This month our church is starting on an adventure of reading through the New Testament and the book of Psalms (twice) before the end of 2017. We are calling it, “Reading with the Pastor” and it is part of a larger plan related to our philosophy of ministry and discipleship and our desire to live “passionately for and like Jesus.”
Yesterday’s reading was Matthew 1 and Psalms 1-2.
Let me invite you into the journey with us. Each day, I am going to try to post a short post about the readings and seek to encourage our people and my readers (here on the BLOG) to a renewed exploration of the Scripture. Here are four reasons to travel with us:
- Believers are to live by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Dt. 8:3; Mt. 4:4). It is impossible to do that if we do not have a keen knowledge of what His word actually says.
- All of us need encouragement and accountability when we are developing new habits. Reading together with other brothers and sisters in Christ gives all of us a common thread of knowledge to encourage one another with and the simple goal of reading together adds just enough accountability for all of us to make more progress.
- Reading through the New Testament on a regular basis refreshes and renews our faith. “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
- Growing in the “grace and knowledge of Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) has both a content and behavioral component (Matthew 28:18-19). The content of the gospel precedes the behavioral transformation of the gospel. Put simply, we have to know what we are to obey before we can ask the Spirit of God to empower us to obey.
So I hope you can read along with us and stop in here periodically for some “meditative help” on the texts that we read together. I also hope that some of you will share your insights here so that we all can be “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17) as we consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
Today’s passages are Matthew 2 and Psalm 3-4.
Here is a link to a poem written in 2005 as I reflected on the meaning of Psalm 2 (Empty Buckets).