New Year Reads
Happy New Year. At the beginning of the New Year, I review my annual goals sheet and create new goals for the coming year, which includes choosing my Bible reading plan and considering which books I want to read in the coming year.
For the past few years, my wife Rebekah and I have been enjoying the ESV Bible app for daily Bible reading. The ESV Bible app provides a variety of daily reading plans of different scopes and sizes. If you desire to read the Bible in a year--there's a plan for that. If you want to focus on Hebrew literature--there's a plan for that. You get the idea. In addition to our daily Bible reading, we also try to read the morning and evening entry (you can receive that online or have it emailed to you, or pick up a paper copy edited by Alistar Begg.
In the sermon two weeks ago, I recommended a few books that have been personally helpful over the years. These books are available in the RRC bookstore.
Two practical resources for honoring God with our time and effort:
- Do More Better by Tim Challies - Productivity can be honoring to the Lord—using our time wisely and honorably to the glory of Christ is a blessing. Although efficiency can become an idol, so can a lack of efficiency (a.k.a., laziness). The Apostle Paul encourages believers to do all things to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). According to John Bloom from Desiring God, “When we look at the verse in its wider context, we see that Paul’s command to do all to the glory of God relates to cultural idols, the Christian conscience, and how we live before an unbelieving world.” Christ's followers are called to resemble and represent a holy God of order and purpose in a sinful world of chaos and indecision.
- Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung - This short read is helpful if you have some large decisions ahead that maybe you feel a little stuck about. This could include graduating High School or College, a job change or desiring a job change, etc. Whatever decisions you may have ahead, DeYoung helps readers to think biblically about those decisions and strive to honor God with our whole lives through every decision.
Three devotional resources for growing in Christian Knowledge and Discipleship:
- Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem - I want to commend you to continue to grow in your understanding of the Christian Faith—and this resource is a fantastic resource to aid in your efforts. I affectionately refer to Christian Beliefs as the “scratch and sniff” version of Dr. Grudem's more extensive work, Systematic Theology. Christian Beliefs is a succinct overview of twenty fundamental Christian Doctrines (teachings) in under 150 pages.
- The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever - If you feel the pull to grow in your evangelistic fervor and efforts, this outstanding resource will encourage and challenge you to share your faith with others in right around 100 pages.
- Follow Me by David Platt - With a passion to stir the church to engage in missions directed at the unreached people of the world, David Platt calls his readers out of comfortable western Christianity into radical Christlike living. IMO, this is a must-read for every disciple of Jesus seeking to grow more like Christ by following his example.
There are more wonderful resources than these five, but it's a start. I hope you are encouraged to continue to grow in 2023 in your love for God's Word, knowledge of God's Word, and, by the help of the Holy Spirit, understanding of God's Word.