I don’t know how it started. But, sometime in my mid-30’s I started trying to read through the Bible each year. For a couple of years, I didn’t reach that goal, but eventually the effort paid off and reading through the Bible became achievable. I learn new things every day from reading the scriptures.
Quite a few years ago, John and I started reading through the Bible together. At the beginning of the year, we develop a strategy. This past year, we took my Bible and divided the total number of pages of scripture by 365 days. We had a few times of “catching up” to get back on track, but we were able to stay pretty close to our plan. Some years, we have used one of the published plans of reading like daily readings from both the Old and New Testament, or so many chapters a day. We usually read during breakfast. He will read a paragraph out loud and then I will read the next one. It’s funny how we figure out how to pronounce some of the names and we enjoy finding new things.
There is one section in the Old Testament where the gifts given to the temple from each tribe are recorded. I laugh at this section because each tribe gives exactly the same thing and the list of gifts is recorded each time. I imagine the tribal leaders listening intently to make sure that every tribe followed through with giving each of the items. You see, even a “boring” part of the Bible can be interesting.
For our readings in 2015, we purchased two copies of a Bible that follows what some historians have decided is the right chronological order of the scriptures. This particular version is also a study Bible with maps and explanations and historical time lines. I’m excited about getting started.
Today we finished our 2014 reading program by reading the end of the book of The Revelation. I found that this particular version of the Bible included a chapter heading that caught my attention. Chapter 22 (the last chapter in the last book of the Bible) is titled “Eden Restored.” And, the scripture describes the world that is set right, a world that is even better than the first Eden described in Genesis.
The end of the book provides the end of the story of the original earth and begins the story of the second and eternal earth.
The year of 2014 comes to an end tonight. I can add no additional words or deeds to it and I cannot subtract from it either. This year’s record will be closed out in just a few hours and the next year of my life’s story will begin.
I realize that New Year’s Eve is an artificial marking of time. Nothing really changes at midnight tonight except those things that I decide to change. It is so comforting to realize that I know the One who can direct my path and my thoughts if I just let Him.
My God is and was and is to come!!
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8