How has 2017 started for you? Many of use are fighting off colds/flu, if you've been to under the weather to start your Bible reading I have good news - it's not too late! Using the 5 day Bible Reading Plan, you can still start today and read the whole Bible in 2017! The idea is that you have 2 'free' days each week that allows you to either dig deeper on those days, or else to catch up on what you have missed. You can download a printable copy here or get a free app that will allow you to use your iPhone to use the reading plan here - just download the app, then go to "reading plan" then "view available plans" and click "Five Day plan 2017".
If you've made a start already what have been the highlights? Psalm 19 and Genesis 1-2 celebrated God's goodness in creation, and Psalm 19 reminded us that not only did God create, but he has also spoken to us and His word "revives the soul". It might be harder to pick up the Bible than to open Facebook, but the rewards are far greater - souls revived, hearts that rejoice and of more value than gold!
Genesis 3 showed us why we often don't delight in God's word - because we doubt He is good, and believe Satan's lies that God's word is in some way restrictive. In Genesis 3 Satan twisted God's word, tried to make God sound like a spoilsport instead of the generous loving God that He is. Eve fell for it, you can see in her response, something I spotted for the first time this year - God had said that Adam and Eve could eat from "every tree"...but one (2:16), Satan twists God's word to say "Did God say you shall not eat from any tree" (3:1), and Eve in her response drops the "every" word (3:2), she's begun to disbelieve God's generosity. Then she made God sound more restrictive by adding in the word "touch" to the original command (3:3). Then she softened the consequence from "surely die" to just "lest you die" (2:17 and 3:3). And it wasn't only Eve, Adam was there with her, and was doubly responsible - he had heard the command from God first hand, he should have stepped in, but he didn't. How we need a second Adam! Thankfully there is a promise of such an Adam in 3:15. And from this point in the Bible until Jesus is born we are looking for Him.
Genesis 1-3 shows us among other things that God is incredibly God and generous, and that rebellion against Him is incredibly serious, how we need to know his word and hide it in our hearts so that we might not sin against him (Psalm 119:11).
If you're not sure about this and would like to think things through further then do come to Christianity Explored tonight - no question too simple, no question too hostile! 8pm at the Rectory.