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A New Year: Drawing Closer to Jesus

Around thirty years ago, I went to a conference where one of the speakers shared that she was reading through the Bible for the 50th time. She was a humble, mature lady that shared how God had used each time to show her more of what He wanted from her.

At that point, I had read through the Bible once and was just starting my second time. I was encouraged by this woman sharing her blessings with reading through the Bible but she also shared the struggles. When we set out to learn what God wants for our lives, there will always be opposition. That day I put it in my heart that I would read my Bible each day for the rest of my days, Lord willing. That dear woman helped me set a goal that until then, I never even thought about obtaining.

She inspired me to press on towards the goal of His high calling. I am pretty sure at that point in my Christian walk, I hadn’t even thought about Him actually calling me to anything, but I have come to understand that without His calling me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

With reading the Bible daily, methodically from beginning to end in one year, I started recognizing some patterns. That God does call us to a position so He can use us. Sometimes He has to allow us to go through much purging to let go of the past and reach for the goal that He has in store for us. Can you imagine? I certainly couldn’t even comprehend that He had called me to Him so He could use me to further His work! And yet, Scripture revealed that very idea to me.

We just finished the book of Ephesians but I will remind you of a very key verse that also encourages me to keep going,

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast. For; we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 8-10)

We are also reminded in James how important it is to put your faith to work for Him,

“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.” (James 2:17)

“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 1:16)

We see in Genesis 6-8 that Noah put his faith into practice and obeyed God in the calling of building a boat. There is example after example throughout the Bible where you will see that God has a purpose for each of us. Make that your goal this year, to find these examples.

Before reading each day, ask God to show you just exactly what He wants you to know from His Word. Believe me, year by year, He continues to reveal more of His Word when you are ready and willing to obey.

Have you noticed that I’ve mentioned several times about obeying God’s Word? What is the use of reading the Word if you are not going to be obedient? Knowledge without wisdom is worthless. We are so weak at times but all we have to do is ask Him for help, to show us what He expects and the strength to do exactly what He is calling us to do. Oh sure, we will meet resistance many times but as we keep our eyes on Him and His Word, He will guide us through the dark days. The strength we gain with Jesus walking alongside us is empowering!

No matter what your age, take the challenge to read through the Bible, to learn from the Master. If you are young enough, perhaps you will one day say you’ve read through the Bible 50 times and encourage those around you. In the meantime, draw upon His Wisdom one day at a time and seek to do His will.

If you are wanting to take this challenge but know you need some help, I have a few copies of “Faithful Promises of God” that I am able to give away, if you cannot afford to buy one from Amazon. Just let me know and we will make arrangements to get it to you. If you haven’t noticed, my email address is on the first page of this blog: I want to hear from you, how I can help encourage you throughout 2021. May you be drawn closer to the One who can make a difference in your life!

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