. and 21 Elijah Day 23 2 Kings 1-2. 8. 6-12 King Solomon Day 18 2 Chronicles 5-10 King Solomon Day 19 Ecclesiastes 1-5 and 12 King Solomon Day 20 Song of Songs 1-2. Zephaniah 3. Kings Day 24 2 Chronicles 24-26 Kings Day 25 Joel 2. 103 and 139 Psalms of King David Day 17 1 Kings 3. Proverbs 1-3 King Solomon Day 21 2 Chronicles 14-16 King Asa Day 22 1 Kings 17-19.Day 15 1 Chronicles 21-22. 11-12 Elijah. 4-6 Daniel . 2 Chronicles 29-32 Hezekiah Day 28 Isaiah 40 and 52-55 Consolation of Israel Day 29 2 Kings 21-23. Josiah Day 30 Nahum 1. 23. and 28-29 King David Day 16 Psalms 1. Jonah 1. Micah 1-2 Prophecies Day 26 Isaiah 1-2. Elisha. 19. 6. 6-7. and 33. Obadiah Fall of Jerusalem Day 32 Daniel 1-2. Amos 3. Habakkuk 1 Prophecies Day 31 Ezekiel 1-3. 100. Jeremiah 1-5. Lamentations 3. 51. 18. Hosea 1-4 Prophecies Day 27 2 Kings 17-20.

expands Day 46 Galatians 3-6 Paul's warnings about true vs. Zechariah 1-2 Return. 2 Thessalonians 3 Paul's letters on adversity and persecution Day 49 1 Corinthians 1-2 and 13 Paul's writings on living. scatters. John 3-4 Early ministry of Jesus Day 39 Luke 4-6. 12-14 The Church starts. Acts 15 Teachings and ministry of James Day 48 1 Thessalonians 2 and 4. loving like Jesus Day 50 2 Corinthians 4-5 and 8-9 Paul's writings on authentic Christianity . Luke 1-2 Birth of Jesus Day 38 John 1. John 19-21 Death and resurrection of Jesus Day 45 Acts 1-4. 8-10. Matthew 17-18 More teachings of Jesus Day 42 John 13-17 Jesus' upper room discourse Day 43 Matthew 26-28. false religion Day 47 James 1-3. Haggai.Day 33 Ezra 3. and 6 Rebuilding the wall Day 36 Malachi Last Old Testament prophecies Day 37 Matthew 1-2. rebuilding of Jerusalem Day 34 Esther 1-4. Mark 2-4 Teachings of Jesus Day 40 Matthew 5-7 Sermon on the Mount Day 41 Mark 10. 4. Luke 8-12. 7-8 Story of Esther Day 35 Nehemiah 1-2. Mark 15-16 Death and resurrection of Jesus Day 44 Luke 22-24. 6-7. Mark 1.

19-22 Jesus Christ's revelation to John . encouragement to Timothy Day 58 Hebrews 10-13 Teachings about living for Jesus Christ Day 59 1 John 1-3 John's letter on loving Christ. 2 Peter 1 Jude and Peter's writings on true vs. Philippians 2 and 4 Paul's writings on growing in Christ Day 54 1 Peter 1 and 4-5 Peter's first letter to the Church Day 55 1 Timothy 1-3. 3 John John's postcard letters to friends Day 61 Revelation 1-4.Day 51 Romans 5-8 and 12 Paul's letter on Christian doctrine. Titus 2 Paul's teaching on Church leadership Day 56 Jude. each other Day 60 2 John. practice Day 52 Philemon. Ephesians 4-6 Paul's writings on practical Christian living Day 53 Colossians 1 and 3. false religion Day 57 2 Timothy 3-4 Paul's example.

BIBLE READING RECORD FOR THE ENTIRE BIBLE Genesis 1 21 41 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 1 21 2 Samuel 1 Kings 2 Kings 1 Chronicles 2 Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 1 1 1 21 41 1 21 41 61 81 10 1 12 1 14 1 1 21 1 1 1 21 41 61 2 22 42 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 2 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 22 2 2 2 2 22 42 2 22 42 62 82 10 2 12 2 14 2 2 22 2 2 2 22 42 62 3 23 43 3 23 3 23 3 23 3 23 3 23 3 3 3 23 3 23 3 3 23 3 23 3 23 3 3 3 3 23 3 23 43 63 83 10 3 12 3 14 3 3 23 3 3 3 23 43 63 4 24 44 4 24 4 24 4 24 4 24 4 24 4 4 4 24 4 24 4 4 24 4 24 4 24 4 4 4 4 24 4 24 44 64 84 10 4 12 4 14 4 4 24 4 4 4 24 44 64 5 25 45 5 25 5 25 5 25 5 25 5 5 6 26 46 6 26 6 26 6 26 6 26 6 6 7 27 47 7 27 7 27 7 27 7 27 7 7 8 28 48 8 28 8 8 28 8 28 8 8 9 29 49 9 29 9 9 29 9 29 9 9 10 30 50 10 30 10 10 30 10 30 10 10 11 31 11 31 11 11 31 11 31 11 11 12 32 12 32 12 12 32 12 32 12 12 13 33 13 33 13 13 33 13 33 13 13 14 34 14 34 14 14 34 14 34 14 14 15 35 15 35 15 15 35 15 15 15 16 36 16 36 16 16 36 16 16 16 17 37 17 37 17 17 17 17 17 18 38 18 38 18 18 18 18 18 19 39 19 39 19 19 19 19 19 20 40 20 40 20 20 20 20 20 Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronom y Joshua Judges Ruth 1 Samuel 5 25 5 5 5 25 5 25 5 25 5 5 5 5 25 5 25 45 65 85 10 5 12 5 14 5 5 25 5 5 5 25 45 65 6 26 6 6 6 6 26 6 26 6 6 6 6 26 6 26 46 66 86 10 6 12 6 14 6 6 26 6 6 6 26 46 66 7 27 7 7 7 7 27 7 27 7 7 7 7 27 7 27 47 67 87 10 7 12 7 14 7 7 27 7 7 7 27 47 8 28 8 8 8 8 28 8 28 8 8 8 8 28 8 28 48 68 88 10 8 12 8 14 8 8 28 8 8 8 28 48 9 29 9 9 9 9 29 9 29 9 9 9 9 29 9 29 49 69 89 10 9 12 9 14 9 9 29 9 10 30 10 10 10 10 10 30 10 10 10 10 30 10 30 50 70 90 11 0 13 0 15 0 10 30 10 11 31 11 11 11 11 11 31 11 11 31 11 31 51 71 91 11 1 13 1 12 12 12 12 12 12 32 12 12 32 12 32 52 72 92 11 2 13 2 13 13 13 13 13 13 33 13 13 33 13 33 53 73 93 11 3 13 3 14 14 14 14 14 14 34 15 15 15 15 15 15 35 16 16 16 16 16 16 36 17 17 17 17 17 17 18 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 14 34 14 34 54 74 94 11 4 13 4 15 35 15 35 55 75 95 11 5 13 5 16 36 16 36 56 76 96 11 6 13 6 17 37 17 37 57 77 97 11 7 13 7 18 38 18 38 58 78 98 11 8 13 8 19 39 19 39 59 79 99 11 9 13 9 20 40 20 40 60 80 10 0 12 0 14 0 Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes Song Of Solomon Isaiah 11 31 11 12 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 9 29 49 10 30 50 11 31 51 12 32 52 13 33 53 14 34 54 15 35 55 16 36 56 17 37 57 18 38 58 19 39 59 20 40 60 . Many people use this chart to keep up with the progress of their personal Bible reading and it might take them 3 years or more to complete it. This plan is pretty hard going if you did all of it in one year. This chart is an easy way to remember where you left off. just cross off the Chapter you have read and keep in your Notebook. Makes keeping track of your reading simple. This chart is “straight through.” But you could begin with the New Testament (Matthew).To use this Chart. wherever you wish. or the Psalms. The Chart will keep record of what you’ve read.

775. FL 32763  386.3500 www.Jeremiah 1 21 41 1 1 21 41 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 21 1 1 21 1 21 1 21 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 21 2 22 42 2 2 22 42 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 22 2 2 22 2 2 22 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 23 43 3 3 23 43 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 23 3 3 23 3 3 23 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 24 44 4 4 24 44 4 4 4 4 4 5 25 45 5 5 25 45 5 5 5 6 26 46 7 27 47 8 28 48 9 29 49 10 30 50 11 31 51 12 32 52 13 33 14 34 15 35 16 36 17 37 18 38 19 39 20 40 Lamentation s Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi Matthew Mark Luke John Acts Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians 1 Thessalonia ns 2 Thessalonia ns 1 Timothy 2 Timothy Titus Philemon Hebrews James 1 Peter 2 Peter 1 John 2 John 3 John Jude Revelation 6 26 46 6 6 6 7 27 47 7 7 7 8 28 48 8 8 8 9 29 9 9 9 10 30 10 10 11 31 11 11 12 32 12 12 13 33 14 34 15 35 16 36 17 37 18 38 19 39 20 40 13 14 5 6 7 4 4 4 24 4 4 24 4 4 24 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 5 25 5 5 5 5 25 5 5 5 5 5 6 26 6 6 6 6 26 6 6 6 6 6 7 27 7 7 7 7 27 7 7 7 8 28 8 8 8 8 28 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 17 18 19 20 17 17 17 18 18 18 19 19 19 20 20 20 5 4 4 5 6 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 2 22 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 the Journey at First Baptist Orange City 975 E Graves Ave  Orange City.theJourneyOC.net .

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