¡Hola, hola! Please give a big welcome to Week 22 of our Bible Reading Challenge and to those women who are just joining us and to those who, after a long break, decided to join us again. Welcome!
I am sure you have said, at least once this past week, “How fast time flies. January is gone!” And as the clock moves forward and we change the page on the calendar, without any extra effort we all have grown a bit older. We had coffee or tea each morning, ate our regular meals, did every day life, and without much purposing here we are, a month older today. So why I am bringing this up? Because I am afraid that we sometimes think that we can add to our New Year’s Resolution this: Grow in the Lord. But I have some news for you, we can’t. Just like we can’t add a day to our life, just like we can’t purpose to live to x number of years, we can’t purpose to grow in the Lord. The good news is that just as God is the one who determines the number of our days, He is the one who gives the growth in our lives (1 Cor. 3:7)
So, Friends, don’ make growth your aim. God is the one who gives the growth. Strive to know Him more and love Him more. Put all effort to make time to read the Bible and pray. Plan ahead, then open your Bible and read it in faith. The growth will come because He has promised that He will complete the work He has started in us (Phil. 1:6, Psalm 138:8). We plant the seeds of His Word in our hearts as we read it every day, and we keep coming to Him faithfully -even if nothing spectacular seems to be happening. And just like when we look at ourselves in the mirror one morning and wonder how we became who we are now, just like that, after being immersed faithfully in the Word, after going to Church faithfully, after partaking of the sacraments, we will look at ourselves in different circumstances and think, “Wow. What just happened? I am responding to these situations in a more biblical way.” Or, “Wait a minute. it has been weeks since I’ve had any anxiety take control of me.” etc. God gives the growth. God gives the growth. We cannot forget that. So everyday we strive to love Him more and know Him more and by His grace, also obey Him more.
What are we reading this week? We will finish reading Hosea, Psalms 23-25, Proverbs 9-11, Amos, Obadiah, and Zephaniah. Wednesday, February 7 we will have a catch-up day and I suggest you read the book of James or Colossians and Romans 9-10 again.
This week’s readings are wonderful and sobering. We will see God’s relentless love and amazing grace in the book of Hosea, we will read about social justice and the importance of right, biblical worship in Amos. In Obadiah we will see what Proverbs reminds us over and over again: The prideful won’t stand for too long, God will humble those who trust in themselves and act like gods. In Zephaniah we will see God judging the nations and then, in His kindness, bringing the nations to Him.
The Psalms will remind us that God is our shepherd, our King, and our Teacher. These are great Psalms to pray and meditate and relate to what we will be reading in the Minor Prophets and in Proverbs. I know you will be greatly blessed as you consider the Word of the Lord this week.
One more thing, please if you have not done so, go and check out this wonderful resource that Rachel Jankovic and Jemma Merkle put together: the book of Proverbs in 144 voices read by women all over the world for the Bible Reading Challenge. You can find it here:
I hope to “see” many of you in on Monday during our weekly Webinar at 10:00 PST And if you come, let me know in the live chat!
May our prayer this week be,”Lord, may we press on to know you, deliver us from discouragement and help us persevere knowing that you will surely come as the dawn, as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the Christ Church Ladies Fellowship