Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our Lamp and Our Light

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Advent begins last Sunday, and with it, I begin my third year of reading through the entire Bible.  I know there are a plethora of Bible study guides out there, but I use on called the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan.  This particular plan divides the Bible into seven categories, one for each day of the week:

  • Sunday - Epistles
  • Monday - The Law
  • Tuesday - History
  • Wednesday - Psalms (my favorites!)
  • Thursday - Poetry (Did you know the Book of Job is included here?)
  • Friday - Prophesy
  • Saturday - Gospels
Obviously, this guideline is one which jumps regularly between the Old and New Testaments.  That might not appeal to everyone, but I've so enjoyed the change-up each day.

And speaking of change-ups, I've decided to implement some exercises that I hope will enhance my daily reading of the Word.  The majority of my first year with this study program was spent in The Message.  The second year, I used the NIV, NRSV and NKJV alternately.  For this third year, I'm going to explore as many versions as I can, using Bible Gateway.  That should keep things interesting, as if God's Word by itself isn't interesting enough!

Next, I've decided to keep two separate journals, one for the Old Testament and one for the New.  When I read the OT, I plan to consciously seek out and record scripture that points to the coming of Jesus.  The NT will afford me an opportunity to single out particular verses, and rewrite them in my own words as a prayer, or perhaps, a poem if I'm feeling brave.

Yes, I'm truly excited to be off on this new adventure of immersing myself in God's Word on a deeper level.  If you don't currently practice a daily routine of Bible study, I do hope you will download the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan and hop on board for the ride with me.  And if you do have a study guide that works for you, please share it in the comments section.

Remember, my friends, the Word of God never grows old nor wears out.  Like His love and mercies, it is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

His Word - our lamp, our light.

Amen!

31 comments:

  1. What a beautiful way to start the Christmas season and the New Year...Yes, God's Word IS our Lamp and our Light...where would we be without His Word to guide us? I know I'd be lost in the morass of life for certain. Thank you for this wonderful reminder today. Blessings to you and yours in this Advent season.

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    1. I'd be so lost without God's Word, too, Pamela. Oh, what a blessing it is to spend time each day reading and reflecting on Scripture! And yes, a great kickoff for the season of Advent.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Great idea, Martha. Love having two journals for Old and New Testaments. Praying the Lord shows you "new" and "old" truths, each resonating deep into your soul. For that's how the Word works in our lives. :-)

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    1. I'm so glad you liked that idea, Karen! And yes, I'm already experiencing how God is showing me new things in old truths as I read and reflect. Feeling so blessed!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. I currently use New Morning Mercies for my devo time. I am also using Whiter Than Snow to help supplement my time. I also read from Psalms each day. And since I will be focusing a good part of my sermons in 2018 on Romans I have been reading Romans each day since October. I have to vary my approach or i get bored. Ha. Getting bored with reading the Bible?

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    1. Thanks, Bill, for sharing how you study the Bible every day. We all have to find ways that are meaningful to us, and that help us dig deeper into the Word. And there's nothing wrong with the varied approach - it's one of the perks of mine.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I admire your plunge into a new way of reading through the Bible in a year! One of my very favorite ways was using a Chronological Bible. Scriptures are grouped by the time in history. VERY interesting!
    Blessings, Martha!

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    1. I have heard of that study, Lulu, and it's one my husband has considered taking up. Is there an online resource for this that you use? Thanks for sharing!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. I am not sure--I bought a paper back Chronological Bible. It was not very expensive. Hope he enjoys this different perspective.!

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  5. I too like to have some sort of structured approach to spiritual wisdom. I read through the Bible one year just straight through cover to cover. That was also in interesting approach, and I gained much understanding and insight from it.

    And always exciting at the beginning! You go, Bible girl!

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    1. I'm glad to know that reading the Bible straight through worked for you, Galen. I've tried that, but failed miserably. So glad to have found a plan that works!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, Thank you for sharing how you have read through the Word of God and your plans for the year ahead. It sounds like you have a solid plan laid out. Hope to hear about what you're learning!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I'm sure I'll be sharing what I'm learning here at the blog from time to time, Kim. So looking forward to this new journey!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. I love the idea of consciously seeking out OT verses that point to the coming of Jesus, Martha. It's so true that the Word of God never grows old. It's amazing how sometimes a verse I've read several times before suddenly pops out with a deeper meaning so fitting for that moment. God knows exactly what we need, doesn't He? Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Absolutely, Trudy! God does know exactly what we need when we need it. I was so gratified in reading a certain blog today that the person writing actually addressed an issue (one I'm not proud of) that I was struggling with. Amazed at the healing and the faith returned these words provided! God is immeasurably good all the time!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Thank you for this post reminding us of the importance of reading and learning about the Word of God.

    Happy Advent to you and your family. God bless you all.

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    1. Happy Advent to you, too, Victor! What a blessed time of year as we await Christ's coming again into the world.
      And yes, it is so critical as Christians that we immerse ourselves in God's Word. How else will we be able to be in true relationship with Him and resist the ploys of the devil?
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, I love this idea! I like to journal when reading scripture too. I use the SOAK method (Scripture, Observation, Application, and Kneeling in prayer). I never thought about using one journal for the OT and another for the NT. I think I'll try it :)
    Thanks for the inspiration :)
    I know this post will encourage others to get into a daily reading plan too.
    Blessings!

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    1. Beckie, I got the idea of keeping the separate journals and writing prayers/poems based on a particular verse from your SOAK method. You never know what sharing can do for another until you do it! So thanks so very much for that.
      That is my prayer - that others will be inspired to begin a daily study of the Bible, and not beat themselves up if they miss a day here and there. The best part about this plan is that it's so very easy to catch up when you fall behind. And God, as we know, is always understanding.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. That sounds like a great reading plan, diving things up makes for better understanding. Thanks for sharing and hope you are doing well. Greetings!

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    1. It is an amazing reading plan, Blogoratti, and so easy to keep up with.
      Hope you are doing well, too, my friend!
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Keeping a journal is a wonderful idea! That's gonna make things stick that wouldn't otherwise.

    I'm getting close on my next journey through the entire Bible, but this one has taken me longer than any other.

    Thanks for the encouragement to push ahead. There's honor in it.

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    1. Yes, Floyd, there is honor in pushing through, that's for sure. Glad you liked the idea of keeping a journal, too. It does help to clarify things so much.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Hi Martha ... I love the idea of changing things up, journaling, a fresh refocus on our time with the Lord.

    He is worthy of our creativity, our energy, our loving attention!

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    1. Oh, He certainly is worthy of those things, Linda! The Creator, I believe, loves it when we use our own creativity to grow closer to Him.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. I read the Bible cover to cover. It was so interesting and exciting that once I began to read I could not stop. Your approach to reading it next year sounds interesting. Gives me something to think about. Thanks,

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    1. That's so good to hear, Nells. I do wish more folks would read their Bible and take it to heart. The world would be a better place for sure!
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Love how you are exploring new ways to dig into the scripture. of course I believe in the power of journaling and love you comparing the different versions. Biblegateway added a new version a couple of years ago called the Voice - more like a script. I haven't used it much but I imagine some verse will come alive written like that. Be sure to write a post later in 2018 how this is working for you. bless you!

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Jean, as I embark on this new season of study. I'll definitely check out the Voice as I explore the different versions. And yes, I'll definitely keep everyone posted as I move along.
      Love and blessings!

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  15. There is nothing that refreshes me more than reading the Word. It sounds like a great plan to mix each day up with a different reading, and I know your heart will be greatly blessed as you read through the Bible in this way. I tend to read the Bible in books as I find that I really get a feel for the focus of the book as I read it in entirety. I also love to study the word too, and keeping different notebooks is a great tool as well. I pray the Lord blesses and enriches your life abundantly as you read the Words of Life :)

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    1. Isn't it so wonderful, Marilyn, how different ways of studying God's Word differ for each of us? It reminds me of just how unique He has created us all to be.
      I must admit, as I did in a comment above, that I tried the book by book approach, but couldn't stick with it. Hoping that keeping the journal will make everything more cohesive in the end.
      Love and blessings!

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