Samuel M. Smith do hereby resolve that I will... ." Across
America and indeed around the world, people are thinking about the coming
year and most are thinking of what they will do to make the coming year
the best ever in their lives up to this point.
Alcoholics will resolve not to drink
another drop or at least bring their drinking down to a level that will
make their addiction acceptable to their spouse, friends, r3elatives, boss
Smokers, especially those with young
children or relatives who must avoid smoke for serious health reasons will
resolve to stop smoking.
The philandering husband or promiscuous
wife will resolve to be faithful to their spouse. The gambler will resolve
to quit gambling and the list could go on and on. The bratty, disobedient
teenager will determine to "turn over a new leaf." We all know, though!
We all do or have gone through the New Years' Resolution bit many times.
Of course, true Christians are determining
to read their Bibles more, pray more, love the Lord Jesus more, be more
faithful in church attendance, to Forgive the brother or sister in
the church who offended them and against whom they have been holding a
grudge. To show more Agapé love more compassion and caring for those
less fortunate so as to show them the Love of Jesus Christ.
All of these are great resolutions
and a such are goals of a sort. They SHOULD be real goals, but all too
often, they are not genuine goals. We KNOW we are expected to change our
lives and live more like Jesus christ and His original Apostles, but our
resolutions are not truly a part of our planning and thinking. They are
not the speck of light at the far end of the tunnel; not the REAL goal.
Too often, they may have been forgotten by January 7 and likely even before
that. We all tend to go back to our habitual routine and habits, whether
good or bad. ReAL goals in our lives are on our mindsday in and day out
and we really work to reach them. But when we think of these goals as New
Years' Resolutions, we somehow seem to place a lower priority on seriously
trying to attain that goal.
So instead of a "New Years' Resolution,
" this year, think of serious goals you honestly want to reach and then
take the kind of motivational steps to reach those goals that you would
take if your goal was to go on a cruise ship for your next vacation or
to earn a certain realistic dollar amount by a certain date.
|One very worthwhile
goal many Christians set is to read their Bibles through in one year. That
IS indeed a very worthwhile goal and there ae a number of through the Bible
in a year programs sponsored through many denominational and other religious
and church groups. Most of these do not follow a pattern of important
doctrines first nor of chronological sequencing, but are intended to reach
the goal of reading the whole bible through within the year. I set out
to do a Chronological and a key doctrinal series, but so far, have
not yet completed either revised schedule that I started working on several
years ago - as a New Years' Resolution!!!
But the sheer length of the Bible
and certain somewhat boring chapters of "Abraham begat Isaac and Isaac
begat Esau and Jacob and Esau begat..." tend to break the habit of daily
reading a chapter or more daily. And it does take reading more than one
or even two chapters every day to complete reading the Bible through in
one 365 day year.
At a goal of two pages a day
in my full-sized Thompson Chain Reference Bible, in which the Old Testament
contains 876 pages and the New Teatament contains 268 pages for a total
of 1144 pages. To read them all in one 365 day year would require reading
3.14 pages daily.
The Old Testament contains 929
chapters and the New contains 260 for a total of 1189 chapters. Thus
it would require reading an average of 3.34 chapters per day to read the
Bible completely through in one year.
There may be a few persons who would
stick strictly to a schedu;le that will produce the goal of reading the
whole Bible in one year, but for me, I have found that a goal of one chapter
a day is more realistic, although at that rate, it requires almost three
years to complete. Of course with that goal, if you are serious and you
are in the Psalms, you read several short Psalms instead of just
The very first time you ever read
the "begats," you will doubtless stumble over all the unfamiliar names
and may think, "Why is this important? Why on earth did god include this
in the Bible?" But there is a reason. It shows the continuity of the generations
of mankind and although there are those who attempt to dispute the validity
of some names, such disputes are usually thr result of translational variations
in names. For example, my name, Samuel, in English is something like Schmuel
in Hebrew and in Hawaiian, which language has no "s" sound, becomes Kamuela.
Since my name was given in its English variation, that is my legal name,
but to a Hebrew, they will think of me as Schmuel and a Hawaiian as Kamuela.
on Page 2)