Tomorrow will be the beginning of 2017! For me, that means the beginning of a new Bible Reading Plan. Like most people who begin a New Year in God’s Word, it can be a struggle to stay faithful 365 days a year. Here are a couple of great ways to help you get started and stay faithful throughout the year. No matter how old or young we are, there are always more lessons to learn, more Biblical truth to apply, and more room to grow in Christ. A New Year in Christ, calls for a Biblical pathway. Here’s a couple of things to help guide you in your pathway.
Reading & Journaling God’s Word
I like to use the S.O.A.P. method. This stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. I have found this to be a great way of getting more out of your time in God’s Word.
Scripture . Open your Bible to your reading for the day. Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.
Observation . What is God saying in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you.
Application . Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
Prayer . This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or even a prayer for a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.
Praying Through God’s Word
A.C.T.S. will help you developing a consistent and vibrant prayer life is vital to our growth as a disciple of Christ. Start by committing 15 minutes each day to prayer. The ACTS model (below) is a simple way to structure your time and is a great way to respond to what God reveals to you as you read His Word.
Adoration . As you read the Scripture, reflect on the character of God revealed in His Word. Let that revelation lead you to worship and adore your God.
Confession . The Word of God will do its work of exposing and uncovering sin. Respond to that conviction by agreeing with God that what he says about your sin is right. Pray for the desire and willingness to follow Christ in full obedience.
Thanksgiving . Where do you see God working? Where does His Word remind you of His deeds. Spend time thanking God for His faithfulness in your life and in the lives of others.
Supplication . God’s Word helps us understand His purposes, His plans, and reminds us of all that He has promised to do. Ask God to give you the desires of His heart as you pray for your needs and the needs of others. This can include prayer for friends, family, church, missionaries, government leaders, and the movement of the gospel around the world.
I hope this will help you as you strive to start the New Year in God’s Word! Press On!