During 2014, Pete and I read the entire Bible. The Bible Eater plan we followed allows for a few missed days each month and includes reading Romans and Hebrews twice through. While I did fall behind in September, I was able to take a few days of extensive reading to catch up and finished December 28th.
I didn't do any other Bible study during the year, though I managed to read four books - which is about my average for a year. By pure coincidence, I typically read the whole Bible through every three years. But when I don't have a strict plan to follow, I find myself reading less and less. So on the years I'm not reading through the whole Bible, I often drift from one book of the Bible to another without any real guidance.
When I was planning what I would do this year for Bible time, I remembered a few podcasts I had listened to last year about Bible memory and memorizing longer passages of the Bible. So many times in my life I have wanted to memorize a whole chapter of the Bible but never knew how nor did I stay with it very well. This year I plan to memorize two passages;
Colossians 3:12-17 This is my new favorite because right now (and last year) it is just what I need to remember in my life. The title of my blog is partly based on this verse. I wanted to memorize it last year but just like always, without a plan I didn't follow through. So this year it is, and I'm already two verses in using a method I heard about from the Ask Pastor John podcast. Read it 10 times, say it 10 times. Next day, say the verse/verses then read the next verse 10 times, say it 10 times ect...
Romans 8 is the other passage. There is so much rich theology and grace in that one chapter alone. If I was ever without my Bible, how amazing to be able to recall the passages you need just at the right time.
Whatever time I have after those two, I will add to the list of memorizing and 2015 will be the year of memorizing.
The kids and I are also going to work on The New City Catechism. Like Colossians 3, I had planned on using the catechism last year but didn't keep up with it.
In past years I was guilt-ridden because of my failings and sin but God is teaching me a lot about His grace and He doesn't view me as a failure because Christ has redeemed me and forgiven all my sin. Stepping forward into the newness of the year, I have hope; not because it's January and a new year but because of God's grace in my life and that makes me want to strive on with joy to learn more about Him and instill His truth into the lives of my children.
Here are the links to the podcasts and the New City Catechism.
Bible memory essential or optional? - This is what helped me decide to memorize long passages
Practical tips for Bible memory - The method of actually memorizing the passage
What translation for Bible memory? - I will be using ESV though I still have some verses from childhood memorized in KJV.
New City Catechism - Ipad app or web-based.
So when you see me and you feel like asking how my Bible memory is going; be prepared because if I'm fired up about it, I will recite some passages for you right then and there. So I welcome any accountability but be careful what you ask, Romans 8 has 40 verses.
If anyone wants to join me, you are more than welcome and I would love the community it would provide.