Posts tagged Bible Reading
Lent begins this with Ash Wednesday—February 18 this year—and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. To many people, it is a 40-day period—not including the six Sundays—devoted to reflection, repentance, fasting, and preparation prior to Easter.
Unlike Christmas, Easter is not a fixed date on the calendar; it is sometimes described as a “moveable feast.” The Western church decided long ago to set Easter as the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox (the first day of spring). Since the date of Easter varies widely (from March 22 to April 25), the dates of every other holiday related to Easter vary as well. The week before Easter is referred to as Holy Week. It begins on Palm Sunday, which recalls Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Thursday of that week is known in some traditions as Maundy Thursday because it memorializes Jesus’ final instructions and last meal with His disciples. The term “Maundy” is related to the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” which is the first word in the Latin version of John 13:34 that records Jesus’ new commandment to His disciples that they love one another. Since Jesus washed his disciples’ feet that fateful evening, Christians often do as Jesus did and wash one another’s feet. Good Friday follows. It is the day that commemorates the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Calling the day “good” seems ironic since Jesus died such a horrid death that day. However, what Jesus’ death accomplished for the redemption of the world is the greatest good the world has ever seen. The Sunday following Good Friday ends the season of Lent and is designated Easter. It may be the most celebrated day on the Christian calendar, for it commemorates Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and the beginning of the new Kingdom. - Adapted from The Voice Bible.
Lent is a great time to think about starting a new reading plan. To help you get started, we’ve added a new reading plan especially for Lent! Adapted from The Voice Bible, this plan starts on Ash Wednesday, February 18 and continues until Easter Sunday. This is a great way to prepare your heart for Easter.
Tap the ‘My Stuff’ icon in your app and select Reading Plans. At the bottom of the list of reading plans, tap the ‘Get More Reading Plan’ button. You’ll see a list of reading plans that are available to download here.
Once you tap the install button, the reading plan will be available to start.
By Olive Tree Employee: David Mikucki
If you look at the calendar, you’ll see that it is now February and it has been February for a number of days. But for many of us, if we look at our Bible reading plan, we’re stuck somewhere in January.
A lot of us start out with noble intentions, perhaps wanting to read the whole Bible in a year. The wheels typically start to fall off around the time we get to the book of Leviticus and forward progress comes to a complete halt by Numbers. Reading Scripture can be hard, especially when we don’t feel like we understand what we’re reading.
But God does offer us encouragement, and a lot of it. First of all, for those of us who struggle to read the Bible regularly, there is grace and peace in Jesus Christ. God is not up in heaven with a strict reading plan, ready to slap you down because you haven’t kept it. Jesus was struck down for our sins and our failings (Isaiah 53:5). If you’ve put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are still loved and forgiven even if you’ve failed to love God’s Word.
Besides the good news of forgiveness and acceptance by God the Father through Jesus the Son, there is still more good news to be found for those of us who struggle as we read Scripture. We have a promise from God that His Word doesn’t go forth without doing the thing He sent it to do (Isaiah 55:11).
This should encourage us, because it means that even when we feel like our time in Scripture is dry, God’s Word is still working as He wants it to. We can approach Scripture reading in faith, trusting God instead of our feelings about whether or not our reading is doing anything. We can trust that God works through His Word and believe that He can be working in us in ways we can’t yet see. We can walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
What you read yesterday (or perhaps last week) might not make a lot of sense to you now, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t using it to mold and shape you. Few of us understand what our parents are doing as they raise us, but we’re thankful for it later on. We don’t need to see God working to know that He is.
You see, if you read through Leviticus in your daily reading half a dozen times before you come back around and study it on your own or with your church, you’ll be better equipped to understand it. This is because reading it all those times will have made you familiar with it.
Moreover, there are times when an application of a particular passage isn’t clear to you. Several weeks or months later, however, God may bring that passage to mind at a time in your life when it is very applicable. In an age where technology makes us want results as soon as possible, our God still loves to plant a seed and let it grow over months and years.
Take heart, Christian. God works through His Word even if you don’t see it just yet.
David is a front end web developer at Olive Tree. He also writes on his personal blog, And the Rest of It.
By Olive Tree Employee: Emily Roth, Content Editor
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:1-2).
The nature of my position at Olive Tree requires that I read the Bible throughout the day, whether to check a verse citation or to study an entire book. Due to a recent project, I managed for the first time to read straight from Genesis to Revelation. Each day on this project, no matter where I was in the Bible, something from God’s Word spoke to my heart, convicted my soul, or related to my struggles. My computer monitors store a collection of sticky notes for the verses I want to keep in mind.
It surprised me on a consistent basis the value of the simplest or most overlooked of verses. While I’ve long believed in the inspiration of the Bible in its entirety, I tended to judge certain books or passages as “most important” and then ignored the rest. What did I care about the Minor Prophets? They had to be called “minor” for a reason, right? But as I read, I realized that the Bible isn’t a bunch of stories about a bunch of people. It’s one continuous story about one God.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).
Even Jesus affirms the absolute necessity of reading God’s word. He quotes from Deuteronomy, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4). And the best part? Anyone who doubts the Bible’s benefits can test it for himself.
The Bible Study App now has several reading plans available for free download. Over time, this new feature will offer additional plans across all platforms. Find one that interests you by looking under “Reading Plans” in the “My Stuff” window. After beginning a plan, you can check off each reading as you go.
If you have never read the Bible as a whole, it may seem like a daunting challenge. The Olive Tree Summer Bible Reading Plan provides guidance to study major themes and events throughout your preferred version of Scripture from June 1 to September 11. Compiled by the Olive Tree staff, this resource includes brief introductions of each book as well as the literary subgroups such as the History books of the Old Testament or the Pauline Epistles.
“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess. 2:13).
Until I read through the Bible all at once, I didn’t realize how much I had been missing. The Minor Prophets, for instance, display some of the most heartbreakingly expressive poetry that I’ve ever read. Read them for yourself if you don’t believe me. And while you’re at it, just finish the whole collection of books in the Bible if you never have before.
If the idea of daily reading intimidates you, simply commit to finding out what God wants to tell you today. Then do the same tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that. It won’t take long to feel its effect. You will find a deeper appreciation of the Bible, God, and the story he has invited us into.
This week you can get the Olive Tree Summer Bible Reading Plan for FREE now through June 6th.