Do you want to be marked by love? God is love, and as I said in my sermon on Sunday, to be people who are marked by love we must first come to know God’s love. So let’s resolve to get to know God’s love more. It’s a goal we can always embrace because God’s love actually surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:19).
One of the main ways we do that is through the Word of God, his revelation to us of who he is!
The tool that I have found most helpful for me in the area of reading the Word is Don Carson’s wonderful book set For the Love of God (2 volumes). It uses a modified M’Cheyne Bible reading plan and also contains a short devotional reading each day. I love this plan and resource because they help me see how the Bible holds together, and I am reminded over and over again how it all points to Christ. These books are also available for free in blog form with the reading and devotional posted for each day.
If you looking for more reading plan suggestions, this helpful blog post from Justin Taylor has a variety of Bible reading plan options, online-access reading plans, options for listening to the Bible, and more!
In my sermon I also mentioned that we come to know the love of God by praying the Word. Donald Whitney has recently written a book entitled Praying the Bible that I’d recommend to you. As you might imagine, it focuses on how to pray using the text of the Bible as our guide. This article is a condensed version that he expounds on in the book.
Also, ladies, I’m excited that the Tuesday Connection groups this spring will be going through Don Carson’s video series and study guide Praying with Paul. This is another great resource for learning to pray using the prayers of the Bible. I’d recommend you join them if you are available (register online).
Lastly, a note about goals. The goal is to know the love of God more, not to check all the boxes on your reading plan. If you’re like me, you’ll miss a day or get behind. When that happens, just keep going! You can even remove the dates from your plan if that will help you keep going. Most importantly pray that God will empower you to understand his love more. I’ll close with Paul’s pray for the Ephesians (3:14-19), which is my prayer for you and for me.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”