This morning I woke up, turned on my Keurig coffee maker so I could brew some Community Coffee, opened my Bible to a random place that happened to be Psalm 19 and read. Then, I flipped through my Bible to the all the sticky-tabbed sections I had marked as the Spirit of Christ emphasized them for my soul as I read in 2011 through the Bible systematically (here is a link to the Bible reading record I have used for the last 5 years as I have annually read through the Bible, I use a similar edited version of Don Whitney’s plan) , the first of which was Deuteronomy 4:9, “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.” As I did the Spirit reminded me of the various convictions he had brought upon me over the course of the year, the multitude of emotions I had waded through in my devotional times in both prayers and in my journal, and the plethora of situations that affected the way that I interpreted/applied the Scripture over the course of the calendar year. It was quite nostalgic as I meditated on some of the most significant truths the Spirit brought to my attention as I revisited these sections of Scripture:
1) Endeavor to remember the awful plight of my existence prior to Christ; never take for granted the opportunities the Lord has brought into my life to manifest my allegiance to him-family, ministry, finances, traveling-lest I forget the goodness and mercy of the Lord (Deut 4:9).
2) The greatness of the Triune Lord and the perfection of his redemption in Christ is cause to ascribe glory to the Lord as we pine for the God of our salvation to return and complete our redemption on the Last Day (1Chron 16:8-36).
3) Pray for a tender heart like Josiah that I may humble myself before the Lord when I read his Word and hear it preached so I may responded with holy repentance (2Chron 34:27).
4) The Lord is faithful to satisfy and replenish those weary from the battle with sin; those languishing from tumultuous circumstances (Jer 31:25).
5) Laziness is satanic, especially for the minister, and is wretched disobedience in the sight of the Lord (Jer 48:10).
6) Labor to remember the mercy of the Lord (Deut 4:9) because of my propensity toward unbelief (Mark 6:6); pray for the Lord to help my unbelief.
7) The indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ empowers gospel proclamation and gives the Christian authority to offer certainty of sins forgiven and assurance of things hoped for-the resurrection from the dead-when sharing the gospel (John 20:19-23).
8) Speech is intrinsically a divine act (James 3:1-12; Gen 1:3-ff). Thus, all humanity imitates God when they speak. Therefore, the Christian has a responsibility to use words to redirect the lives of others toward Christ that the Triune God may be exalted because a Believer is known by their manifest fruit, especially their speech (Matt 12:33-37). So, I must work to always speak truth, not crooked speech, which is twisted and demonic (Gen 3:1-ff).
9) Christ Jesus has power over death. He loves me & freed me from slavery by his blood (Rev 1:5-6)
As we are on the precipice of entering 2012 I want to encourage you to plan to read through your Bible, whatever version it is that you use, in 2012. Here is a great post by John Piper on planning which may help inspire you to be more diligent in your pursuit of God, holiness and organization in your life. Also, here is a link to a blog post by Justin Taylor (who references the same Piper post) with various Bible reading plans that you can choose from. Lastly, here is a link to the plan that Meghan and I will be using for 2012 as we read through the Bible. Though she is not a seminary student, or a minister by calling or profession, she understands the necessity to be intimately acquainted with the Sacred Word that she might be the most faithful wife, mother and Christian she can be.