Week 1 Devotion (Download PDF)
Introduction to our reading plan…Why read through the whole Bible?
I Timothy 3:15 From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Many modern people are familiar with the Bible but the people of God are to be students of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word. The Bible doesn’t simply contain God’s words; it is God’s Word and by it we are made wise for salvation through faith that is in Jesus Christ. The Bible is bread and water for thirsty and hungry souls.
In 2017 we want you to join with the rest of the body at Cornerstone to read the Bible. The plan that we have selected is a Chronological plan that aims to keep the historical context together. This format keeps the prophetic books and the historical books side by side. It keeps the Psalms of David in line with what was happening in his life when he wrote them. The goal of such a plan is to keep the flow of Biblical history intact.
In addition to your reading, we will be posting weekly devotional guides to supplement your reading. These guides will be very simple and aim to help you in three ways: discussion, reflection, and prayer. Each devotion will encourage discussion, further study, and focused prayer about the week’s reading. The guides can be used personally, as a family, or as a community group. You may even consider asking an unbelieving friend, neighbor, or co-worker to read through the Bible with you and meet up with them every couple of weeks to talk about it.
2017 may be the first time you have set out to read through the Bible in a year. If so, you are in for an incredible year. Some days it will be difficult to find time to read, don’t let that discourage you. Some days you will want to read ahead because the story is captivating, go ahead. Either way, let’s commit to reading through God’s Word together in 2017.
Something to discuss…
“The Bible is unique among the sacred texts of the world’s religions in that it is structured as a history of the cosmos. It claims to show us the shape, the structure, the origin, and the goal not merely of human history but of cosmic history (Leslie Newbigin).”
Genesis 1-11 are among the most debated chapters in all of the Bible. But can we trust that these chapters give us a faithful understanding of the beginning of all things? How did the Apostle Paul look upon these first chapters of Genesis (2 Corinthians 4:6)? What was Jesus’ view of Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures (Matthew 5:17-18, Matt 12:38-42, Matt 19:1-6)?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, trusted that the Bible was the very Word of God and that it could be trusted in both the concepts and the details. He believed that every sentence, phrase and word was/is trustworthy. Do we trust the Bible the way Jesus trusted the Bible?
Something to consider…
The book of Job is about one man’s horrible suffering and the questions that surround his suffering. “Why do good people suffer? Is suffering a sign of hidden sin? Is there such a thing as innocent suffering?” These are questions that come up throughout the book but to our disappointment the answer to “why” Job is suffering is never given. Which suggests that the book of Job is not fundamentally about suffering, it is about God.
As you read through the book of Job consider that God doesn’t comfort Job with the knowledge of “why” he is suffering because relief from suffering is not offered through “why.” Ultimate relief from all suffering is found in “who.” Ultimate relief from suffering is found in knowing God himself. In other words, we will not always understand “why” we are going through painful or difficult times, but like Job we can grow to learn that God is enough to comfort our suffering soul.
Something to pray about…
The people of Babel had a goal in life, “let us make a name for ourselves (Gen 11:4).” This same longing resides in our hearts as well. The root of sin is a prideful desire to take the throne of God for ourselves. We want the glory He is due. We want to be in control. We want to determine what is right and wrong.
Pray that God would help you to see the specific instances of pride that still lurk in your heart. Pray that God would help you to grow in gospel humility. Pray that the goal of your life would be to, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 5:33).” Thank God that the strength of His grace is more powerful than your capacity for evil (Gen 6:5).