Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year Challenge

With my whole heart have I sought thee:  O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  
(Psalm 119:10-11 KJV)

*Note:  This is an edited post from last year.

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It is nearly the beginning of the New Year—a fresh start from God.  Truthfully, each new day is a fresh start from God.  The New Year gives us the opportunity to adopt new behaviors, set new goals.  Hopefully, the new behaviors will be beneficial to us personally and to others!  The new calendars we will be opening are a tangible sign of this fresh start.  What will this year hold?  Only God knows for sure; whatever it holds, we can still learn, grow, and develop in our walk with the Lord. 

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.  
(Psalm 119:18 KJV)

The New Year also affords us the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look forward to all the possibilities that the New Year holds.  Now is a wonderful time to either begin or renew or deepen our relationship with Jesus.  What can you do to grow in the Lord this year?  What is the Lord calling you to do or to not do?

As you prayerfully discern what God is directing you to do this year, I hope that you will commit to reading the Bible from cover-to-cover in 2017.  This is my New Year challenge to you!

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Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  
(Psalm 119:105 KJV)

Any time spent in God’s Word is never wasted.  God’s Word’s goes out and does not return to Him void (see Isaiah 55:11).  The dividends are amazing!  Reading the whole of God’s Word allows us to get to know the heart of our Heavenly Father and to begin to see themes, interconnections, and more with ease.  One of the perks to continually reading the Bible (beyond beloved passages) is it will help you find passages with ease in a variety of settings.  Another perk to Bible reading is doing much better in Bible trivia games!

Keep in mind there are many atheists and agnostics who have read the Bible cover-to-cover multiple times.  We, His people, should hunger for the Word in such a way that we will want to read all of it!

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It is my heart’s sincere desire that you are setting time aside in your daily schedule to commune with God and that you are growing in your relationship with Him.  God loves you so much and desires nothing more than relationship with you.  He loves you so much, in fact, He is crazy about you!  Keeping your eyes on the goal (prize), will help you stay focused and not get off track.  A word of caution: be kind to yourself, realizing that some days or weeks will not be so great; things will go wrong—give yourself the grace you deserve—give yourself the grace you would give to others.  Encourage yourself over how far you have come.

Free image from Pixabay

Time?  Yes, this does take time.  However, if we consider the amount of time we spend on social media or mindlessly watching television; the cost is minuscule.  The cost is more than worth it in the end.

Free image from Pixabay

If my grandma, who only had a sixth grade education could do it; so can you!  Grandma Emma made that commitment; she lived without many of the modern conveniences we have, therefore, nearly everything took her much longer to accomplish.  Her life was not an easy one; she loved God and those around her.

Personal Photo: Grandma Emma and me--my first Christmas (1971)

Since 2005, I have read the Bible from cover-to-cover at least once each year, if not more!  One time, I read the through the Bible in ninety days (and even managed to read the New Testament twice in that period!).

Who will take me up on this little challenge?  I will cheer you on; you can do this!  Moreover, this is where supportive relationships (accountability) with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are so helpful.  Our relationships allow us to lend a helping, supportive hand to a sister or brother who is hurting or struggling; we can also be on the receiving end of the help and support of others.  How about we support and encourage each other?  

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Why not make 2017 the year that you allow Christ to change you—making you more and more like Him?  Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you and deepen your walk with the Lord.  What is holding you back?  I want to encourage you to commit to opening yourself to what God wants to give you.  You may find that you will go places and do things you never thought that you would do!  Keep on reading and studying God’s Word and praying!

A variety of plans exist that you can select from to guide you in this endeavor.  If you happen to fall behind, please do not get discouraged—keep on going and get caught up when you are able.

Here is a link that will take you to a site that gives a variety of plans to read through the Bible in a year.  For some other ideas please pursue the content in the right side bar of this blog, particularly:  50 Day Spiritual Adventure 2015 and 50 Day Spiritual Adventure Fall 2016

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What are you looking forward to most in reading God’s Word this year?  How can I encourage you?

Please join with me in prayer:

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of life and for the gift of another New Year and for all the possibilities that it holds.  Help us to be always faithful to You—doing what You would have us to do each day.  Deepen our longing for You, so that we will press in and not quit until we have all that You have to offer us.  Instill deep within us a hunger for Your Word that is not easily satisfied.  Encourage us to commit to and keep that commitment to read the whole of Your Word this year; we can only do it with Your help.  Come Holy Spirit; enlighten the eyes of our understanding, as we read the Word You inspired.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

From My Heart to Yours,


Happy New Year! 
May God bless you richly throughout 2017!
May 2017 be the year to give more of your life to the Lord.


  1. I absolutely love your encouragement here, Kim, and your message fits perfectly with the word I've chosen for the New Year (to be revealed this Tuesday!). Like you, I want to grow more and more in the Lord in a big way. Know I will be reading my Bible daily!
    Love and blessings!

    1. Martha, I'm thankful to hear that my words are encouraging. I'm eager to hear what word you've chosen for 2017! Growing in the Lord is amazing; it can also be challenging and painful at times. I'm happy to hear that you'll be reading your Bible daily!

      Love and blessings!

  2. So glad you extended this challenge Kim! My husband and I have been reading through the Bible together almost every night since 2015 and we plan to never stop. There's nothing like going cover to cover. I also commune with God throughout the day. Both of these habits are life changers! I don't ever want to go back! Happy New Year Kim!

    1. Kim, I'm thankful for your presence here and for your comment. Great to hear how you and your husband are reading the Bible together nearly every night. I agree with you about the amazing experience of reading the Bible from cover-to-cover! Communing with God and reading His Word is life changing! I don't want to go back, either!



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