“Out with the old, in with the new!” If 2010 was a particularly difficult year for you, this may just be your approach to 2011. The New Year holds fresh opportunities and a chance to start again. As we strive to look forward, we should take a page out of the Old Testament and apply it to ourselves: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deut. 4:9) No matter what 2010 held for you, don’t forget. You may have to move on from difficult times, but don’t forget how God has held you through it all. Don’t forget his mercy and his forgiveness. Don’t forget how He has seen you to this day and the year 2011.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the Old Testament as much as I have. When we started GodSpeak back in September of 2009, it seemed a long time until we would reach the New Testament. Now, it is but a few weeks away. Actually, our first reading in the New Testament occurs on February 14, Valentine’s Day! I also hope you’ll avoid the idea of “Out with the old, in with the new.” All of these things we’ve read in the Old Testament are foreshadowing the coming of Jesus and the salvation He will bring through his death and resurrection. You may just find yourself flipping through the Old Testament more as you read something in the New Testament that fulfills something said in the Old. After all, it is one Bible and God wrote the whole thing!
Perhaps reading the Old Testament was too much for you. It was hard to get into the habit, or the message was confusing or you just didn’t get into it. Don’t worry about it. Take this New Year to make a new commitment to reading the Bible. You can start today, or you can wait until Valentine’s Day to start the New Testament with us. We want to have even more people reading the New Testament than we had reading the Old Testament. In a few weeks we’ll send out new commitment cards to have everyone re-up for the New Testament. I would love to see over 125 people reading the New Testament together! Make this your New Year’s Resolution and watch God speak to you and through you!
GodSpeak was never just about reading the Bible. Anybody can do that. We want to hear God speak to us through His word and then watch God speak through us as we share that word with others. Well, as we have read the Old Testament together I have marveled at how God is growing his disciples here at Bethel. Conversations between members now include Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel! Wow! Our groups have been a steady support to those reading and have given us a chance to hear God’s word actually come out of our mouths in conversation with other believers. Our new focus going into the New Testament will be on the “through you” part of the equation. Jesus wants each of his disciples to be making disciples. That happens as we speak God’s word to one another and to those who don’t know him. Let’s make that our focus together as we enter a New Year with a New Testament with a New Commitment and a New Focus! God be praised!