It’s new year’s eve!

Hello! I hope you’re enjoying your day so far as you look forward to whatever celebrations or parties you might be attending this evening to see in not just a new year, but a new decade.

 

I’ve seen 37 years, five different decades, two different centuries and even two different millennia! And in that time much has changed. Back in about 1995 the internet as we know it came to the masses – even if it was painfully slow at the time – and it changed the world.

 

There’s something that changed the world even more though, and that’s Jesus. He had been foretold in the Jewish Scriptures for many years, and when he came people initially didn’t realise the significance. 2000+ years later though, here we are beginning an epic year of reading our Bibles to find out all about Him. Whether you like Him or not, Jesus and His teachings have utterly transformed this world.

 

My prayer as we begin this reading plan is that He will utterly transform you too.

 

Things to do today

Just two!

 

  • Spend some time praying about your BIAY (Bible in a Year) and about the things you are nervous about. Perhaps you’re worried about the time it may take. Perhaps you’re worried you’ll find it dull. Perhaps you’ll not get all your questions answered. Perhaps it seems a bit daunting. Whatever they are – pray them over today.
  • If you haven’t already, maybe use the front page of your notebook to write a message to yourself about why you’re about to embark on this amazing quest to get to know Jesus – and Scripture – better. Think about what will encourage you when you’re half way through to keep going. You could decorate the page however you like. Think too about any spare pages you’d like to keep at the start of your notebooks for other special reasons, and write them in too.

 

I’ll be posting the notes for Jan 1st – day 1 of 366 – around midnight so that you can read whenever it suits tomorrow.

 

Let’s go!

Hello!

Hey Jonah! Hi Harry! Howdy Annabel! Hello anyone else reading this! This blog exists to help you to read the bible… and we’re two days away from starting that.

I believe the bible to be God’s message to mankind. I believe that He was the ultimate author of the book, even though it was written down by many people, and that if we are to call ourselves Christians – followers of Christ – then we should know what his message to us is. As we can see Christ throughout all of Scripture – the Old Testament as well as the New – this reading plan takes us all the way from Genesis to Revelation. In it we’ll find that it really is all One Story – God’s redemptive plan for mankind found in Jesus Christ.

This reading plan has been created by the fine folk at “OwnIt365” – a website set up to encourage and equip bible reading. The notes, however, are my own and are designed to help tease out some of the most important parts of each passage. My notes take the form of questions and comments, usually with an some final comments to think about or take away.

We won’t read the entire bible in this plan. It’s probably about 70% or so. We miss some bits out. It is still comprehensive though, and not to be started lightly. It can be hard to find time each day to spend in God’s Word. Don’t expect it to be easy! But you should hope, and expect, it to be wonderfully encouraging and equipping. And there’s a day off each week, so if you get a little behind you’ll be able to catch up!

Annabel, Jonah and Harry – I’m so pleased that you’ve signed up to read this year. I pray that you’ll find this resource helpful in opening up God’s (much better) book!

 

A bit more about reading along this year

My notes in this blog assume a few things which are helpful to explain at the start. There may be a few extra people from St Johns reading along with us, so these might help.

› I’m generally assuming in my notes that you’re coming to this as a Christian and are looking to find out more about the faith you’ve heard about so far. A lot of my notes will be encouraging you to live as a Christian, rather than explaining why you should turn to Christ.!

› I’ve written this book for a teenage audience. Harry, Annabel and Jonah – that’d be you. Anybody, I hope, will find much value in reading through the bible using this plan – this website is available for everyone to look at… but I’ve targeted a lot of my comments directed towards those I’m guiding through.

› I’m assuming that you teenagers have someone who will help you through your readings. This reading plan isn’t easy – especially when we’re working our way through the perhaps unfamiliar bits of the Old Testament. My notes aren’t always going to be enough. Read with a friend. Tell your mum and dad what you’ve learned each day. You can look at the passages one by one together, or discuss difficult topics, or just allow them to be an encouragement to you. And of course you’ll meet up with me or someone else to help guide you.

› You’ll want a journal, or a notebook. The teenagers have all been provided with one. What you write in it is your own choice – perhaps answers to the questions, or passage summaries, or things you learned each day. It’ll build up to be such a wonderful resource for you (and an encouragement too, as the pages fill). You may want to leave some blank pages at the front for favourite passages, prayer pointers, areas you’re struggling with or the things that amazed you.

› If you fall behind – and you will from time to time – then don’t stress out about it. Do, however, try and catch up when you can. Above all, however, don’t make following this plan or “doing the stuff” the most important thing. It’s about God, not you or me. If you finish this reading plan in 13 months rather than 12, and you do so coming closer to Jesus, then I couldn’t ask for anything more!

› Enjoy your time each day – and never forget how amazing it is to read the words of God!