Monday, November 23, 2009

40 Days Through the Bible (Getting Started)

Listed below is the reading list and some tips for getting started on the "40 DTTB":

40 Days Through the Bible

1 - Genesis 1-2

2 - Genesis 3

3 - Genesis 15; 17:15-27

4 - Genesis 21:1-7; 22

5 - Exodus 3-4

6 - Exodus 20

7 - Joshua 1

8 - 1 Samuel 16-17

9 - 1 Kings 3; 8:1-9:9

10 - 1 Kings 18

11 - 2 Kings 25

12 - Daniel 2-3

13 - Ezra 3

14 - Isaiah 9, 53, 61

15 - Luke 1-2

16 - John 1:1-18

17 - Matthew 4:14-44

18 - Matthew 5-6

19 - John 3

20 - John 5

21 - John 11

22 - John 15

23 - John 17

24 - Matthew 26-27

25 - John 20

26 - Luke 24

27 - Acts 2

28 - Acts 9

29 - Acts 16

30 - Acts 26

31 - Romans 3

32 - Romans 7-8

33 - 1 Corinthians 13

34 - 1 Corinthians 15

35 - Galatians 5

36 - Ephesians 6

37 - Philippians 1:18-2:18

38 - Colossians 3:1-17

39 - James 1

40 - Revelation 21-22


PRAY - Begin your time with God by praying. Ask Him to speak through the word. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to make it understandable and help you apply it to your life. (John 14:26)

THINK - We believe that these words come from God and are directed to our lives. If that is true, shouldn't we try to focus and understand them? They should be of the utmost importance to our life - far more than the newspaper, tv, or a blog!

What is God teaching you through this passage? Specifically, what do you see in three areas:

1) What does it teach you about God? - The Bible is God revealing to us who He is and what He expects. Our ideas about God are always imperfect or incorrect. How does your idea of God need to change in light of what you've read?

2) What does it teach you about yourself? - Not only do we have wrong ideas about God, but we have wrong ideas about ourselves. The Bible reveals who we really are. it is like a mirror that reflects an accurate image of who we are and shows things we need to change. Allow the Bible to draw out your motivations, show your incorrect actions, and direct your thinking.

3) Where do you need to repent? - Once we see who God really is and who we really are, we begin to see how far short of His standard we fall. He wants us to be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48). What is the logical response? Too often, it is to try harder. That is the wrong answer. The correct response is always repentance. This means agreeing with God's assessment of our actions, motivations, attitudes, etc. and asking for His forgiveness. We then ask for the Holy Spirit to help us in living life as God desires

REMEMBER - A difficulty for me and a lot of others is that I read and God reveals Himself, but then I forget what He said. If God has spoken, we need to remember what He said! I've found it helpful to get a notebook and pen and write down what He said to me. This doesn't have to be an exhaustive commentary on the subject, artistic, or worthy of publishing. it just simply needs to be a statement of what God has said to you, written in your words. It may be as simple as writing a key verse down, re-writing it in your own words, and then writing a sentence of how you intend to put it into pratice.

OBEY - This is all a meaningless effort if we never put into practice the things that God says. James puts it this way:

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25).

My prayer is that God will use this journey to reveal who He is and to make us more like Him.

Please post any thoughts, comments, questions, or insights you have along the way! We'll start with Genesis 1-2!

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