As we start out the broadcast today, I want to say just a couple of worlds about the Legacy Reading Plan. We’ll be talking about this a little more tomorrow, but this reading plan is an innovative approach to reading through God’s 66 love letters one book at a time and to do so for the rest of your life. It’s strategically designed to empower you to eat the proverbial elephant one book at a time, and specifically formulated to make your time in God’s Word the best it can be. And the reason I want to highlight this at the beginning of the broadcast before we go to questions is that we at the Christian Research Institute this year have purposed to combat the problem of biblical illiteracy and it all begins with you. We can talk about statistics, biblical illiteracy on a broad scale, but the question is—Are you getting into the Word of God? Are you getting the Word of God into you? If Christians genuinely love the Lord, they’re going to love his 66 love letters etched in heavenly handwriting. So I want to exhort, encourage, and implore you to get into the Word of God.
The Legacy Reading Plan is unique in that it requires you to process books of the Bible rather than piecing together bits of books as we so often do. And the goal is to comprehend the essence of what God is communicating by reading each book as a whole. It’s essential to read through books rather than bits; however, it’s also helpful to read biblical authors sequentially, which is why the Legacy Reading Plan is grouped by author, and that’s particularly helpful because even though the biblical authors wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, their personalities and their proclivities are clearly evident in their writings.
The reading calendar is naturally segmented into seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall) and the seasons into months (January to December). At the beginning of each yearly cycle, during the winter season, your focus will be on the Pentateuch and poetry, in spring the historical books, in summer the prophets, and in the fall the New Testament. Each season is further broken down into months. Thus, every January, for example, your goal is to read through Genesis and Exodus, and every December, you read through the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. And there are times when you’re going to naturally read ten chapters at a time, and other times when you will read one or two. But more importantly you will read the Bible just as you read other literature.
I was talking to one of my colleagues just before the broadcast, and he’s already on chapter 20. I’m only on chapter 11. So I’m reading through Genesis a little more slowly than he is at this particular point in time, but it is because I have been captivated by certain passages within the book of Genesis that I’m trying to understand, I’m trying to dig into, I’m trying to internalize. I’m particularly fascinated by the book of Genesis and so will you be, but you can read through it at your own pace. Just read Genesis this month along with Exodus. It will be a blessing to you. All kinds of questions are going to pop up and then you’ll have the intoxicating privilege of digging into God’s Word. It is a lifelong enterprise and I’m going to be sixty this year but it’s more invigorating and inspiring today than ever before.
Each year as you walk along with the Lord gets better than the year before. He doesn’t ever give us a panacea, but He always gives us peace in the midst of life’s storms. I just got back from the west coast, where I participated in the funeral for a friend of fifteen years, and once again, I recognized the mortality of people in general, how paper-thin and fragile our lives are. And I was reminded of Psalm 139—in fact I quoted it at the funeral—
Oh Lord you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down. You’re familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord.
And then these words
You hem me in behind and before. You’ve laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
We have a great God. We can have an intimate personal relationship with Him, but it necessitates spending time. You can’t have a great relationship with your wife and kids unless you invest yourself in them. The same is true with our Heavenly Father.