Two weeks ago I asked our church to take a journey together. Everybody agreed it would be a great year if we could each hear something from God every day. So we decided to take the first 20 weeks of the year and read a plan some call “The Essential 100″ — 100 key passages to get a great overview of the Bible.
Here are the top 10 things that I’ve noted along the way – most simply from my own experience over the last 2 weeks. (Click here for the resources like reading plan, YouVersion Bible app, etc.)
1. We all say we want to hear from God. And all of us have a Bible accessible to us. Someone had to ask the obvious question. “Where is the gap?” I’m glad we asked it. The gap is real, but is overcome with a combination of a good plan, helpful resources, and old-fashioned self-discipline.
2. I haven’t always been one to read/reflect 1st thing in the morning, but it has been very good for me the last two weeks. Biggest lesson learned: By “first thing” I mean after a shower, after one look at my email, and with coffee in hand.
3. I know you thought it was weird I included “after one look at my email”. This speaks to the MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU principle. I use my iPad to read and if the “overnight email” is unattended to it distracts from my concentration. For me, I can take a swift 5 minute run through it, put my mind at ease, and concentrate on hearing from God. It might be different for you…make it work for you!
4. Some of you have figured out that we have 5 readings each week, but there are 7 days each week. How does that jive with Hearing From God EVERY Day? Basically, I think it allows some grace for missing one day and Hearing from God through your worship gathering one day. But if you want to over-achieve and read every day…go for it!
5. Not a reader? Not a problem. The YouVersion App we have been recommending has audio. Sit and listen to it and then reflect.
6. Some of you love holding an actual Bible to read. That’s awesome. I encourage you to “mark it up” the message is sacred, but the pages aren’t. The whole point of reading is to prompt something that makes you think and shapes your life. Feel free to underline, write in the margins, note your questions, etc. I love the app where you can also highlight and take notes.
7. It’s been fun to talk to others about it. My neighbor is doing it. My son is doing it. I asked my brother-in-law’s girlfriend to do it and she was excited. I’m always fascinated that people not connected to church are often as interested in doing it as those who are. Invite friends to do it with you.
8. We are asking 2 key questions each day. This is my first time using them and they have brought an amazing sense of freshness to this experience. 1. What does this passage teach me about God? 2. If that’s who God is, what does it mean for my day? (Picture above is my journal answers for the first 9 days.)
9. In a world of multi-tasking, I’m free to concentrate on one main question and the implications of that question. Focus on multiple things almost guarantees a surface experience. But ONE thing can really sink in…and shape your day.
10. It was different the first week and probably will be different next week, but in the last 3 days my answer to “What does this teach me about God?” have been direct quotes from the passage that just jumped off the page. I say this as a reminder to not over-think it! Here were the three quotes…and what they meant for my day:
“Look up at the sky and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.” For my Day: God is relational, but he isn’t buddy-buddy. Remember he is GOD and I am not.
“The Lord Will Provide.” For my Day: Notice all day that this is true. The only things I want for are not about life, but lifestyle.
“Surely the Lord is in this place and I was not aware of it.” For my Day: He is with me at every moment of this day. This is mostly awesome and a little scary.
Keep it up my friends! God is speaking to you.