Originally published Monday, 25 February 2013.
How’s your Bible reading plan going? Didn’t you make that resolution on January first, like every other Christian, to “get back in the word” and actually read the scripture you claim to love and follow?
Well, it’s February 25th, that means you should be about 1/6th of the way through your plan. Not so much? Failing to follow through with our resolutions is pretty common. It shouldn’t surprise you. But that doesn’t mean you should chunk your resolutions in favor of more Downton Abbey.
If you find that your affections for reading God’s Word have grown cold, 20th Century British preacher Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones has the cure:
“The burning heart is the one great need and necessity of every one of us. Do you have it? If you have not, realize why you have not. You are a fool! You are not giving your time to this. You are spending your time with your television or your radio [iPhone] or your newspaper [blogs]. Give time to the Scriptures. Bring your mind at its best. Discipline it. Read the Scriptures.”
Don’t settle for Bible Reading Burnout. Read the Scriptures.
The folks at Crossway Publishing want to help. One week from today, they’re kicking off a campaign you won’t want to miss: “Reboot Your Bible Reading Plan: 31 Days in Romans with Elyse Fitzpatrick.” Stop by the Crossway blog each Monday in March where you’re invited to join Elyse Fitzpatrick in reading through the first eight chapters of Romans, using her new (and fantastic!) devotional book Comforts From Romans : Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time as a guide.
Elyse had this to say over on Crossway’s blog last week of her upcoming series:
“First of all, I don’t believe in bootstrap progress. You can’t work yourself into a new you. Sure, you might lose weight or whiten your teeth or make a new list—but you can’t do heart transformation. Only the Lord can do that (Jeremiah 13:23).
Secondly, I do believe that time spent considering Scripture will transform your life through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is because the Spirit works in your heart, granting you faith to believe the incredible truth distilled there. It’s not because you’re finally becoming a better you. So we’ll begin our time praying that your reading will be mixed with faith. Because when faith intersects with the Word, there will be transformation.
Third, joining Reboot won’t make God love you more than he already does. You won’t earn Brownie points or merit badges. Why? Because if you’re a Christian, “all things are yours” already! (1 Corinthians 3:21) In fact, God loves you in the same way that he loves his dear Son (John 17:23). You’re already his Beloved (Romans 9:25). If, on the other hand, you’re not yet a believer, or if it’s been some time since you dared to believe he might still love you, then I do pray God will grant you faith to believe this wonderful message again.”
So, I hope you’ll grab your Bible, pick up a copy of Comfort From Romans, and head on over to the Crossway blog each Monday in March for the Reboot! I’ll be there too.