If you are following along with the Legacy-Leaving Bible Reading Plan then you are halfway through the first month’s reading on the Big Picture of God’s Kingdom. I updated the printable with reflection weeks that you can use to review any previous Scripture readings, notes you jotted down, or to use as spare time to read a devotional or Scripture of your own choosing.
The January readings remind me that the Bible is God’s story, not mine. Yes, I am a part of that story and God’s Word is God’s written revelation to man, but I am not the central character in the story, God is. This is crucial to consider as I think about what kind of legacy I want to leave my children and those entrusted to me to lead.
Some questions swirling around in my head recently are:
- Who is on the throne of my life, really? (not in theory)
- Am I looking to know God for who He is, or who I want Him to be?
- What am I seeking? Is the goal God’s Kingdom, or is it something else entirely?
What I am learning about God’s Kingdom so far:
- The Lord not only rules the Kingdom of God, but the kingdoms of man- be humble (Daniel 4)
- Lasting peace can only come through God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 32)
- Pray for God’s Kingdom to come and for His will to be done (Matthew 6)
- Seek first God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6)
- The King of glory founded the earth, so He owns it (Psalm 24)
- Entrance into God’s Kingdom comes through bearing fruit with repentance (Matthew 7)
- The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit- be mature (Romans 14)
- Jesus is the victorious King and those who take refuge in Him are blessed (Psalm 2)
- The righteous will shine like the sun in God’s Kingdom (Matthew 13)
- Jesus is enthroned forever- He is everlasting and unchanging (Psalm 102)
- To be great in God’s Kingdom is to be a servant/slave (Matthew 18)
- Receiving a child in Christ’s name is receiving Christ- do not despise children (Matthew 18)
- God extends His Kingdom through Israel to the nations (Psalm 45)
- Enter the Kingdom like a child (Matthew 19)
- It is not enough to know about God’s Kingdom, proclaim it too (Psalm 145)
- Give the Lord the praise that is due Him (Psalm 29)
- Jesus is the humble King whom even children praise (Matthew 21, Zechariah 9)
- Listen to the Beloved Son (Mark 9)
I feel like I need to start the year here. This is where I begin- with God instead of with self-improvement, or “self-care” as we call it these days. When I begin January with a list of resolutions, things I want to change about myself highlighted in yellow in the foreground, God often gets pushed into the background. And “consistent quiet times” doesn’t count–because then it hinges upon my effort and motivation, not upon God’s faithfulness and grace. This is one of the reasons I wanted to go through a reading plan like this- one that walks me through texts of Scripture that are intentional in focus. And if you are following closely, you’ll see that we are reading Romans 14 twice in January. That was not intentional. 🙂 I don’t know about you, but a repeated reading of this particular passage proved helpful and encouraging.
How about you? What are some things God is teaching you about Himself or about your walk with Him? If you are looking for some ways to journal through this reading plan or any open-ended Bible reading plans, here are a few suggestions:
- Highlight/Underline repeated words or phrases. Write down what the passage says about God, and in 1-2 sentences state the main idea of the text.
- Narrate the text. Write the passage down in your own words. This gives a summary of the text and strengthens understanding.
- Respond. Journal your response to the reading. “Knowing_____compels me to______.”
- Pray. Lift your heart up to the Lord in praise, re-tell God’s story through prayer (pray portions of the Scripture you just read), and ask God to transform your heart through His Word and Spirit.
These are just a few ideas to get you going in case you are wondering how to journal through your Bible reading without a devotional. I think one of the reasons a lot of us get stuck with “quiet times” is that we need help walking through reading the Bible without a guide. We can work step by step to becoming more comfortable with reading the Bible on our own without being in a formal Bible study. I may write more on this in a future post. I am journeying through condensed Bible studies and reading plans myself. It is all a journey, isn’t it? Hope you are delighting in God’s Word this year, whatever your plan is. Feel free to comment with what the Lord is teaching you so far in 2016! Blessings!