May Read Through the Bible

Earlier this year, we invited you to join us on a yearlong journey through God’s Word. This month, you’ll begin reading 2 Samuel and 1&2 Kings in the Old Testament. For your NT readings, you’ll finish the Gospel of Luke and start reading John.

The Plan

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May 1: 2 Samuel 5–6; Luke 12:1-12
May 2: 2 Samuel 7–8; Luke 12:13-34
May 3: 2 Samuel 9–10; Luke 12:35-59
May 4: 2 Samuel 11–12; Luke 13:1-17
May 5: 2 Samuel 13–14; Luke 13:18-35
May 6: 2 Samuel 15–16; Luke 14:1-24
May 7: 2 Samuel 17–18; Luke 14:25-35
May 8: 2 Samuel 19–20; Luke 15
May 9: 2 Samuel 21–22; Luke 16:1-18
May 10: 2 Samuel 23–24; Luke 16:19-31
May 11: 1 Kings 1–2; Luke 17:1-19
May 12: 1 Kings 3–4; Luke 17:20-37
May 13: 1 Kings 5–6; Luke 18:1-17
May 14: 1 Kings 7–8; Luke 18:18-43
May 15: 1 Kings 9–11; Luke 19:1-27
May 16: 1 Kings 12–13; Luke 19:28-48
May 17: 1 Kings 14–15; Luke 20:1-26
May 18: 1 Kings 16–17; Luke 20:27-47
May 19: 1 Kings 18–19; Luke 21:1-28
May 20: 1 Kings 20–21; Luke 21: 29-38
May 21: 1 Kings 22; Luke 22:1-23
May 22: 2 Kings 1–3; Luke 22:24-53
May 23: 2 Kings 4–5; Luke 22:54-71
May 24: 2 Kings 6–7; Luke 23:1-12
May 25: 2 Kings 8–9; Luke 23:13-32
May 26: 2 Kings 10–11; Luke 23:33-56
May 27: 2 Kings 12–13; Luke 24:1-12
May 28: 2 Kings 14–15; Luke 24:13-53
May 29: 2 Kings 16–17; John 1:1-18
May 30: 2 Kings 18–20; John 1:19-51
May 31: 2 Kings 21–23; John 2

Background info you need to know

2 SAMUEL
Author: Unknown, likely Samuel
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 24
Written: Around 1380-970 B.C.
Theme/Message:
David is the focus of 2 Samuel. He was a man after God’s own heart, yet he had his own trials, struggles, and sins.

2 KINGS
Author: No author is named
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 1 Kings has 22; 2 Kings has 25.
Written: The events described in these books took place around 970-586 B.C., but it may have been written after the fall of Jerusalem.
Theme/Message: These books tell the story of the kings of Judah and Israel. Their decisions had consequences. The choices you make today will have an impact on your future!

LUKE
Author: Luke, a Gentile physician
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 24
Written: Around A.D. 60
Theme/Message: Luke focuses on the life of Jesus. It is the longest book in the NT and about 60 percent of the material is unique to this Gospel.

JOHN
Author: John
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 21
Written: Around A.D. 90
Theme/Message: The Gospel of John spans the ministry of John the Baptist through the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Need a reading plan you can print? Click here!

 

April Read through the Bible

Earlier this year, we invited you to join us on a yearlong journey through God’s Word. This month, you’ll begin reading Judges, Ruth, and 1 & 2 Samuel in the Old Testament. For your NT readings, you’ll begin reading in the Gospel of Luke.

714639_16139136The Plan

April 1: Judges 1–3; Luke 1:1-25
April 2: Judges 4–5; Luke 1:26-38
April 3: Judges 6; Luke 1:39-56
April 4: Judges 7–8; Luke 1:57-80
April 5: Judges 9; Luke 2:1-20
April 6: Judges 10–12; Luke 2:21-40
April 7: Judges 13–15; Luke 2:41-52
April 8: Judges 16; Luke 3:1-20
April 9: Judges 17–18; Luke 3:21-38
April 10: Judges 19–20; Luke 4:1-13
April 11: Judges 21; Luke 4:14-32
April 12: Ruth 1–2; Luke 4:33-44
April 13: Ruth 3–4; Luke 5:1-26
April 14: 1 Samuel 1–2; Luke 5:27-39
April 15: 1 Samuel 3–4; Luke 6:1-11
April 16: 1 Samuel 5–6; Luke 6:12-49
April 17: 1 Samuel 7–8; Luke 7:1-17
April 18: 1 Samuel 9–10; Luke 7:18-35
April 19: 1 Samuel 11–13; Luke 7:36-50
April 20: 1 Samuel 14–15; Luke 8:1-18
April 21: 1 Samuel 16–17; Luke 8:19-39
April 22: 1 Samuel 18–19; Luke 8:40-56
April 23: 1 Samuel 20–21; Luke 9:1-17
April 24: 1 Samuel 22–23; Luke 9:18-45
April 25: 1 Samuel 24–25; Luke 9:46-62
April 26: 1 Samuel 26–27; Luke 10:1-24
April 27: 1 Samuel 28–29; Luke 10:25-42
April 28: 1 Samuel 30–31; Luke 11:1-13
April 29: 2 Samuel 1–2; Luke 11:14-28
April 30: 2 Samuel 3–4; Luke 11:29-54

Background info you need to know

JUDGES
Author: Samuel (most likely)
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 21
Written: After the conquest of Canaan (around 1380-1060 B.C.)
Theme/Message: The people of Israel sinned and God raised up judges, but the land was still defiled. The nation of Israel survived solely by the grace of God.

RUTH
Author: Possibly Samuel, but we can only speculate.
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 4
Written: Unclear, possibly during or after David’s reign (1011-971 B.C. or as late as the exile
Theme/Message: God’s grace, love, and His providence are seen throughout the Book of Ruth. Boaz used his position under Jewish law to redeem Ruth. The redemption of Ruth by Boaz and the redemption of sinners by Christ is sometimes correlated.
1 & 2 SAMUEL
Author: Unknown, probably Samuel
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 31, 24
Written: During the time of the judges (around 1380-970 B.C.)
Theme/Message: Leadership, God’s sovereignty, sin’s consequences and God’s relationship with His covenant people are all major themes in 1 and 2 Samuel.

LUKE
Author: Luke, a Gentile physician who traveled with Paul
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 24
Written: Around A.D. 60
Theme/Message: The Gospel of Luke focuses on the person and life of Jesus Christ. It is the longest book in the New Testament and about 60 percent of the material is unique to this Gospel.

Need a plan you can print? Click here!

March Read Through the Bible

Earlier this year, we invited you to join us on a yearlong journey through God’s Word. This month, you’ll finish reading Numbers and Deuteronomy and begin reading in Joshua in the Old Testament. For your NT readings, you’ll dig into the Gospel of Mark.

The Plan

photo credit: iStock//07-04-08 © Aldo Murillo

photo credit: iStock//07-04-08 © Aldo Murillo

March 1: Numbers 22–24; Mark 5:1-20
March 2: Numbers 25–26; Mark 5:21-43
March 3: Numbers 27–29; Mark 6:1-13
March 4: Numbers 30–31; Mark 6:14-31
March 5: Numbers 32–33; Mark 6:32-56
March 6: Numbers 34–36; Mark 7:1-23
March 7: Deuteronomy 1–2; Mark 7:24-37
March 8: Deuteronomy 3–4; Mark 8:1-10
March 9: Deuteronomy 5–6; Mark 8:11-26
March 10: Deuteronomy 7–9; Mark 8:27-38
March 11: Deuteronomy 10–11; Mark 9:1-13
March 12: Deuteronomy 12–14; Mark 9:14-29
March 13: Deuteronomy 15–17; Mark 9:30-50
March 14: Deuteronomy 18–20; Mark 10:1-16
March 15: Deuteronomy 21–23; Mark 10:17-31
March 16: Deuteronomy 24–26; Mark 10:32-52
March 17: Deuteronomy 27–28; Mark 11:1-11
March 18: Deuteronomy 29–30; Mark 11:12-33
March 19: Deuteronomy 31–32; Mark 12:1-12
March 20: Deuteronomy 33–34; Mark 12:13-27
March 21: Joshua 1–2; Mark 12:28-44
March 22: Joshua 3–4; Mark 13:1-13
March 23: Joshua 5–6; Mark 13:14-37
March 24: Joshua 7–8; Mark 14:1-11
March 25: Joshua 9–10; Mark 14:12-31
March 26: Joshua 11–12; Mark 14:32-52
March 27: Joshua 13–15; Mark 14:53-72
March 28: Joshua 16–18; Mark 15:1-15
March 29: Joshua 19–20; Mark 15:16-39
March 30: Joshua 21–22; Mark 15:40-47
March 31: Joshua 23–24; Mark 16

Background info you need to know

NUMBERS
Author: Moses
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 36
Written: Around 1445-1406 B.C.
Theme/Message: The sovereignty of God, the fulfillment of His promises, and His unending grace.

DEUTERONOMY
Author: Moses
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 34
Written: Around 1406 B.C.
Theme/Message:  Covenant relationship between God & His people, call for total commitment to God.

JOSHUA
Author: Joshua, although Phinehas might have written the last chapter. Some references in the book point to a final formation after Joshua’s death.
Section: History
Number of Chapters: 24
Written: After the conquest of Canaan (around 1406-1380 B.C.)
Theme/Message: “Be strong and courageous” (1:9). Joshua’s battle plan was to confront, conquer and cultivate.

MARK
Author: John Mark
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 15
Written: Around 55-65 A.D.
Theme/Message: Jesus’ ministry and miracles. We serve a miracle-working God and our lives and words should point others to Him.

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February Read Through the Bible

Earlier this year, we invited you to join us on a yearlong journey through God’s Word. This month, you’ll finish reading in Exodus and begin reading Leviticus and Numbers in the Old Testament. You’ll finish up Matthew in the NT readings and dip into the Book of Mark.

The Plan

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Feb. 1: Exodus 27–28; Matthew 18:1-20
Feb. 2: Exodus 29–30; Matthew 18:21-35
Feb. 3: Exodus 31–32; Matthew 19:1-15
Feb. 4: Exodus 33–34; Matthew 19:16-30
Feb. 5: Exodus 35–36; Matthew 20:1-16
Feb. 6: Exodus 37–38; Matthew 20:17-34
Feb. 7: Exodus 39–40; Matthew 21:1-22
Feb. 8: Leviticus 1–3; Matthew 21:23-46
Feb. 9: Leviticus 4–5; Matthew 22:1-14
Feb. 10: Leviticus 6–8; Matthew 22:15-46
Feb. 11: Leviticus 9–10; Matthew 23
Feb. 12: Leviticus 11–13; Matthew 24:1-31
Feb. 13: Leviticus 14–15; Matthew 24:32-51
Feb. 14: Leviticus 16–18; Matthew 25:1-30
Feb. 15: Leviticus 19–20; Matthew 25:31-46
Feb. 16: Leviticus 21–23; Matthew 26:1-35
Feb. 17: Leviticus 24–25; Matthew 26:36-56
Feb. 18: Leviticus 26–27; Matthew 26:57-75
Feb. 19: Numbers 1–2; Matthew 27:1-31
Feb. 20: Numbers 3–4; Matthew 27:32-66
Feb. 21: Numbers 5–6; Matthew 28
Feb. 22: Numbers 7; Mark 1:1-15
Feb. 23: Numbers 8–10; Mark 1:16-45
Feb. 24: Numbers 11–12; Mark 2:1-13
Feb. 25: Numbers 13–14; Mark 2:14-28
Feb. 26: Numbers 15–16; Mark 3:1-12
Feb. 27: Numbers 17-18; Mark 3:13-35
Feb. 28: Numbers 19–21; Mark 4

Background info you need to know

EXODUS
Author: Moses
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 40
Written: Around 1445-1406 B.C. during Israel’s wandering in the wilderness
Theme/Message: God’s redeeming power and grace; the Law.

LEVITICUS
Author: Moses
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 27
Written: Around 1445-1406 B.C.
Theme/Message:
• The holiness of God, cleanliness, sacrifice, atonement, and priests.
• These themes all point to the sanctity of God’s Word, His holiness, and His laws.

NUMBERS
Author: Moses
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 36
Written: Around 1445-1406 B.C.
Theme/Message: The sovereignty of God, the fulfillment of His promises, and His unending grace.

MATTHEW
Author: Matthew, a disciple of Jesus and a Jewish tax collector
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 28
Written: A.D. 60-65
Theme/Message:
• The Christ, the Son of the Living God.
• The Gospel of Matthew includes many prophecies fulfilled through Jesus’ life and reveals Jesus’ power to change lives.

MARK
Author: John Mark
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 16
Written: Around A.D. 55-65
Theme/Message:
• Focuses on Jesus’ ministry and miracles.
• It’s crucial for us to remember that the reason He performed these miracles was to draw others to His heavenly Father.

Need a reading plan you can print out? Click here!

Read through the Bible // January

It’s a new year. And with a new year comes the desire for a new beginning, to do things differently this time around, to do something that matters.

The best way to make that happen? Start reading your Bible with the expectation that God will speak through it. Start reading your Bible with the desire to do what it says. Make reading Scripture and spending time with your Savior the most important thing in your life AND your schedule. And before you know it, you will be doing things differently. You will be an example of a new beginning.

And you will know that you matter and God has created you on purpose, with a purpose.

That’s why reading your Bible is so important. We’d love for you to join us on a yearlong journey to read through the Bible.

Ready?

You’ll start the year off by reading all of Genesis and beginning the Book of Exodus. Your New Testament readings will focus on the Gospel of Matthew.

JAN. 1: Genesis 1–3; Matthew 1

iStock//01-07-07 @ TriggerPhoto

iStock//01-07-07 @ TriggerPhoto

JAN. 2: Genesis 4–6; Matthew 2:1-12
JAN. 3: Genesis 7–8; Matthew 2:13-23
JAN. 4: Genesis 9-11; Matthew 3
JAN. 5: Genesis 12–14; Matthew 4:1-11
JAN. 6: Genesis 15–17; Matthew 4:12-25
JAN. 7:  Genesis 18–19; Matthew 5:1-16
JAN. 8: Genesis 20–22; Matthew 5:17-48
JAN. 9: Genesis 23–24; Matthew 6:1-18
JAN. 10: Genesis 25–27; Matthew 6:19-34
JAN. 11: Genesis 28–29; Matthew 7:1-14
JAN. 12: Genesis 30–31; Matthew 7:15-29
JAN. 13: Genesis 32–33; Matthew 8:1-17
JAN. 14: Genesis 34–36; Matthew 8:18-34
JAN. 15: Genesis 37–38; Matthew 9:1-26
JAN. 16: Genesis 39–40; Matthew 9:27-38
JAN. 17: Genesis 41–42; Matthew 10
JAN. 18: Genesis 43–45; Matthew 11:1-19
JAN. 19: Genesis 46–47; Matthew 11:20-30
JAN. 20: Genesis 48–50; Matthew 12:1-21
JAN. 21: Exodus 1–2; Matthew 12:22-50
JAN. 22: Exodus 3–4; Matthew 13:1-23
JAN. 23: Exodus 5–7; Matthew 13:24-58
JAN. 24: Exodus 8–9; Matthew 14:1-21
JAN. 25: Exodus 10–11; Matthew 14:22-36
JAN. 26: Exodus 12–13; Matthew 15:1-20
JAN. 27: Exodus 14–15; Matthew 15:21-39
JAN. 28: Exodus 16–18; Matthew 16:1-12
JAN. 29: Exodus 19–21; Matthew 16:13-28
JAN. 30: Exodus 22–23; Matthew 17:1-13
JAN. 31: Exodus 24–26; Matthew 17:14-27

Points of Interest: Background info you need to know

Here’s the behind-the-scenes info that will help you understand the books of the Bible that you’re reading this month.

507091_46504411Genesis

Author: Moses is the human author of the Torah (later referred to as the Pentateuch).
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 50
Written: Probably during Israel’s wandering in the wilderness (about 1445–1406 B.C.)
Theme/Message: Beginnings.

  • Creation, the fall of man, and the flood.
  • Many stories of God’s love and redemptive power.

Exodus

Author: Moses is the writer God used to write Exodus, along with the other four books of the Pentateuch.
Section: Pentateuch (law)
Number of Chapters: 40
Written: Most likely during Israel’s wandering (1445-1406 B.C.)
Theme/Message: The Lord God, redemption, and the Law.

  • God’s rescue of the Israelite people from oppression
  • God’s unfailing love and pursuit of His people
  • The Ten Commandments
  • God’s covenant with His people.

Matthew

Author: Matthew
Section: Gospels
Number of Chapters: 28
Written: 60-65 A.D.
Theme/Message: The Christ, the Son of the Living God.

  •  Stresses that Jesus is the Messiah who fulfills prophecy.
  •  Eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection.
  •  Points to Jesus’ plans for His kingdom and church.

Need a printable version of our reading plan? Click here!

Read through the Bible // December

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At the beginning of the year, we challenged you to join us on a yearlong journey through the Scripture. This month will end our year-long journey through Scripture. Ready?

Dec. 1: Daniel 5–6; 2 Peter 3
Dec. 2: Daniel 7–8; 1 John 1
Dec. 3: Daniel 9; 1 John 2
Dec. 4: Daniel 10–12; 1 John 3
Dec. 5: Hosea 1–3; 1 John 4
Dec. 6: Hosea 4–6; 1 John 5
Dec. 7: Hosea 7–8; 2 John
Dec. 8: Hosea 9–10; 3 John
Dec. 9: Hosea 11–12; Jude
Dec. 10: Hosea 13–14; Revelation 1
Dec. 11: Joel 1–3; Revelation 2
Dec. 12: Amos 1–2; Revelation 3
Dec. 13: Amos 3–4; Revelation 4
Dec. 14: Amos 5–7; Revelation 5
Dec. 15: Amos 8–9; Revelation 6
Dec. 16: Obadiah; Revelation 7
Dec. 17: Jonah 1–4; Revelation 8
Dec. 18: Micah 1–2; Revelation 9
Dec. 19: Micah 3–4; Revelation 10
Dec. 20: Micah 5–7; Revelation 11
Dec. 21: Nahum 1–3; Revelation 12
Dec. 22: Habakkuk 1–3; Revelation 13
Dec. 23: Zephaniah 1–3; Revelation 14
Dec. 24: Haggai 1–2; Revelation 15
Dec. 25: Zechariah 1–3; Revelation 16
Dec. 26: Zechariah 4–5; Revelation 17
Dec. 27: Zechariah 6–8; Revelation 18
Dec. 28: Zechariah 9–11; Revelation 19
Dec. 29: Zechariah 12–14; Revelation 20
Dec. 30: Malachi 1–2; Revelation 21
Dec. 31: Malachi 3–4; Revelation 22

Points of Interest: Background info you need to know

Here’s the behin

d-the-scenes info that will help you understand the books of the Bible that you’re reading this month.

DANIEL: Daniel was a sixth-century B.C. prophet living in Babylon during the time of the exile, and his name means God’s Judge or God Judges. The over-arching theme of the book is hope, specifically the hope that God gives when life is difficult or hard to understand.

THE MINOR PROPHETS: The Books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, are generally referred to as the Minor Prophets. Grouped together at the end of the Old Testament, they give us insight into God’s love, justice, and overwhelming mercy.

1 & 2 PETER: Both considered part of the General Epistles, Peter wrote these letters to help believers understand how their faith should set their lives apart from the rest of the world. Peter focuses on three calls in his letter: a call to holiness, a call to self-discipline, and a call to growth.

1,2, & 3 JOHN: Written by John, author of the Gospel of John, this series of letters focuses on the importance of a personal relationship with Christ and how to be discerning and watchful. Third John is a letter written to encourage Gaius, a pastor and friend of John’s.

JUDE: One of the shortest books in the Bible, Jude reminds us that false teaching and heretics are threats to the gospel. This book challenges us to protect the truth and take a stand to defend our faith.

REVELATION: The last book of the New Testament focuses on end times. It was most likely written by the Apostle John while exiled to the island of Patmos. There, he was given a series of visions about end times and commanded to write about them. It also features letters to seven churches and the state of their spiritual health.

Need a reading plan you can print out and check off? Click here!

Read Through the Bible // November

At the beginning of the year, we challenged you to join us on a yearlong journey through the Scripture. Are you ready to start this month’s adventure?

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Nov. 1: Lamentations 2; 2 Timothy 4
Nov. 2: Lamentations 3; Titus 1
Nov. 3: Lamentations 4; Titus 2
Nov. 4: Lamentations 5; Titus 3
Nov. 5: Ezekiel 1–2; Philemon
Nov. 6:  Ezekiel 3–5; Hebrews 1
Nov. 7: Ezekiel 6–7; Hebrews 2
Nov. 8: Ezekiel 8–10; Hebrews 3
Nov. 9: Ezekiel 11–12; Hebrews 4
Nov. 10: Ezekiel 13–14; Hebrews 5
Nov. 11: Ezekiel 15–16; Hebrews 6
Nov. 12: Ezekiel 17–18; Hebrews 7
Nov. 13: Ezekiel 19–20; Hebrews 8
Nov. 14: Ezekiel 21–22; Hebrews 9
Nov. 15: Ezekiel 23–24; Hebrews 10
Nov. 16: Ezekiel 25–26; Hebrews 11
Nov. 17: Ezekiel 27–28; Hebrews 12
Nov. 18: Ezekiel 29–30; Hebrews 13
Nov. 19: Ezekiel 31–32; James 1
Nov. 20: Ezekiel 33–34; James 2
Nov. 21: Ezekiel 35–37; James 3
Nov. 22: Ezekiel 38–39; James 4
Nov. 23: Ezekiel 40–41; James 5
Nov. 24: Ezekiel 42–43; 1 Peter 1
Nov. 25: Ezekiel 44–46; 1 Peter 2
Nov. 26: Ezekiel 47–48; 1 Peter 3
Nov. 27: Daniel 1; 1 Peter 4
Nov. 28: Daniel 2; 1 Peter 5
Nov. 29: Daniel 3; 2 Peter 1
Nov. 30: Daniel 4; 2 Peter 2

Points of Interest: Background info you need to know

Here’s the behind-the-scenes info that will help you understand the books of the Bible that you’re reading this month.

LAMENTATIONS: The Book of Lamentations consists of five poems of lament that focus on meeting God in the midst of our pain. Jeremiah is traditionally considered the author of Lamentations.

EZEKIEL: Written by Ezekiel, this book centers around the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The prophecies of Ezekiel focus on judgment of sins, but the book ends with a promise of restoration and the hope to come.

DANIEL: The Book of Daniel gives us a guide on how to live for God in a hostile culture. It also addresses idols and giving God what belongs to Him. Even though it may be difficult, we must remember that God will honor us when we take a stand for Him.

2 TIMOTHY: You’ll pick up your New Testament reading in Paul’s second letter to Timothy this month. Paul wrote to the younger pastor around A.D. 60-64.

TITUS: Another letter to a pastor, Titus is Paul’s letter to a pastor ministering on the island of Crete. The letter focuses on standards for leaders, sound teaching, and remembering the foundations of our faith.

PHILEMON: Even though Philemon is one of the shortest books in the Bible, its message is very important. In this letter, Paul asked Philemon to receive his runaway slave Onesimus back as a brother in Christ.

HEBREWS: The author of Hebrews is unknown, but we do know that it was a letter to the Hebrews, Jewish Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. As a result, the writer focused on the greatness of God and a strong faith. Hebrews 11 is sometimes called the “Hall of Faith.”

JAMES: The Book of James was written by James, Jesus’ half-brother. The book focuses on how hardships will teach us endurance and stresses not only hearing the Word, but also doing what it says. It touches on other tough issues like controlling the tongue and being humble.

1 & 2 PETER: Peter wrote both of these letters to help believers understand how their lives should be set apart because of their faith. Peter focuses on three “calls”: a call to holiness, a call to self-discipline, and a call to growth.

Need a PDF printable version of our Bible reading plan so you can check off each day? Click here!

 

Spiritual Discipline: Sharing Your Faith

iStock//09-21-11 © mediaphotos

Each month, we highlight a spiritual discipline you can begin developing in your life. This month, we’ve focused on evangelism. AMY KEYS gives us some tips on deepen this discipline in our lives.

STEP 1 > Why me?

People all around you are lost spiritually because no one has told them about Jesus or shown them His love. God has specifically placed you in a neighborhood, at a school, on a team, at a job, or somewhere else so that you can tell others about His love. It’s a personal assignment.

STEP 2 > Get ready.

If you want to convince your parents to say yes to something you want, you probably decide what to say before you approach them. If you want to tell someone about God, you can do the same thing! Decide what you want to say before you share your story. Then, pray that God will give you wisdom while you speak. Still not sure how to share? Check out “Fast Facts” for some great tools!

STEP 3 > Watch and listen.

We miss a lot of opportunities to tell people about Jesus because we’re not paying attention. Listen to people’s comments. Read what they post online and pay attention to what they do or how they spend their time. Ask God to help you notice opportunities to share Him with others.

STEP 4 > Build relationships.

Be a genuine friend, a kind neighbor, a conscientious student, or a hardworking employee. Do kind things for others. Invest in relationships. When people know they can trust you to be there for them, they’ll be more willing to listen when you share your faith.

STEP 5 > Ask questions.

Instead of bombarding people with Bible knowledge, find out where they’re struggling and what they believe. Let them share their hearts with you. Be a good listener, then trust God to give you wise answers for your friends’ tough questions.

STEP 6 > Memorize Scripture.

If you don’t know a lot of Scripture, you can still share Jesus with people—but memorizing it will give more opportunities for His truth to pour out of you while you share your faith. Instead of having to pause to look up a verse, you will simply be able to quote it while you talk.

FAST FACTS

Evangelism Tools
So, you’ve had some great conversations with someone about God. How do you help that person become a Christian?

THIS MAGAZINE
See page 4 of this month’s print version of ec for a step-by-step guide on how to become a Christian.

ROMAN ROAD
Romans tells how to become a Christian while explaining why we need salvation. Mark the following verses in your Bible: Romans 5:8, 3:23, 6:23, 5:21, 10:9-10, and 10:13. For more information on how to use the Roman Road, check out .

TELL YOUR STORY
One of the most beautiful ways of sharing Christ is to explain how He has changed your life. You can do this in three easy steps. Tell your friend about:
1. Who you were before you met Christ;
2. How you met Christ;
3. How your life is different because you know Him.

Read Through the Bible // October

At the beginning of the year, we challenged you to join us on a yearlong journey through the Scripture. Are you ready to start this month’s adventure?

Oct. 1: Jeremiah 1; Ephesians 1
Oct. 2: Jeremiah 2; Ephesians 2
Oct. 3: Jeremiah 3–4; Ephesians 3
Oct. 4: Jeremiah 5–6; Ephesians 4
Oct. 5: Jeremiah 7–8; Ephesians 5
Oct. 6: Jeremiah 9–10; Ephesians 6
Oct. 7: Jeremiah 11–12; Philippians 1
Oct. 8: Jeremiah 13–14; Philippians 2
Oct. 9: Jeremiah 15–17; Philippians 3
Oct. 10: Jeremiah 18–19; Philippians 4
Oct. 11: Jeremiah 20–21; Colossians 1
Oct. 12: Jeremiah 22–23; Colossians 2
Oct. 13: Jeremiah 24–25; Colossians 3
Oct. 14: Jeremiah 26; Colossians 4
Oct. 15: Jeremiah 27–28; 1 Thessalonians 1
Oct. 16: Jeremiah 29–30; 1 Thessalonians 2
Oct. 17: Jeremiah 31; 1 Thessalonians 3
Oct. 18: Jeremiah 32; 1 Thessalonians 4
Oct. 19: Jeremiah 33–34; 1 Thessalonians 5
Oct. 20: Jeremiah 35–36; 2 Thessalonians 1
Oct. 21: Jeremiah 37–38; 2 Thessalonians 2
Oct. 22: Jeremiah 39–41; 2 Thessalonians 3
Oct. 23: Jeremiah 42–43; 1 Timothy 1
Oct. 24: Jeremiah 44–45; 1 Timothy 2
Oct. 25: Jeremiah 46–47; 1 Timothy 3
Oct. 26: Jeremiah 48; 1 Timothy 4
Oct. 27: Jeremiah 49; 1 Timothy 5
Oct. 28: Jeremiah 50; 1 Timothy 6
Oct. 29: Jeremiah 51; 2 Timothy 1
Oct. 30: Jeremiah 52; 2 Timothy 2
Oct. 31: Lamentations 1; 2 Timothy 3

Points of Interest: Background info you need to know

iStock // 05-18-10 @ digitalskillet

Here’s the behind-the-scenes info that will help you understand the books of the Bible that you’re reading this month.

JEREMIAH: Written around 626-586 B.C. by the prophet of the same name, Jeremiah is one of the longest books in the Bible, covering the reign of four kings over 40 years. The overarching theme is that judgment for sin is coming and repentance will only postpone the inevitable. Jeremiah points to a coming day God will make a new covenant with His people and He will write His laws on their hearts.

LAMENTATIONS: A series of five poems that express pain or grief. Jeremiah wrote Lamentations following the destructive invasion of Jerusalem by the Bablyonian army.

EPHESIANS: A letter written by Paul to encourage the church to be unified as one body. Ephesians stresses that foundational truths of the Christian faith need to be preserved no matter the costs, but some disagreements aren’t worth fight over.

PHILIPPIANS: Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians around A.D. 60 while he was imprisoned. Even from prison, Paul chose to rejoice. The Book of Philippians discusses the joy we can find in Christ no matter what we’re facing in life. Philippians 4:13 is a great verse to memorize for encouragement.

COLOSSIANS: Paul began Colossians, another letter, by letting the church know how much he appreciated them. This letter was also intended to counteract some heresy in the early church and bring believers back to a “grounded and steadfast faith.”

1 & 2 THESSALONIANS: In these letters, Paul explained how believers should live in anticipation of Jesus’ return. Paul encouraged the believers to stand firm even when facing difficulty.

1 & 2 TIMOTHY: Also written by Paul, 1 and 2 Timothy are letters to a pastor. Paul had mentored Timothy, and he sent Timothy to the church in Ephesus when trouble arose. These books are his advice and encouragement to Timothy.

Need a checklist you can print? Click here for a PDF.

Spiritual Discipline: The Sabbath

Each month, we highlight a spiritual discipline you can begin developing in your life. This month, we’ve focused on Sabbath and the need for rest. AMY KEYS gives us some tips on deepen this discipline in our lives.

Istock//10-02-11 @ YanLev

STEP 1 > Define Sabbath.

The Sabbath is an entire day set aside for rest and worship. God’s command to finish our work in six days and not to work on the Sabbath is listed in Exodus 20, right alongside commands like “Do not murder,” and “Do not commit adultery.” Clearly, God takes the day of rest seriously!

STEP 2 > Put it on the calendar.

Schedule your day of rest and worship, just like you schedule time with your friends, your part-time job, volunteer responsibilities, or other activities. You’ll be more likely to keep the Sabbath if you block that day off on your schedule and don’t let other activities interfere. It can be tough to say no when other activities try to creep in on your Sabbath, but you’ve got to protect it by scheduling around it. What should you do if you have an unavoidable conflict? Check out “Fast Facts” below for more!

STEP 3 > Choose your activities carefully.

It’s important to remember that there’s a difference between leisure activities and restful worship. Make sure your activities help you rest in God and focus on Him, or you’re missing the point of the Sabbath. It’s not meant to be a day where we just do all the things we want to do; it’s meant to be a day of rest. So, instead of making it all about you, focus the day on God and rest in Him.

STEP 4 > Plan ahead.

If you want to successfully keep the Sabbath clear of distractions, you’ll have to think ahead. For example, if you have a big research paper due on Monday, set aside time to work on it before Sunday rolls around. Look ahead on your schedule and make sure you plan to complete necessary projects, chores, and activities during other times so you can leave the Sabbath blocked off for rest and worship. Observing the Sabbath doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything, but God is serious about you taking a day off from all the stress of life to focus solely on Him and His rest.

FAST FACTS:

What if I really do have a conflict?
A lot of people have to work on the traditional day of rest. So, what do you do when your job or another activity keeps you from resting on Sunday?

TRY TO RESCHEDULE
First, attempt to reschedule the conflicting activity. If your boss consistently schedules you to work on Sunday, offer to take other undesirable shifts so you can have the Sabbath off to worship. If your coach routinely schedules practices on Sundays, talk to him or her about some possible alternate scheduling.

MAKE TOUGH CHOICES
If you’ve tried to reschedule and can’t, take time to prayerfully evaluate whether this job, sport, or activity is something God wants you to be a part of. Just because it requires your participation on Sunday doesn’t mean you should quit, but asking God for His wisdom in the matter is a smart idea. He promises that He will give you wisdom if you ask for it (James 1:5).

GET CREATIVE
If setting aside all day Sunday is impossible for you, consider moving your day of rest to a different day. For example, start your Sabbath on Saturday afternoon or evening, if you have a Sunday afternoon or evening conflict. If you absolutely can’t find an entire day to rest and worship, you should talk to your parents about how to wisely pare down your schedule.