It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
That truth is exactly what we discovered as we came upon Holy Week and Easter Sunday. It wasn’t necessary at all to step away from The Whole Story (at this point in the book of Samuel) to find Jesus, and clear promises about who he is and what he is doing in the world. What a delight to uncover, in the middle of this story about Israel’s first kings, the promise of a forever king and forever kingdom, and how that connects from the time of David all the way to the resurrection of the Christ.
If you’d like to see some of those connections from a slightly different perspective of what we studied together on Easter Sunday, please check out this great resource on the Messiah from the team at The Bible Project. And, if you weren’t able to be with us on Easter Sunday, you can watch the sermon, “King of My Heart” here. If you missed our Good Friday service, you can find that sermon here.
Finally, I’d like to encourage you again to read the Whole Story along with us. I just received yet another note yesterday from someone sharing the impact of doing that this year. She said, “So thankful for your encouragement to read through the Bible…changed my life. Wow.”
God’s words have a way of doing that.
I would love for you to have the opportunity of that life-changing experience as well, and all you have to do is take up this book, and read. And really, it’s more achievable than you may think.
Did you know that the average person reads about 200-250 words per minute? So, let’s take the average of that, and say you can read 225 words per minute. If you divide out all the words in the Bible (775,000) by the days in a year and that average per minute, you can read the whole bible in a year with an investment of about 10 minutes per day. That’s really doable.
Maybe for you, it would help to be able to listen to the Bible. With most narrations of the Bible coming in at about 75 hours long, you can read/listen to the whole Bible in a year with an investment of about 12 minutes per day. You can listen for free at ESVBible.org.
Even if you haven’t been reading along thus far, please don’t miss out on a life-changing experience by letting that stop you. Jump on our little moving train of The Whole Story and read 1 and 2 Kings this week, in preparation for Sunday. And if you are really up for a challenge — and a treat! — take a separate 20 minutes a day on Genesis through 2 Samuel, and you’ll catch up in no time.
Happy Reading! And, see you Sunday.
So blessed to be on The Whole Story journey with you,
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.