Well, I did it. I made it through the one-year Bible reading for 2023… sort of… Ok, so maybe I didn’t start until Spring, and I might have missed a few days here and there, and perhaps I did not catch up by listening to a week’s-worth at a time. But I listened to most of it, and I made it to December 31, finishing out Zechariah, Revelation, Psalm150, and Proverbs 31… And now, we start again, this time from the beginning. As I opened the Faith Bible app, and went to the reading plan, I thought about 2024 and how difficult it will be to stay with it for the whole year. But then I started listening, and I realized an amazing truth that I know, but which I forget often: When you know how the story ends, every page is worth reading.
Go back and look at the last pages of Revelation. It is all celebration and joy for those whose names are written in the book of Life. Jesus returns and destroys all the evil which stands against Him. He gathers the faithful for a wedding feast that kicks off an eternity of enjoying a new creation, always in the presence of our Savior and Lord. Now read these first few pages of Genesis again. God’s beautiful creation, capped off with the creation of humans, only to be corrupted through the deception of the enemy, and the rebellion of God’s image bearers. Now glance ahead at all that will come next: Humans corrupt everything to the point where God floods the world to hit reset; fools build a tower in continued defiance of God, only to be dispersed to the ends of the earth; God creates a special people who will bear His name and represent Him in the world; God’s chosen people repeatedly rebel and endure punishment; eventually Jesus arrives, God incarnate, and brings redemption.
That is a lot of ugly and sad history to read through, though admittedly with many miraculous highlights of God’s redemptive work inserted throughout the tale. Is it really worth reading all of it? Couldn’t we just skim through and read the fun stuff? – No. I encourage you to read it all. Because even in the low points and the slow times, if you keep the end in mind, you will begin to see all the ways in which God worked to set up His ultimate victory. It is amazing and beautiful, and it is worth it. And what is even more amazing is that He does the same thing in our lives, day by day, year by year. I hope that you will join me this year, as we read through the greatest story ever told. And when you go through trials and tests this year, I pray you will have the strength and endurance to keep the end in mind and keep going.  

by Ben Urban, Student Ministries Pastor

1 Comment

Dixie Hunter - January 2nd, 2024 at 9:41pm

Amen. The longer I live, the more I have seen God's hand in my life. He is always in control but sometimes we don't see it at the time.






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