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And down the stretch they come‘¦

October 15, 2009 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11)Way back in January of 2008, many of us began a two year journey through the Bible. I started the Bible in Two Years reading campaign because I believe that spending regular time in God’s Word is the best way to put ourselves in a place to know Him and be transformed by Him. My hope was to create a campaign that would help people find both discipline and community in their Bible reading. In order to achieve that, Matt LaCroix, our web guy, and I created a website (http://newlife-glastonbury.org/bibleplan/) where the day’s reading would be posted every day and could be sent automatically every morning to one’s email inbox. There was also a discussion component on the site, where anyone could post their thoughts on the day’s reading. Finally, I set aside one Sunday morning every two months where I would preach a shorter sermon based on something in the readings from the previous two months, we would end the service early, and then break up into small groups in order to discuss a pertinent question or two and check in with each other for the purpose of accountability. Sounds great in theory, of course, but discipline is difficult for a reason! Two years is a long time to do anything every day, and I know that despite the best of intentions, many people fell off along the way. I had made a goal of posting a comment every day, and even I began to fade in that goal somewhere around the end of spring 2009 (although I still plan to catch up before December!). I had also tried to post a “How to read…” post at the beginning of every new book of the Bible, but that also lasted for about six months before it got too difficult to keep up with. But here’s the thing about any discipline, whether it is eating right, exercising, abstaining from alcohol, or reading the Bible – you will more than likely fall down again and again, but the real question is whether or not you will get back up and try, try again.With a little over two months left in our campaign, now is the time to commit to finishing strong, to picking yourself back up if you have fallen off the trail, and reading through the rest of the Bible by December 31st. In the words of the writer of Hebrews in a great passage about discipline, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Besides committing to finishing strong, there are two other things you can do for me. The first is to give me your feedback on the Bible in Two Years campaign, whether by email, phone, or in the comments section of the blog. What did you think of the campaign? What worked for you? What didn’t? What could we have done better to encourage people along the way? Did you take part in the discussions after church, and if so, how was that for you? I would love your feedback.The second thing you can do for me is to give me your thoughts on my next discipleship goal. Beginning in January, I am hoping to shift our focus to Scripture memorization, to “hiding God’s Word in our heart” as the Psalmist says. I know that Scripture memory does not come easily to everyone, but it is a critical if we want to know and do God’s will, as well as to fight off the enemy. Remember that Jesus, when he was tempted in the wilderness, kept replying by saying “It is written” and speaking the truth of God back to Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). If you have had experience with Scripture memory in the past, or have ideas on how to make this a meaningful experience for our church, please email, call, or post a comment below.

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