20: Happy 34th Anniversary

     Thirty-four years ago today I set out to read my Bible daily. Looking back, which is what old men do, I recognize this habit as one of the most significant events in my life. This practice of reading a portion of God’s word every day as contributed more to my walk with God than I can measure.

Except for a few years when I lived in the Psalms (after our fourth son was born and I burned out), God has helped me to read through the scriptures every year since September 20, 1976.

     Even in those difficult years of 1988-1990, I still read the scriptures, but read and reread the Psalms. It seemed to me at that time, that only David understood my condition. And in reading through his prayers and praises, I read two scriptures, which led me out of the slough of despond.

Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalms 55:22

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, Psalms 68:19.

But I could not have made it without God and His people. Allow me to give honor to whom it is due.

     A: Fairhaven Chapel, where I attended church from 1976-1979 encouraged all the members of the congregation to read Genesis to Revelation annually. We used a calendar that broke down the scriptures into bite-sized chunks of about three chapters per day. Beginning with Genesis 1-3 on January 1, we proceeded through Revelation 20-22 on December 31. That accountability made a huge difference the first few years.

     In 1988 I made another chart, which I still use, which had an Old Testament portion and a New Testament/Psalms section for each day. I have written these dates into my Bible and do tow readings each day. If I didn’t have this structure I would not make it through each year. Each one of us has to work out our own salvation and I know I need a chart.

     B: The people of Fairhaven Chapel, who not only read the word, but practiced it. Dave, Donnie, Keith, Jim, and others were wonderful examples of those who were doers of the word and not hearers only.

Every one therefore that hears these words of mine, and does them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock: Matthew 7:24

     C: God’s Spirit, who wrote and inspirited (inspired) the word from Genesis to Revelation, helped me to read the word with the right attitude and revealed Jesus to me as I read. The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood and under appreciated member of the trinity.

     And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them. Ezekiel 36:25-27

Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21

But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:2

     D: I have been convicted by David, who loved the truth. In reading Psalm 119, I knew that I did not share David’s passion for the word. And one day I ran across this scripture.

They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

     The word “received” led me to believe that God could give me a love for truth, just as he had granted me new life in Jesus, for the asking. So I prayed and God the Father graciously gave me a love for the truth.

     E: And honor to Jesus, who has been, and is, praying for me daily. Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25