Failure meets grace

A few years ago, I was writing down my yearly resolutions, and I remember feeling frustrated looking back at my journal and seeing how many days I had missed my devos. This feeling of “FAILURE” got hold of me for a long time, many times, because at the beginning of each year I would have to write the same good ole resolution: “#1 Read my Bible everyday. Have my devotions”.  I remember hoping that the next year I would look back again at my journal and see that my mission was accomplished. The next year, I hoped, I wouldn’t have to write down that resolution again because I would have already obtained it.

Later on in life, by God’s grace, it dawned on me that reading my Bible everyday should be far more than an item on my personal goal list, but a joy and a life-long need. I’m not doing God a favor or earning brownie points with him…it’s more like God’s grace covers me (so I don’t feel devastated if I miss a day) and I get to hear Him speak to me through His word. Praise God for illumination!

So this year I am excited about what God might teach me through my devotions. I am reading through the Bible and I have chosen a plan that I think will match my personality and meet my needs. But to tell the truth, making this decision took me a while because I strongly dislike Bible plans for the following reasons:

1. You usually have to read a lot from several parts of Scripture. I get so lost and so frustrated because I don’t get anything and nothing stays with me.

2. I pay a lot of attention to details. That’s the way I’ve been wired. And while it is a blessing, it can also be frustrating because you just can’t study a book or a story when you have so much reading to do.

3. If you fall behind the plan, you feel bad. (well, at least I do)

4. Sometimes reading plans may become part of your checklist in your legalistic mind. “I read all my assigned parts today. I feel good. God must be happy. CHECK”

But this year I decided I would give it a try because I have never read the whole Bible consecutively. I think I’ve read and studied most of its books, but I haven’t read the Bible from cover to cover. This year I want to have a better overview of God’s redemptive story.  So I’ve decided I would read the Bible in 2 years. And I’m LOVING this plan because…

1. I don’t have to read a whole awful lot. The divisions they’ve made are more like episodes rather than strict chapter divisions.

2. Since I don’t have to read a lot every day, I can always have some time for studying! 🙂

3. If I fall behind, there are always “catch up” days 😉

4. I am enjoying learning about God so much that…how could this be a legalistic thing? (well, in many ways but we won’t go into that now…)

So you can look forward to some posts related to what I’m reading/studying. I am so enthusiastic about a God who is totally intentional, purposeful, true, faithful, and full of grace! YEAH!

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