Encouragement for Today - Nov. 2, 2009
November 2, 2009
Read Through the Word
"For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
Have you ever set a goal for yourself you truly wanted to accomplish, but in your mind doubted you would succeed?
There was a time in my life when it seemed like every time I set a goal I would fail. These failures made me feel less of a person and unworthy. It happened to me so many times I subconsciously refused to set goals.
Then one day, a few years ago, I heard a challenge that our local Christian radio station gave to its listeners. The challenge was to read through the entire Bible in a year. This was something I had longed to do for years but was completely afraid I would fail at.
Short term goals were hard enough for me but less daunting than a long term goal such as this. Yet I felt the Lord's encouragement like never before and knew this was something He wanted me to do.
Racing through my mind were fears of failure which argued with the truth that God wanted me to know His Word and use it as a light for my path. I feared I would not understand His Word. I feared I would not have the discipline to complete the goal of studying God's Word for an entire year. I feared I would disappoint my Father.
But I remembered God had given me an ear to hear and learn His instruction. He reminded me that as part of my salvation, I received love and self-discipline, not fear. I had almost convinced myself that it was impossible when I heard the words of Jesus, "With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible." I began to feel confidence building in me. I recounted His truths over and over, combating the lies of the enemy who was sure to do all he could to cause me to fail.
I accepted the challenge. My husband showed his support by giving me a Bible with a daily reading guide. I knew my bookshelves were full of Bibles in different translations. Why would I need another Bible to accomplish this goal? I quickly found out. This was unlike any Bible I had ever seen. It was a Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation, whose format fascinated me. It's organized in the order events happened and written in an easy to understand translation. Plus, the daily readings aren't overwhelming. I could not wait for the New Year to start so I could begin the challenge.
With fear and trembling, as well as great anticipation, I began reading through the Bible January 1, 2006. I missed days and many times gave ear to the attempts of the enemy to make me lose sight of my goal. However, I made up the missed days and met my goal of reading the entire Bible in 2006. I did it again in 2007, and am in the process of reading through once more in 2009.
I don't share this with you to receive an "atta girl." All praise and glory go to God. I share this with you today to encourage you to read through the story of God's Word. Maybe like me, God has prompted you but you have left Him at bay. January 1st is not far away and the Chronological Bible I will read in 2010 is available through our resource center. Last year over 1400 people accepted the challenge to read through the Bible with me. Will you take this year's challenge to know the Savior's story like never before and join me in reading through the Word in 2010?
Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect gift of salvation, love and self-discipline. Your Word tells me that all things are possible with You; will You help me believe it? With the help of Your Holy Spirit's guidance Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Commit to reading through God's Word in 2010. Through prayer and today's power verses, defeat the enemy's attempts to convince you this goal is unattainable.
Do I fear setting goals? Why or why not?
Do I truly believe all things are possible through Christ? Explain.
Isaiah 50:4b, "He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." (NIV)
Proverb 2:1-5, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (NLT)
© 2009 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105