Hooray! I finished my 90 days of chronological readings in the Bible in 106 days. By the time I got behind from my trip, I was already done with the Old Testament. I had made it through the hard part!
And do you know how the story came out?
Jesus won! Satan, the Accuser of our souls, loses the Eternal War.
I didn’t have to get to the end of the book to find that out. There were clues all through from the beginning that it was going to turn out this way in the end!
What else did I learn all the through the Bible?
GOD always keeps His promises!
There are often times it looks like He has forgotten, but in the end, He comes through…rarely on my timetable, rarely does the answer happen in the form I am expecting…but His agenda is immensely larger than mine. His view of everything is an eternal one. He is sovereign over all, which means that not only does He know what will happen, He has the power to change it if He wills.
Remember the promise given in Genesis 3:15? It happened at the cross when Christ paid the eternal penalty for sin, but look at what I read this morning in Revelation?
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
“Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them!
But woe to you, O earth and sea,
for the devil has come down to you in great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!”
What else have I learned?
His Kingdom is an upside-down Kingdom!
What do I mean by upside-down? When you look at the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew and Luke, the description Jesus gives of His Kingdom is vastly different from any kingdom I would describe…and that His people were expecting.
It involves humility, sacrificial love above and beyond anything I have any desire to give…the kind that “puts me out”! This isn’t the kind of love that easily fits into my schedule!
Think of the person who is required by law to walk a mile with a Roman soldier. Jesus said, “Go ahead and walk a second mile with him.” What? You must be kidding! This law isn’t even fair…and he doesn’t even appreciate it.
Later, in the Epistles, we read things like Philippians 2:5-8 where Paul gives us a snapshot of what Jesus did when He came to earth…a lifestyle we are to live as well! This isn’t talking about outward behavior nearly as much as it is talking about attitudes. I really hate when he meddles like that!
To roughly quote an author I am often challenged by, Paul Miller? “The way up is down.” That is the message of God’s Kingdom. It certainly isn’t very American is it? Is it any wonder that many left Jesus after some of these talks?
Who really wants to be part of a Kingdom like this?
Those of us who understand how truly lost we are.
Those of us who recognize what a gift GOD’s forgiveness is.
Those of us who know we need GOD’s grace…and want to share it with others.
I could go on. But after finishing my 90 days of reading through the Bible, these are the major points that have repeatedly come through to me. Could I have had any better preparation for Advent? I don’t think so.
Reading the entire story of Redemption from the Beginning to End has been very encouraging. This is what GOD wanted us to know…it comes in all forms: history, poetry, teaching, apocolyptic. It is all there in living, breathing, colorful and not necessarily G-rated writing. The presentations given there are not nice easy answers to neat little lives. The lives, most often, are very messy. It gives hope to those of us who realize that our lives are a mess.
I challenge you:
Plan for a 3 month segment sometime this coming year to do this 90 day reading.
If you are in the doldrums or your christian life is dragging, take on this challenge. It will be invigorating. Take a look at Mom’s Toolbox and see where the coming website will be for the links. She has the information now on the schedule of readings for either the cover-to-cover reading or the chronological one. I recommend the chronological one very much!
You may be like many and finish it in 90 days. Life may interrupt you and you may not finish for 100 days or so. The point is to read quickly through the Bible as an overview. It will give you a different look than you may not be used to. You won’t get caught in the weeds. You’ll be able to see how human even the leaders we admire so much, were. It will give you a love for GOD’s Word that you may not have had before. It will also give you a love for Him that will grow as you get to know Him better through His Word.
That will be a good thing! It will also be a wonderful gift to your children as well!