We have all walked through the front door of this new year, 2018. In some ways, this year will be very similar to the last ones we have lived through. But in other ways it is a completely new year. Who knows what the Lord will do in and through us this year? As believers we can be assured that the Lord will be with us as He has promised (Matt 28:20) and that His goal for us this year will be for us to grow in our faith and sanctification (2 Peter 3:18).
In this new year as we consider between goals such as losing weight or remodeling our kitchen, let us not forget to make spiritual growth a priority in 2018. This was the focus of my sermon this past Lord's Day (listen here). It will take some work, and discipline. I love the quote by Phillips Brooks "we will never become truly spiritual by sitting down and wishing to become so."
Here are some resources that are excellent for providing help for you to grow in your faith by reading and meditating on God's Word.
She Reads Truth is a website that offers reading plans for women who want to read the Bible. They provide reading plans through their website, books, and smart-phone apps. There is also a companion website for men (He Reads Truth) where the men are reading the same Bible passages but with applications and devotional writings geared more for men.
Explore Bible Reading Notes. Explore is a daily devotional book that comes out each quarter of the year and provides a daily Bible Reading plan and notes for each day's reading. The notes consist of explanation, application, and encouragements on how to pray in response to the reading. The explanations are gospel-centered in helping us to see how God's Word is consistently pointing to or revealing Jesus Christ to us. I have been using Explore for at least the past five years now for my daily Bible reading. Published by The Good Book, which also has excellent daily devotionals for Bible reading for youth, and children as well.
The Navigators Daily Bible Reading Plans. The Navigators is an excellent ministry focused on helping believers to grow in their faith. They have for many years provided Bible Reading Plans. Two of their best are the daily Bible Reading plan which will take you through the entire Bible in a year and will always have you reading from a Gospel, an Apostolic letter, and Old Testament reading as well as one from the wisdom literature. There are 25 readings each month which provides you with days to catch up if you fall behind. If four readings each day seems too much to handle, then just do two readings this year and the other two the next year and complete the Bible in two years.
Tabletalk Devotional Magazine. This excellent resource is produced by Ligonier Ministries and always has excellent Bible teachers writing explanations on each daily Bible Reading as well as supplementary articles written by some of today's most gifted pastors and theologians. It comes out monthly and the current introductory offer is that you can receive a three month free trial here.
One to One Bible Reading. This is a short and very helpful book by David Help which encourages you and trains you to begin to read the Bible one on one with another person in order to both grow in your faith. You can also use this simple practice to help to disciple a younger believer, your son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, or someone who is not a Christian but is willing to learn about the Christian faith. Maybe you can be used by God to help and encourage someone else to read the Bible in 2018 and maybe even begin a relationship with the Lord.