January 31, 2012

Reading the Bible in the 2012: 31 Days & 310 Chapters Later

What a great milestone this is, to have read 310 chapters of the Bible in just 31 days! According to the plan, I have read 11.6% of the Bible and I am projected to complete this reading plan on, or before September 6th, 2012.

In these past 31 days, I have read the following books of the Bible entirely: Matthew, Acts, Romans, 1st & 2nd Thessalonians, 1st & 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, Joshua and Proverbs.

Each month I will read Acts and Proverbs over the next 8 months throughout the reading plan, which means I'll read each book at least 8 times.  I think I would hope to know and recall several passages rather easily after reading it so much too.  =D  Even though the plan outlines reading the entire book of Psalms in 150 days, I know I could adjust that to read 5 chapters each day during the month and read the entire book of Psalms each month too, enabling me to read Psalms at least 7 times over the next 8 months, which I might consider making that change too.

I am incredibly grateful for this reading plan, because reading the Bible should not be an overwhelming task, which many people are afraid to undertake because of its size: one book with 66 other books that make this the complete cannon of Scripture. Very few people can actually say that they have read the entire Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation and this plan make it completely possible to accomplish!

My ESV MacArthur Study Bible, from Genesis to Revelation is 1,974 pages, but there are a lot of footnotes in this bible too, so without those footnotes, the page length may be 1,400 or 1,500 pages long. Still, that’s a lot of pages and a lot of reading.

One of the first long books I ever read was Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger and I read it while on my first deployment to Okinawa, in 1992 when I was in the Marine Corps. That book is 704 pages and back then, it was the longest book I had ever read! And I loved the book too because it was a thrilling military novel that I could definitely relate to. But now, I’m reading a book that is nearly two and a half times the size and I’m not in a rush to get through it, but really enjoying the steady pace the plan has outlined.

To read at such a steady pace makes this reading plan very doable and very achievable for anyone and I would encourage anyone to get started with one of the reading plans. It’s not too late. It’s only February 1st and there are 11 months remaining before the end of the year arrives, so no need to fuss over not feeling comfortable starting with others that began on January 1st. YOU, just get started and join the Facebook group with the others who are reading as well. No matter when you begin and if you join The 3650 Challenge group on Facebook, you’ll be encouraged by everyone’s contribution of their experiences related to what they have read for that day.

So now, I want to share with you one brief observation from a verse of Scripture and today’s reading.

Mark 3:12 - And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

In this passage from Mark 3:1-12, Jesus had upset the Pharisees in the synagogue were upset with Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath. Verse 6 says the Pharisees sought for a way to destroy Jesus, meaning they were looking for a way to kill him. There were also many people that began to follow Jesus from many different places too.

Mobs of people crowded who were sick with various diseases crowded around him, to touch him so they could be healed.

Verse 11 says that whenever an unclean spirit saw Jesus, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." Those unclean spirits fell at Jesus’ feet and worshipped Him because they knew unquestionably, who He was. Yet verse 12 is a strange command by the Lord, where He strictly commands them not to make Him known.

So many people today doubt the power of Jesus Christ to heal them, but He can. So many people doubt that Jesus Christ actually existed, but He did. So many people will die and go to hell because they have refused to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

What is surprising is that Jesus Christ; God-incarnate came to make Himself known to those whom He created. The unclean spirits of Satan and his angels know who Jesus Christ is – the Son of God and that is terrifying to them. Those unclean spirits of Satan know the power that the Lord holds and are incredibly fearful to be in His presence. Yet, the Lord comes and performs many great signs and wonders to prove that He is the Christ, God’s Messiah.

How tragic it is that the unclean spirits of Satan know the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and there are people that reject the notion of a man born of a virgin woman that lived to die on a cross and rise again from the dead three days later.

It should be quite embarrassing to someone to realize that all the servants of Satan, those unclean spirits are smarter about knowing who the Son of God is more than the people God has created.

Such knowledge cannot be a mere ascent of knowledge to say, “Yep, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” because that is foolish. There has to be a real understanding concerning the reality that God sent His Son from heaven, to die on a cross for the sins of humanity because we have all sinned against God, either in thought, word or deed. Without a conscious recognition of that fact, that our sin separates us from God and we need someone, not something, to reconcile us to God for the sins we have committed. That single Mediator, between God and man is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

What a glorious gift those people have that have come to know Christ as the one who has become the atonement of their sin and reconciled them to God through faith in Christ!

So, here is my hope for people who don’t know the Son of God, more than the devil does. You must! Because if the unclean spirits of Satan are terrified in the presence of the Son of God, how much more will a person who has not been reconciled to God, through faith alone in Christ, how much more will they be terrified to stand before Him in judgment before His throne?

Do you KNOW Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who died for your sins?  If not, then start here.

Faithfully in Christ,

Pastor Kurt


StrongNHim said...

Do you use youversion.com? I do and I LOVE IT! I have been doing a reading plan from that site and its an app on my phone too. I am doing the Chronilogical Bible in a Year. It is very interesting and I am enjoying the Old Testament because that is where most of my unread-ness comes from. LOL


Kurt Michaelson said...

I am using YouVersion to help me along with each chapter. I do have the bookmarks too, but they don't tell you what chapter to read for the day. I've been amazed at what I've read so far from this reading plan and the OT texts are beginning to become clearer to me as I read. It's awesome!