photo © 2008 Tim Snell | more info (via: Wylio)
I am a planner by nature. I have lists everywhere for everything. Making a plan usually satisfies an itch I have to be organized and to accomplish things. However, I have to confess that for a long time, as I set goals for the new year, instead of actually developing spiriual growth plans, I’d list what I was already doing.My tendency was to shoot an arrow and whatever it happened to hit, I’d draw a circle around it, and call it my target. I know, I know … that’s cheating. What I really needed to do is make a plan, call it my target, and aim my arrow for that goal. Spiritual plans were long in demand, but short in supply.
This year, I’m going to do better. I’ve made two very specific spiritual growth goals, and I’m going to lay them out for you to see. You do know that this means everyone reading this post will be holding me accountable, right? Gulp.
Just as a balanced diet requires food from all of the food groups, a spiritual diet also requires variety. Robert Murray McCheyne’s “Bible Reading Calendar” was produced in 1842 for the members of his church in Scotland. It enables you to read through the Old Testament one time and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year’s time. This plan is unique in that you begin on January 1 with the four great beginnings of Scripture, Genesis 1 (birth of creation), Ezra 1 (re-birth of the nation), Matthew 1 (birth of Christ), and Acts 1 (birth of the Early Church). This method allows you to follow the parallel lines of God’s unfolding purpose.
In order to have the mind of Christ, we must marinate in the Scriptures. I’m making this my goal this year. to follow McCheyne’s plan.
You can go to http://www.bibleplan.org to sign up for daily remembers of the passages you are to read for that day. Click on the option that says “New Testament & Psalms twice, rest of the Bible once in a year.” It will then take you to a page where you are able to choose your favorite translation, and they’ll email your reading to you daily.
My second goal is to memorize Scripture. This is an area in which I’ve been sadly lacking. Past generations made it a priority to memorize God’s Word, but if we don’t remember a passage, we Google it. Ugh.
I was recently on another favorite blog (Holy Experience) and found a plan for memorizing the entire book of Colossians in one year by learning 2 verses a week. They’ve even built in review weeks. Hey, you can’t beat that! So, I’m on it. I’ve memorized the first 4 passages. Wanna hear me?
If memorizing an entire book seems overwhelming to you, choose something else, but CHOOSE SOMETHING! Here are a couple of resources for you:
Verse Card Makerhelps you create customized business sized verse cards for Scripture memory. Print out verses in the ESV and slip them in your pocket or tape them to your mirror.
First Letter of the Words Memorization Tool~ You type in a verse, click “convert”, then copy and print the text of just the first letters of each verse. Voila! You’re on your way to memorizing God’s Word.
These may not be the best plans for you, but you’d best have a plan in mind this year, because if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.