We have just finished an Advent journey together - a journey that led with Hope.
And then we have celebrated Christmas and Christ’s birth – true Hope coming into the world.
Now we face a new year ahead – and we have a choice on how we will enter into it.
Let’s look forward in Hope.
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. I am, however, all for setting intentions for the year ahead. What if we set an intention to look forward in Hope as we move into and through 2023?
The best place I have found to find real Hope is through time with God, especially in his word. In Jesus, we are given a living Hope (1 Peter 1:3), a hope that doesn’t disappoint (Romans 5:5), a hope that anchors our soul (Hebrews 6:19), and more. Jesus IS true hope.
In 2020, I learned that if you read 3 chapters each day, you can read all four gospels in 30 days. I engaged with this spiritual practice, and it grounded my days and year. There is no better way to get to know Jesus more than by reading this gospels regularly. That year, I choose to read the NIV translation every other month and chose a different translation each month in between.
Did I do every day? No.
Did I read most days? Yes.
Did I “catch up” sometimes by reading more? Sometimes.
Did I simply skip days? Sometimes.
Was I more consistently in God’s word because I set this intention? Yes.
And God met me there – and gave me Hope. His Hope.
Maybe reading 3 chapters per day feels like too much. Maybe it is for the season you are in.
Here’s the thing:
Spiritual practices take practice.
Here’s another thing:
Any time you spend with God is his word is meaningful!
And God isn’t going to be impressed if you check of every “box” of your reading plan, nor will He be upset or absent from you if you don’t.
So, do as you can, not as you can’t. Set an intention with us to be in God’s word in the year ahead.
As part of our ongoing desire to create a pathway for transformation, Pastor Stacey and I invite you to set an intention for how you will engage with God through scripture in 2023. Take a few minutes and prayerfully consider what God is inviting you to practice/read with Him.
Here are some options to consider:
- Read 3 chapters of the gospels each day. (30-Day Gospel Reading plan)
- Listen to 3 chapters of scripture read to you daily by Annie F Downs (Let’s Read the Gospels podcast)
- Sign up to receive the ECC Daily Scripture emails and read them.
- Daily Audio Bible: Want to make this journey in community? You can participate individually or join a men's or women's DAB group for community. Sign up to join a men's or women's group here.
- Bible App reading plans:
- Bible Project: The Gospels in 90 Days
- The Gospel of Mark in 100 Days
- Or go here and search for the plan that is right for you