Exactly twenty years ago, at the New Year of 1997, I made a resolution that changed my life. It has provided direction for every decision I have faced since. It is the single action that has grown my relationship with God more than anything else. It has increased my love for others, my trust in the Lord, my repentance of sin, and my hope for the future. Even though I made this resolution while I was still a teenager, it has made me a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, and a better church member.
At the risk of sounding sales-gimmicky, I am 100% convinced this resolution can do the same for you in 2017. I don’t often say things like that. I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all methods. I don’t believe God has designed us all to walk exactly the same path. But I do believe in absolute truth, in universal standards, and in a God who has ordered his creation to operate according to certain one-size-fits-all principles. And this resolution is the only way to know what those principles are.
In 1997, I resolved to read the Bible every day.
I chose to read through the Bible in a year, and while I wasn’t entirely consistent, I was able to finish by December 31st. When I got to that last chapter of Revelation, I realized something: I had read too fast and too inattentively. I hadn’t learned that much. But I did read. I knew I could do it.
So the next year, I resolved to continue to reading the Bible every day. This time, I went slower. I didn’t read the whole thing in a year. And I took out a notebook and wrote what I was learning. My faith grew, and I started experiencing some of the real benefits of this resolution. Benefits like:
The law of the Lord is
Lord is sure,
Lord are right,
Lord is pure,
fear of the Lord is
of the Lord are true,
(Psalm 19:7-11, ESV)
If you’re still not convinced, you can find hundreds of other benefits in Psalm 119.
Even if you’re not a resolutions kind of person, consider making this one. Quick devotional thoughts like these emails are not enough to nourish you. While I hope they encourage you, they’re just a drop of milk, not a plate of meat.
If you already read God’s Word regularly, what can you do this year to go deeper? Can you carve out more time, be more consistent, take notes, compare your notes with a good commentary, or read a book on how to interpret the Bible (I recommend this one or this one)?
Whatever you choose, I hope 2017 will find you growing closer to Jesus. And no matter what the year holds, being close to Jesus will make it worthwhile.
Know someone who would be encouraged by this? Please share!
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