From Resolution to Lifestyle

It’s that time of year again. When we look back at the past year and list all of the regrets, and resolve to “be a better person” by either not doing the bad stuff or doing more of the good stuff. Loosing weight is probably the biggest one. There is so much pressure from the media, your doctor, and family to loose weight. Yes, there is a point where we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and decide that we are unhealthy, and even if it is just for the benefit to the one’s we love, we decide to make a change. There is also a time when we look in the mirror, and even through the few extra pounds that we might have, decide that you’re an overall healthy person, and you are ok with your self image. Although, at the end of the day (or year as the case may be), does the way you look in the mirror make you a better or worse person?

So what does make you a better person? According to an article in wikiHow, there are 13 ways to be a better person:

  1. Become more self-aware.
  2. Set goals for yourself.
  3. Find a role model.
  4. Learn to love yourself.
  5. Learn to control anger and jealousy.
  6. Practice empathy.
  7. Show people that you care.
  8. Be appreciative.
  9. Give to others.
  10. Explore your talents.
  11. Do what you love.
  12. Practice self-control.
  13. Thank people who help you along the way.

I agree that if everyone were to practice those 13 steps, the world would be an amazing place. However, there is a couple of things this list is lacking. Here are my additions to the above list:

  1. Make the God of the Bible the center of who are and all you do.
  2. Read God’s Word in order to get to know Him and how to live our lives.

From Resolution to LifestyleThe last bullet point is the one I’ll be focusing on in this article. It’s a new year and you want a new you? What is the source of bullet points #1-13? God’s Word is the beginning of a new you.

I started reading the Bible seriously when I became a Christian in 1992 at the age of 23. I asked God for a thirst for His Word (sorry for the use of “Churchese“) and He answered that prayer in a huge way. I bought myself a copy of the New International Version (NIV) on audio cassette and wore them out. I was lucky to get plugged in with a great group of seasoned Christians that could advise and help me along this path. Trust me, I was not wise enough to come up this on my own.

Since then, I have used a number of resources. I hope you can use this list and find something that will help you begin a lifestyle of reading and living Scripture:

  • Bible on CD that can be listened to at home, in your car or on a mobile device. Versions include King James, New International Version, English Standard, New King James or New American Standard.
  • A good daily reading plan. One of the most popular is the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. The church I attend offers this plan on their website at CAGonline.info, or you can get a downloadable and printable version from esv.org.
  • You can buy a Bible that has it’s content arranged in a reading plan format. The most popular are The One Year Bible’s from Tyndale. They come in many different versions of the Bible.
  • If you like using your smart phone or tablet, you can download Youversion.com’s Bible app. They have lot’s of great reading plans including The One Year ® Bible plan.
  • Finally, if you are a fan of listening to podcasts, I would recommend the Daily Audio Bible podcast. Brian does a great job of reading The Word everyday, and he switches versions every week so you can get a taste of them all and decide which one you like best.

I hope that starting a lifestyle of reading The Bible is something that you decide on for the new year, and I hope that the resources I’ve listed are helpful in making that a reality.

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  • Good Stuff, Brian. I have to say that I constantly read the new testament, as soon as I finish I start over but the old testament is harder. I love the stories but the laws, prophecies, proverbs and even the psalms at a point I struggle with. I take it a little bit at a time . Not sure if this is good or bad but its what works for me.

    • I agree, the Old Testament can be dry at times. I like how most good reading plans will take 3 or 4 chapters from the Old Testament, 2 or 3 from the New Testament, a Psalm, and a Proverb each day. It mixes it up some and you get the benefit of reading all of the incredibly rich stories from the Old Testament. I usually “read” my Scripture via audio Bible on my phone. The audio version I use is a dramatized version has different actors playing different characters in the Scripture. There is also have background sounds and ambient music.

      There is so much that happens in the Old Testament that either affects or prophecies about events in the New Testament, that I think it just enriches the lessons in the New Testament.

      Thanks for commenting Brad.