Read Through the Word
Wendy Pope

"For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

Have you ever set a goal for yourself you truly wanted to accomplish, but in your mind doubted you would succeed?

There was a time in my life when it seemed like every time I set a goal I would fail. These failures made me feel less of a person and unworthy. It happened to me so many times I subconsciously refused to set goals.

Then one day, a few years ago, I heard a challenge that our local Christian radio station gave to its listeners. The challenge was to read through the entire Bible in a year. This was something I had longed to do for years but was completely afraid I would fail at.

Short term goals were hard enough for me but less daunting than a long term goal such as this. Yet I felt the Lord's encouragement like never before and knew this was something He wanted me to do.

Racing through my mind were fears of failure which argued with the truth that God wanted me to know His Word and use it as a light for my path. I feared I would not understand His Word. I feared I would not have the discipline to complete the goal of studying God's Word for an entire year. I feared I would disappoint my Father.

But I remembered God had given me an ear to hear and learn His instruction. He reminded me that as part of my salvation, I received love and self-discipline, not fear. I had almost convinced myself that it was impossible when I heard the words of Jesus, "With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible." I began to feel confidence building in me. I recounted His truths over and over, combating the lies of the enemy who was sure to do all he could to cause me to fail.

I accepted the challenge. My husband showed his support by giving me a Bible with a daily reading guide. I knew my bookshelves were full of Bibles in different translations. Why would I need another Bible to accomplish this goal? I quickly found out. This was unlike any Bible I had ever seen. It was a Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation, whose format fascinated me. It's organized in the order events happened and written in an easy to understand translation. Plus, the daily readings aren't overwhelming. I could not wait for the New Year to start so I could begin the challenge.

With fear and trembling, as well as great anticipation, I began reading through the Bible January 1, 2006. I missed days and many times gave ear to the attempts of the enemy to make me lose sight of my goal. However, I made up the missed days and met my goal of reading the entire Bible in 2006. I did it again in 2007, and am in the process of reading through once more in 2009.

I don't share this with you to receive an "atta girl." All praise and glory go to God. I share this with you today to encourage you to read through the story of God's Word. Maybe like me, God has prompted you but you have left Him at bay. January 1st is not far away and the Chronological Bible I will read in 2010 is available through our resource center. Last year over 1400 people accepted the challenge to read through the Bible with me. Will you take this year's challenge to know the Savior's story like never before and join me in reading through the Word in 2010?

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect gift of salvation, love and self-discipline. Your Word tells me that all things are possible with You; will You help me believe it? With the help of Your Holy Spirit's guidance Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know the Author of the Word?

The One Year Chronological Bible

God the Builder CD by Wendy Pope. Find more resources by Wendy here.

Wendy is leading a year long Bible study in 2010 on her blog = Experiencing the Real Meaning of Free

To learn more and read comments from those who participated in 2009, click here.

Application Steps:
Commit to reading through God's Word in 2010. Through prayer and today's power verses, defeat the enemy's attempts to convince you this goal is unattainable.

Purchase the Chronological Bible and begin to pray and become empowered to accomplish the goal in 2010. Subscribe to Wendy’s blog to receive daily encouragement throughout the year.

Reflections:
Do I fear setting goals? Why or why not?

Do I truly believe all things are possible through Christ? Explain.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 50:4b, "He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." (NIV)

Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (NIV)

Proverb 2:1-5, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (NLT)

© 2009 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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7 Comments:

Wendy,
Accepting your invitation to read through the Bible in a year was one of the best things I have ever done! Praise God!

With His strength, and because His Word is full of life and completely amazing, I am reaching this goal with you. Thank you friend! You are the iron that sharpens iron!

Desiring to finish well,
Sharon

Blogger LizRoth said...

I asked for and received the Chronological Bible for Christmas after reading your invitation last year. I am so glad that I did it because I had just read through the Bible, Genesis through Revelation in Book order, during 2008 but it was very difficult for me to be consistent in it and I often had to do "catch up". This still was a victory since I had tried in 2007 and in 2005 and failed both times to get very far. So, the idea of reading it all over again the same way in 2009 was not exactly inspiring. Reading the Chronological Bible during 2009 has been an awesome way to read through the Bible in a year and has given me a much needed fresh perspective on God's Word.
Thank you so much and I strongly encourage others to make the purchase or do like I did and ask for it as a Christmas Gift.

Blogger Jules said...

Dear Wendy- I clicked over to your site from this daily devotioin to learn more about the NLT Study Bible you mentioned. I'm not familiar with this translation. I enjoyed today's lesson on reading the Word. I have started SEVERAL times and have failed SEVERAL times in finishing reading through the Bible!! I'm praying and looking into some different Study Bibles, including the one you mentioned in your lesson today. I would like to join your quest in reading through the Bible in 2010. Thanks for the encouragement!

I am actually reading through the Bible in a year, too. I missed a few months, but have picked up again, and am going to continue until i complete it.

I don't have a Chronological Bible, but it sounds awesome! I have several different versions, too. Each one is super special.

I found a Bible reading plan online at crosswalk.com, and they have several options, versions and reading plans to help equip us to finish this goal. I am on a plan where i read one N.T. chapter, two O.T. chapters & a chapter of Psalms per day - it's great.

Daily reading of the Bible has changed my life.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for personally inviting me to take this challenge. I have been struggling alot with obeying God's call for me to come to Him each day and spend time reading/listening and praying. I have been a christian I'd say all my life and have always struggled with the discipline of having this time, and now in the busiest time of my life (I have 4 children under 8 - two of which are 9mth old twins!), God keeps pressing this upon me. I know I need this probably the most now but i find it really hard. Thank you for being His voice today. I have printed out the Power Verses and will read them regularly to prepare me for Jan 1!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy,
I joined you in reading through the Bible in 2009. Could totally identify w/you about never setting goals because failing. I've done better about sticking to this challenge/goal in 09 but I have "cheated: by listening to a lot of it on CD. I seem to let other things take priority and that is frustrating to me. My prayer and plan is to join you again in 2010 to see if I can complete the entire Bible by reading it instead of listening to it on CD.

Anonymous Joanne said...

Wow Wendy!

I couldn't believe how you were writing just to me!

Definitely hitting the nail on the head, girl. Thank you.

Self-discipline.
Why is it that something so good can feel so bad!

But thanks be to God that we are being changed from glory to glory, and everyday we are getting stronger in making that flesh obey.

My biggest obstacle was not so much the lack of self discipline but the condemnation I would put myself under when I fell short.

Where there was one, the other was soon to follow.

But God is good,and He is amazingly faithful.

I have been able to walk out of condemnation, even if self control will be an on-going project.

Thank you for the scriptures and tools you share that make a difference.

I have a blog where I shared some of my journey, you are more than welcome to read, share, and I hope, be encouraged..

http://mayiblessyou.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/bad-habits-turn-daily-devotionals-into-no-do-votionals/

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