Posts Tagged “Zechariah”

Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2013

You’re almost there! This month’s schedule represents the last month of a two-year reading plan. If you’ve been with us for the whole time, you’ve read through the entire New Testament twice and the Old Testament once. If you read the additional readings each month, you completed the Old Testament twice. Congratulations!

We’ll start a new reading plan next month and I’m already looking forward to it. As I’ve read through this plan, I’ve identified things I’d like to change about next year’s plans. But that’s for another blog. If you have any ideas, please let me know. Comment on the blog, send me an email or past a message on our Facebook page.

In the meantime, don’t short-change this month’s readings. Read them with the Christmas season as a backdrop. Savor the final words of our Lord as you read through Revelation. Watch for all the prophecies about Jesus as you read through Isaiah. Enjoy and praise as you read the Psalms. Dwell in the love of God as you read 1, 2 and 3 John. I’m so looking forward to reading this month. Hope you are, too!

The following buttons will open PDFs of the November/December bookmark or all bookmarks. After the file has opened, you can print it or save it to your hard drive from your browser’s file menu.

Click here for the Sept/Oct 2013 recommended reading bookmark. Click here to download all bookmarks for 2013.

The December Reading Schedule also appears at the end of this blog.

Enjoy your reading! We’d love to hear what God speaks to your heart. Email me, leave a message on our Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog.

Blessings, Friends!
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for December is below.

2013-12Dec RecRdg

Here’s how the Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedules are organized:

  • The first two columns of the schedule allow you to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice over a two-year period. You will typically read about three chapters a day if you follow this reading plan.
  • The “Additional Readings” column put you on a plan to read through the entire Bible in one year. You will read between four and five chapters a day if you follow this plan.

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Ask the LORD for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.
Zechariah 10:1 (NLT)

Don’t take the mercy of God for granted. That’s what I hear in this verse. Don’t assume that God’s grace and mercy will continue as they have. Ask Him to bless you with what you expect to happen anyway.

“April showers bring May flowers” is what my mom says every year. It’s a truism. Yet the prophet Zechariah instructed the Israelites to “ask for rain in the spring.” I see in that instruction a warning not to take the mercy of God for granted. We shouldn’t assume that God’s grace and mercy will continue as they have Ask God to bless you with the good things you expect to happen anyway.

“Lord, give me grace with my boss” – pray it even when you are experiencing grace with your boss.

“Lord, send healing and health” – pray it even when you are healthy.

“Lord, send rain on my garden” – pray it even when the forecast calls for rain.

Why would the prophet give these instructions? I can think of a few reasons:

It reminds us that we are dependent on God for everything. During prosperous times, it’s too easy for us to begin to think that we are the source of our prosperity. Praying for God’s blessing reminds us that all good things come from His hands.

It reminds us that things can change in an instant. There are droughts even during rainy seasons. Praying for blessings during seasons of blessings reminds us that the season of blessing could end at any time.

It gives us an opportunity to thank Him for answered prayers. When I ask God to send rain and tomorrow it rains – I will remember that God has answered my prayer and thanksgiving will grow in my heart.

It will cause our faith to grow. Even when we’re praying for the expected, when it happens, we are reminded of God’s ability to answer prayers, His willingness to answer prayer, and His goodness toward us. Being reminded of those things will cause our faith to grow…even though what happened was what we truly expected to happen. Still, there’s something inside that knows it was God. And our faith increases.

Are you lacking any of these things – knowing that you are dependent on God, realizing that your period of blessing could end at any time, needing a reason to be thankful, or lacking in faith? Try praying for what is likely to happen anyway. Pray for the rain during the rainy season. April showers bring May flowers. When those flowers bloom, you can praise God for His faithfulness and goodness to you.

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Resting at the River’s Edge provides an opportunity to participate in reading through the Bible in a systematic way. Here’s more details about the plan and our schedules.

The holiday season will quickly be upon us, friends. Let me encourage you to make a new commitment to continuing your time reading through the Bible. Track your reading along with us using the table below, the half-page PDF you can download here or the November/December Bookmark you can download here.

Share with us what God is speaking you as you read this month! E-mail me, leave a message on the Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog.

Word of God, speak to us again this month!
Sandy

Download all 2012 bookmarks here Download only the November/December 2012 bookmark here

Download a half-page PDF of the November Reading Plan here

Here’s the November reading plan:

RARE November 2012 Reading Plan JPG

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Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2010-2011

Help! I’ve Fallen Behind and I Can’t Catch Up!

As I prepare this last Resting at the River’s Edge recommended reading list for 2011, I somehow “all of a sudden” find myself 22 chapters behind! Now that translates to just about a week, but I like to stay a couple of days ahead so that I can write blogs related to passages you’re reading that day, the next day or you’ve just read the day before. And here I am in late November finding myself 22 chapters behind. Well, at the end of this blog you’ll find December’s reading schedule, but I think my own situation provides a perfect jumping off place for when you’ve fallen behind in your reading. (I’m guessing there a few of you out there who share my situation!) Here are some tips:

  • Don’t fret over it! Our pastor shared the definition of “fret” in his sermon last week. The definitions included:
    • Feel or express worry or discontent
    • Cause corrosion, gnaw into something
    • To become eaten, worn or corroded
    • Irritated state of mind, vexation

Wow! That’s certainly not a condition or state of mind conducive to meeting with God as you read His Word! Let it go.

  • Keep at it! Don’t let being behind schedule keep you from continuing to read. What’s the worst that can happen? Instead of reading through the Bible by December 31, 2011, you’ll finish some time in 2012. Sounds good to me! You will still have read through the Bible and that’s the important thing. It’s not the schedule, it’s the content and meeting with God.
  • Don’t rush through your reading just to stay on schedule! It’s not the schedule, it’s the content and meeting with God. (Is there an echo here?)
  • Realize that catching up just might be possible! Our reading plans schedule about three chapters a day. Here are some ways to catch up:
    • If you’re able to add one chapter each day, you’ll catch up almost two days each week.
    • Read three chapters on Saturday or Sunday (or both) and you’ll catch up one or two days each week.
    • Spend your lunchtime reading your Bible. You’ll catch up at least one day, perhaps more, each time you do this. You might even decided that it’s a great way to relax at lunch!
    • Arrive at an appointment about fifteen minutes early. Spend the time reading your Bible. You’ll catch up another day. This is a great thing to do on Sunday morning if there is a quiet place you can read before service. It really prepares you to enter into worship and the message.
    • Carve out some “me and God” time in your schedule. This is absolutely the best thing I’ve done in my walk with the Lord and I look forward to it each week.

Implement one or more of these things for a few weeks and you’ll find yourself catching up quickly.

  • December’s reading schedule is great for this season. Don’t hesitate to stop reading where you are, read along with us in the month of December (think Revelation and Psalms), then pick up where you left off in January. Or begin following the December schedule while you employ some catching up techniques to previous schedules.
  • Remember: It’s not the schedule, it’s the content and meeting with God!

So, friends, keep at it. I commend you for all the reading you’ve done – even if you’re three months behind schedule or more! The monthly schedules will continue to be available here all throughout the coming year. Enjoy your reading and your time with God.

Now before I get back to my reading, let me provide you with a short synopsis of our December reading:

  • We will begin the book of Revelation on November 29th  and we’ll finish it on December 29th. We will end the year reading about the future. I love that God’s Word doesn’t teach us only the Law and history and how to live in this life, but it gives us a glimpse into the future – some of which we can only imagine, and some that seems so bizarre that we can’t even imagine it. Still, He trusts us with such knowledge. Wow! Enjoy this book and if it gets too confusing don’t let it get to you! Just ask God to reveal what He wants you to understand and keep reading. What you can’t understand will simply begin to lodge itself in your spirit for the time it’s needed.
  • We’ll finish the minor prophets by reading Malachi on November 30th. Note that this is a slight change from the schedule that was published in November. I changed things up a bit to read the book of Malachi before finishing the Psalms instead of after.
  • We will begin reading the rest of the Psalms on December 1st and finish them on December 30th. I can’t think of a better way of ending the year than with Psalm 150 which begins and ends with the phrase “Praise the Lord.”

I know the month of December is a busy one for everyone, but friends – enjoy your reading throughout the month. Remember, it’s not the schedule, it’s the content and meeting with God!

Blessings, Friends!
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for December is below.

To download a PDF of the December 2011 recommended reading plan, click here.

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Resting at the River's Edge Logo 2010-2011

“In the beginning was the word…”

This month during our Resting at the River’s Edge readings we’ll read the Gospel of John – starting with the beginning of time, it will take us through the life of Christ and then lead us into the book of Revelation for December’s readings. I thought it would be interesting to read these two books back-to-back. (Although you’ll find 2nd Thessalonians sandwiched in between because I realized I had forgotten to include it in the schedule when we read 1st Thessalonians this month. Oops!)

The Gospel of John is many people’s favorites. It’s a bit too contemplative to be my favorite, but I appreciate it’s uniqueness among the Gospels.

Our Old Testament readings will have us finishing the Old Testament except for the book of Psalms which we’ll read in December. That means we’ll finish the book of Ezekiel, cover six of the minor prophets and read the book of Daniel. Remember, the minor phrophets aren’t called that because their message is minor, but simply because they wrote shorter books. For example, you’ll find these two prayers in the book of Habakkuk:

LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2 – I often include this prayer of Habakkuk in my times of intercession for revival

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 – this prayer challenges me to rejoice regardless of my circumstances

One of the minor prophets we’ll read is Zechariah. According to the NIV Worship Bible (Zondervan Publishing), “Zechariah is not an easy book to understand, partly because it is an example of apocalyptic literature. This genre includes fantastic visions, grand schemes and mysterious interpretations. Often history is ‘telescoped,’ with past, present and future described as happening at the same time. Above all, Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings demonstrate God’s ultimate sovereignty over everything. God is the cosmic playwright and authoritative director of the drama of history. We worship this God with awe, humble obedience and confidence in His rule over all that is and is to come.” (page 1271)

Hold on to your hats, folks, there’s some fantastic reading ahead!

Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for November is below.

To download a PDF of the November 2011 recommended reading plan, click here.

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