Read the Bible in 2014

Of all the New Year's resolutions there are, one of our favorites is when people use the New Year to attempt to read more bible. Bible reading, when done out of a love for Jesus and not as legalism, is a helpful way to grow in a love for the gospel and gratefulness for Jesus.

With that being said, we wanted to chime in and offer to you some of our favorite bible reading plans for you to benefit from:


Read from four parts of the bible each day: the Psalms & Wisdom Literature, the Pentateuch & History of Israel, the Chronicles & Prophets, and The Gospels & Epistles. Really helpful if you like to keep it fresh and grasp some of the unity of the bible.

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M'Cheyene Plan

One of the most popular plans, this one takes you through the New Testament and Psalms twice and the Old Testament once.

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Genesis to Revelation

If you want to go the traditional route, and just read the bible cover to cover in a year, this is your plan.

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Old & New

This one lets you read the bible cover to cover, but with one reading from the Old Testament and one reading from the New Testament each day.

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Two Year Plan

If you're thinking you'd like to read a little more casually, this one is set up to take two years instead of one. You'll read the Old & New Testaments once, and the Psalms & Proverbs four times.

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Whatever you plan to do, our prayer is that you grow in a love for Jesus by his grace and through the power of his Word.

Happy reading!

Some Help Reading Ecclesiastes

To many Christians, Ecclesiastes is a very strange read. Throughout the book, Solomon often sounds depressed, incredibly cynical and at times he seems to say blatantly untrue things or Biblically false ideas. On top of all of that, there are times when he seems to contradict himself.

But hiding behind these initial frustrations and confusions lies a wealth of wisdom, insight and truth waiting for us. When we understand the literary genre and the nature of the task Solomon is accomplishing throughout Ecclesiastes, the light bulbs start to turn on with otherwise very dark passages. Wisdom literature graces us with some of the most helpful, beautiful passages in all of Scripture and simultaneously befuddles us with some of the most confusing passages in all of Scripture.

The reason for Solomon’s apparent pessimism throughout the book of Ecclesiastes originates from the nature of the task that he is accomplishing for us. Throughout the book, Solomon walks in a tension of two views of life:

  1. Life with no view of God.
  2. Life with God in view.

Solomon spends a majority of Ecclesiastes considering view number 1 which is why it tends to be so pessimistic, cynical and strange sounding. In brief moments throughout the book he expands his view to include God and we get breaths of fresh air. Whenever you find yourself stumped by a verse or a passage in Ecclesiastes, immediately ask yourself the question “Is he describing life with no view of God right now?” This is the case almost every time he is depressed sounding or seemingly wrong.

For example in Ecclesiastes 10:19, Solomon writes:

“Money answers everything.”

At first glance that is blatantly wrong. But here he is describing life with no view of God and saying at a practical level, money is an answer to an incredible amount of problems under the sun. It won’t fix the underlying brokenness but it can certain solve a lot of symptomatic issues. It’s a truism presented in a very specific context of life considered with no view of God.

Practical steps to interpreting Ecclesiastes:

  1. Spend time praying and meditating on the tough passages asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate them to you.
  2. Ask yourself the question, “Is he describing life with no view of God right now?”
  3. If you are still stuck, talk to your LifeGroup and see if you can figure it out together.
  4. In a pinch, consult commentaries, your LifeGroup coach or someone you know with more biblical knowledge.

Don’t let a confusing statement here or there and a seemingly pessimistic tone limit you from enjoying all that Jesus has to offer us in this book. When it’s the hardest to understand, rely on Jesus’ strength the most. When it seems too murky to press on, pray for Jesus’ light to illuminate it. And together as a family, let’s learn from Jesus through Solomon how to live The Good Life.

Why We Switched Bibles

We mentioned Sunday that we've officially switched our bibles to the English Standard Version. For those of you who have been following along in your NIVs, we assure you that this wasn't a careless decision. Here are a few reasons we switched to the ESV:

  • We had to purchase a new version anyway. With the release of a new translation, the translation we were using is being discontinued. With that being the case, we knew we had to purchase a new translation of some sort.
  • We were concerned about the accuracy of the new NIV. The easiest transition would obviously to use the new version of the NIV. But in reading through it, some of the updates they made change the meaning of the passage being read, and we weren't huge fans of that.
  • The ESV is a good translation. Every translation of the bible has its advantages and disadvantages, but we thought the ESV achieves the best balance of readability and biblical accuracy.
  • The ESV was cheap. The bottom line is that our church still doesn't have endless pools of cash sitting around, and we found the ESV we purchased at a price that we could afford. Since we want to be able to give our bibles away for free to people who don't have them, price is a huge factor.

In the end, we think, hope, and pray the ESV will continue to help our church family to learn more about Jesus through the Bible. If you're wanting to buy an ESV, we've compiled a list of links to help out:

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