Posted by: Jim Black | January 4, 2010

Cover to Cover… don’t close the book just yet!

What a great year we have had in God’s Word through our Cover to Cover campaign! It was just twelve short months ago that we challenged each other to read through the Bible together from beginning to end throughout the year. I can’t believe that the year is over! If you were like me, you were catching up and finishing up the last few chapters of Revelation on New Years Eve (maybe even up with Dick Clark) in order to be able to say that you finished in a year. Congratulations! As I said on Sunday, though, if you got behind and haven’t quite finished yet… don’t be discouraged. Keep reading. Keep studying. The reward is in the reading… not in finishing first.

I’m interested in hearing from each of you about your experience, especially if you had never read through the whole Bible from start to finish before. What did you get the most benefit from in your reading? What were your toughest challenges? How were you blessed? I can tell you several things. I was especially intrigued by the prophets. I have to say that I had never spent much time in the prophets and found them to be full of insights and challenging things that I needed to hear. I made many mental notes to myself to return to those neglected parts of Scripture… so many lessons for us today! When I got to the much more familiar territory of the New Testament, I decided to read it in a different translation. I selected the New Living Translation and found it to be a wonderful way to hear God’s Word afresh. I found myself constantly going back and forth with other versions and it helped me make so much more sense out of what I was reading… and I got a lot more out of it. I’m going to pick another translation and do it again sometime.

What a wonderful sense of accomplishment in finishing… but let me urge you… don’t close the book! God continues to speak and continues to instruct through his Word. That’s the wonderful thing about the Bible… it seems that no matter how many times I have read something, I always find something new. There were points this year when I thought, “When did God stick THAT in there? That wasn’t there the last time, was it?” Well, of course it was… it was only that I hadn’t seen it before. So, don’t put the book down! Don’t close it up! Keep reading… keep seeking God. He will continue to reward you with fresh new insights. Many have asked me what we are going to do next. What will be the next challenge before us? I hope to share a bit about a new challenge as we move into a new year in this Sunday’s message… so be sure to be with us on Sunday. And don’t forget to let me know how your reading blessed you… comment below.
God bless,
Jim

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