5. Don’t Turn a Means of Grace into a Means of Merit
Your Father’s love for you doesn’t rise and fall with your quiet times. If you are united to Jesus by faith, the verdict is out, and the court is dismissed. You’re as accepted and embraced as the Son himself. Period.
To be sure, you’ll desire to hear and follow his voice if you’re truly one of his sheep (John 10:1-30; cf. 8:47; 18:37). Not always and not perfectly, of course, but sincerely and increasingly.
So as another year dawns, commit yourself anew to becoming a man or woman of the Word. But don’t overextend, do it alone, just do it whenever, live as if Paul lied, or treat means of grace like means of merit.
Your Bible is one of God’s chief gifts to you in 2013. Open, read, ruminate, and obey. May you be ever transformed into the image of our incarnate King, and may he alone receive the acclaim.
If you are looking for some resources to help you read through the Scripture in 2013, check out this link from the esvbible.org. There are twelve different plans to choose from. Personally I follow the M’Cheyne reading plan which guides you through reading the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Old Testament once. You can create an esvbible.org account to track the progress of your preferred plan or print out a copy of the plan to stick in your bible.
You may also want to use the podcast option, so that you can hear the day’s Scripture passages read. This is an option I use almost everyday. To use this option, you can search iTunes or your favorite podcasting app by the name of the reading plan. You can also manually add it by copying and pasting the “rss” link from the above page into your podcast app.
If these options are not enough, check out Justin Taylor’s listing of reading plans over at the Gospel Coalition website.
One last word . . . it seems almost inevitable that at times during the year one of two things will happen: pride that we are doing so well or guilt that we have failed to keep up. It is at those times that we must be reminded that as important as reading Scripture is (crucial in fact), it does not save. We are saved by Christ alone. He has paid the penalty for our pride and our neglect of his Word.