Happy New Year! You know what this means? It means a new year to spend reading and being transformed by God's Word. It means a new year to participate in our Bible Challenge together.
For those of you unfamiliar with our Bible Challenge, basically what the Bible Challenge is, is a reading plan. A reading plan that when followed will take you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice, in one calendar year. We read almost everyday and we read four chapters a day.
I hope that if you participated last year, you are back for more. I also hope, that if last year just did not quite work out for you, you are back to try again. And I also hope, that if you did not know about it last year, you are here to get involved in 2012.
Please do not let this exercise be filled with pressure for you. I simply encourage you to do what you can, as you can. Any time you can spend reading through the Bible with us, is time God can and will use to reach out to you. Come and join us, have fun with it, and I know you will not only learn something new, but you will also grow deeper in your walk with Christ.
This week we will start with the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew is the first of the Gospels recorded in the New Testament and is also one of the three "synoptic Gospels" (meaning similar or together because they include some of the same stories in the same sequences and the same words - John is the exception). This Gospel is attributed to one of Jesus' disciples, Matthew the tax collector. And from the information and perspective he includes we can tell that he was writing to a primarily Jewish audience: he stresses Jewish law, he doesn't explain Jewish customs, and in the beginning of the Gospel he includes a genealogy which takes Jesus' ancestry all the way back to Father Abraham. There are seven main sections in this Gospel, with a prologue about Jesus' early life, five sections covering his ministry and the last section about his death and resurrection.
In light of us just passing through Advent, I hope what we talked about in worship will give a new light to this reading for you.
Here is the schedule:
1, Sunday: Matthew 1-4
2, Monday: Matthew 5-8
3, Tuesday: Matthew 9-12
4, Wednesday: Matthew 13-16
5, Thursday: Matthew 17-20
6, Friday: Matthew 21-24
7, Saturday: Matthew 25-28
May God add His richest blessings to the reading, the hearing, and the living out of His Holy Word. Amen.
See you soon,