Saturday, September 15, 2012

September Pastor's Desktop Article

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11 NIV) How are we doing with that whole hiding His Word in our heart thing? This isn’t something that we can have someone else do it for us. We can take our car to the mechanic and state the problem and expect them (with some degree of assurance) to fix the problem. We can even have our mechanic do preventative things like changing the oil periodically to keep future problems from happening, but our familiarity with the Word of God isn’t like that—it is truly up to us. Perhaps many of you have a regular time of reading and prayer that you practice on a daily basis, but in a group the size of our congregation there are probably some who have not yet made that a daily practice. The other possibility is that while you may have done well with that practice at some point in your life, maybe right now you’re not as regular with it as you would like. I am inviting everyone in the congregation, young and old alike, to a Bible Reading and Prayer program beginning October 1, 2012. I will be putting together a plan for us to be reading a chapter a day for about 260 days, coincidentally the same number of chapters in the New Testament. If we begin reading a chapter a day beginning in October, we should finish sometime in June with all of the New Testament. I know that for some, this may seem painstakingly slow. My purpose in one chapter a day is this: I think there will be great benefit first of all in having most of the congregation reading the same chapters of Scripture at the same time. I’m hoping for conversations amongst the body about the things you’re reading, and rediscovering along the way. Secondly, I don’t want this to seem overwhelming for anyone. At a chapter a day, even if you get behind a few days or so, you can go back to the plan and get caught up. Thirdly, but only reading a chapter a day, I hope that some thoughtful meditation and prayer will also take place keeping the passage you read along with other things going on in your lives in mind as you do. Finally, if you’re already involved in another reading plan, as I know some of you are, this won’t be too much of an addition to what you’re already doing to be too much. I am already excited thinking about what God might do amongst us as we read and study His Word together, as we are in prayer over various passages together. The other component that will run alongside this Bible Reading Plan is that I intend to draw the sermons for this time period from the chapters that we will have just rest together as a congregation. I hope that you will prayerfully consider being a part of this church-wide effort. I hope that it will help you to remain faithfully in His Word if that has been your practice, or to get you back in His Word if you’ve not been so regular there. Finally, I am trusting in God to make His Word come alive to us as we read and study together. By His Grace Alone, Pastor Bruce Jacobsen