Carrying on from last week’s blog, Remembering What God Has Done, I wanted to blog about the challenge I gave myself at the beginning of 2016. For Christmas 2015, I bought myself a woman’s study Bible along with a chronological Bible. With so many controversial questions regarding dispensation theology, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and other similar topics, I wanted to get a better mindset of the order the Bible was written.
If you didn’t already know it, the books of the Bible are not arranged chronologically, but topically. This is true of both the Old and New Testaments. With my new chronological Bible and much enthusiasm, I was anxious to sit down and read through the Bible in a new way, hoping to gain new insight and understanding.
I set myself a goal to do this all within the year. Perhaps this was a bit over-enthusiastic, but this is how I am wired! I promised myself to give it my all. From the first day I sat down and opened my new Bibles, I was overwhelmed. So much new detail was opening up in front of my eyes. The result was the blog series I constructed over the year, jotting down what I gained from unpacking my new box of goodies.
After a year of scribing Insights in Genesis, I only got as far as Genesis 12! That is how much I have been learning. Still overwhelmed and eager to put everything down that I have come to understand, there just isn’t enough time. As far as personal achievements, I spent a good chunk of 2016 editing a book I wrote the previous year, The Hustle, learning how to play the keyboard, writing songs, and learning how to lay down tracks onto my M
ac. All this while managing my blog. I love doing all of these things and don’t want to sacrifice any of them.
Almost every moment of my day is full of work, discipline, and moving towards goals. Looking back and grading myself across 2016, I did well. I accomplished my goals. By the end of October, I had finished reading through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The result was more than I could have hoped for! I have learned so much by reading the Bible chronologically.
My journey at the start of this year is to begin blogging about my insights in Matthew and reading through the New Testament in chronological order again, chewing on it more slowly, allowing more time for digestion! This journey promises to be as successful as last year’s, because, just like last year, after sitting down and setting my mind to it, at once new insights were laying before me. You can watch this space for new installments and take the journey with me.
Another goal I have given myself is to be more generous with my time. In case you haven’t figured it out already, time is precious to me. I value it and use it wisely, not wanting to waste any of it. I could honestly fill my day quite happily with all my creative talents from start to finish all by myself! But this is not why God put me down here, for self-satisfaction. The key is balance. Last year I was good at spreading myself around and finding ways to bless people as often as I could.
This year, I am pushing myself a little further out of my comfort zone. I really want to “tithe” even more of my time and my talents. I yearn to be useful. I have begun a topical Bible study that takes place in a local café. Wanting to be visible and to have a presence in my local community, I have chosen this route. Along with this, I have decided to be available for those who may not ever walk into a church, but want to know God.
With a couple of friends, my husband and two signs, one in English, one in Spanish, we are committed to standing outside along the beach promenade once a week welcoming people to approach us and talk about God. It is exciting to think that I have a chance at being useful and unselfish! To know that God’s Word never returns void!
Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…