Wednesday, November 18, 2020

looking ahead/Wednesday Women in the Word

Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share about reading the Bible for today's post, especially because we are drawing near to the end of this year. Each year around this time, I start looking ahead to what the next year might bring. I think all of us can say that this time last year, none of us thought we'd be where we are today, am I right? Regardless of what is to come, I always start around this time to make plans for my Bible reading plan for the next year.

Over the years, I've done many plans. I've read through chronologically several times and am finishing that out right now, I've done just the Old Testament, just the New Testament and I've done plans where I just go from month to month, like Proverbs with the 31 chapters for the 31 days. 

The goal in doing this is simple: I have to be in the Word of God every single day. I must, I really cannot let hardly one day go by without reading in the Bible. The purpose for reading the Bible for me is to look more like Jesus with each day that goes by, but it's also my instruction book on how to live my life. For instance, this morning as I was reading in 1 Thessalonians, I read in chapter five some very practical things that I can put into daily practice, things like regarding others highly in love, comforting the discouraged, helping the weak, being patient. I don't know about you, but I could definitely use more advice like that. 

I've already started thinking about what I'll do next year and I'm leaning toward going really slowly through some books in the Bible, one or two chapters a day and then journaling about what I'm learning using the H.E.A.R. method: Highlight something that stands out, Explain what it means in my own words and maybe even study up on it using Blue Letter Bible, Applying it to my life in a practical way, Responding in prayer to the Lord. I love to journal as I read, it helps me pay attention and I love to look back on what the Lord showed me. 

There are several books I want to do this with: Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Nehemiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah...I could go on, but you get the drift. I see myself in the Old Testament more than the new, but I could also change my mind between now and then.

I plan on keeping up with the Scripture writing thing and don't ever see myself stopping with that. I have so many plans saved and printed out, if Shannon from Sweet Blessings ever stops, I'll have those to keep on going. Or I could make my own, which I've done before. I do have several books of the Bible written out, from old Bible studies: James, 1 and 2 Timothy, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, a lot of Hosea and a lot of Philippians. The more I write the Word of God, the more I remember the Word of God. I'll never grow tired of that part of my quiet time each morning.

I'll also continue on with studying the Bible. 

I shared this picture yesterday on Instagram, because I finished going through this Bible study for the second time in about six months, once when we were writing it and editing and again from August until today, as I led small groups of ladies through the study. I shared this yesterday, but while we were studying and writing this, I never dreamed it would be so relevant for this present day in time. It is always bittersweet to finish another Bible study, particularly this "baby" of ours that I studied for and helped labor over. I feel like we prayed and poured over every single word that was written and in the process of all that, we prayed for the women who would study this with us at some point, either now or in the future. 

Our next study is already written and in the process of being edited. I'm happy to tell you that we wrote a study on the book of Philippians. We will start that on Wednesday January 27 and it will go for about nine weeks. We're praying through which book to write on after Philippians, and some ideas have been tossed around between us all, so I'll be glad to hear when a decision has been reached. As we write and study, we'll be digging in really deep to the Word of God and learning as much as we're able to in the time before we write. I love doing this and going through the whole writing process, but it all starts with prayer.

These are things I will always be doing and I pray that I inspire others to consider their own walk with Jesus by making a life with Him look appealing. 

Have you considered what you'll be reading next year yet? More than any self-help or fictional book, this is something worth considering. Reading God's Word is one of the best and most important things we can ever do. And if you're in need of some things to do or resources for your quiet time, join along with me! I'd love to hear about that, if you decide to do so. It helps to know that silly little things I write about are something God uses in the lives of other people, and we all need affirmation every once in a while.

I'd also just love to hear what you'll be doing in 2021. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. 

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