Encouragement for Today - Nov. 4, 2008
November 4, 2008
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 that you would be successful? It seemed every goal I set, I would fail. My failure to meet goals would make me feel less of a person and unworthy. This had happened to me so many times I subconsciously refused to set goals. Then one day, a few years ago, I decided to accept a challenge that was made through the air waves of a local Christian radio station. The challenge was to read the entire Bible in a year. This was something I had longed to do for years but was completely afraid I would fail. Short terms goals were hard enough for me, but more manageable than a long-term goal such as this one. I felt the Lord's encouragement like I never had before. I knew this was something He wanted me to do.
Fear of failure raced through my mind, arguing with the truth that God wanted me to know His Word and use it as a light for my path. I feared that I would not understand His Word, but remembered God had given me an ear to hear and learn His instruction. I feared I would not have the discipline to complete a yearlong goal. I did not want to disappoint my Father. God 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 saying, "With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible." I begin to feel His confidence building in me. Recounting His truths over and over, combating the lies of the enemy who wanted so desperately for me to give up, I accepted the challenge.
I shared the goal with my husband. He supported my goal by giving me a Bible with daily readings. My bookshelves were full of different Bibles with different translations. Why would I need another Bible to accomplish this goal? I asked myself.
The Bible my husband gave me was unlike any Bible I had ever seen. It was a Chronological Bible written in the New Living Translation. The format fascinated me. The Bible was written in the order in which things happened and in an easy to understand translation with daily readings that were not overwhelming. The goal was beginning to look more attainable than ever. I could not wait for the New Year to start so I could begin the challenge set before me.
With fear and trembling as well as great anticipation, I began reading through the Bible on 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 days I missed, overcame the enemy, and finished reading the Bible in 2006 … then again in 2007 … and I am on my way to completing the readings again for 2008.
I don't share this with you to receive any "atta girl" or other praise. 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 before, but you have left Him at bay. January 1st is not far away and the Chronological Bible I will read again in 2009 is now available through our resource center at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Will you take the challenge to know the Savior's story like never before and join in me reading through God’s Word in 2009?
Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect gift of salvation, love, and self-discipline. I know that all things are possible with You; will You help me believe it? With the help of Your Holy Spirit's guidance, I can make Your Word a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God the Builder-Audio CD by Wendy Pope
Visit Wendy Pope’s blog to hear more about reading the Bible in a year.
Commit to reading through God's Word in 2009. Through prayer and today's power verse, overcome your doubts and the enemy’s attempts to convince you this goal is unattainable.
Purchase the Chronological Bible early, and begin to pray about completing this goal … become empowered to accomplish the goal in 2009.
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)
© 2008 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105