I am excited about the Scripture reading plan we will begin in January! It’s called E100 … “E” for “essential” and 100 for the number of readings—100 essential Bible passages. The goal is for all of us to follow this same reading plan. Over the span of 20 weeks we will read these passages, spanning Genesis to Revelation, five per week. I will preach sermons during those weeks related to the portion of the Bible we have all read the previous week.
Why am I excited? I am excited because we will be reading the Bible! The Bible is God’s very Word to us. It is the means God has chosen to reveal Himself to us and to communicate His good plan for us.
The Bible is alive and powerful. It is not a dead history book or a collection of irrelevant letters. God’s Holy Spirit who inspired the men who wrote the Bible 2000+ years ago is still at work through it today. As you read the Word, God’s Spirit will help you understand Jesus and know the Father. He will point out things in your life and bring the right verses to speak encouragement to you with remarkable timing … sometimes exactly when you need it! (I wrote about one such example in my life last month.)
The Bible brings God’s blessings. It brings joy, strength, light, peace, truth, fruitfulness.
The Bible transforms. It will change your life as you read it. I can testify to that personally. The Bible has made a HUGE impact on my life. Reading it changed the direction of my life and put me on the path I now walk. And while walking this path, God uses His Word to continue to change me, and to nourish my soul.
In fact, the Bible is the only thing I read with my defenses down. In other words, I read it with the assumption that everything in it is true. I don’t need to try to discern between what is true and what is not, between what is helpful and what is worthless. Whenever I read anything else, my grid is up … my cautious, discerning, evaluating, critiquing grid. Not so with the Bible. It is true. It is God’s Word. I do not need to critique it; I need to be critiqued by it.
Yes, I am excited because we will be reading the Bible. I am also excited that we will be reading the Bible together. Won’t that be great that as we meet from week to week we will have read the same part of God’s Word and will therefore be able to connect about what we’ve read! We’ll be “on the same page”! Whether in casual conversations in the lobby after worship or in our Life Group times together we will be able to share what God is showing and teaching us … and the person with whom we are speaking will get it!
We will be doing during the week while we are apart what we have done on Sunday when we were together: read God’s Word. The Bible talks about God’s people reading the Bible together. The book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament tells how the people of God gathered to hear God’s Word read. A scribe named Ezra read it to them from early morning to midday! And the people were attentive, and responsive. You can read all about it in Nehemiah 8:1-8. When Jesus was on earth, He read Scripture to God’s people at the synagogue (see Luke 4:16-21.) The Apostle Paul challenged Timothy, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). At the end of the Bible we read this challenge in Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”
We already do this. When we gather on Sunday we read God’s Holy Word. Now, with E100, we will carry that practice with us through the week. Joining together in the E100 plan will not only change and grow us, and it will not only give us a better grasp of God’s story in the Bible, it will also bond us together as God’s people, as a church family.
So, yes, I am excited about E100! Decide now that you will be a part.