Milton called it Paradise Lost and then Paradise Found. I started The One Year Bible reading plan once again this year. Through the years I’ve used many Bible Reading Plans. Years ago I used The One Year Bible and found it an easy way to at least get into the habit of daily Bible reading.
I’ve gone back to it this year with my new One Year Bible: New Living Translation. Of course I do chuckle at the subtitle – Premium Slimline Large Print. Okay, so through the years my eyes have obviously changed as well.
Genesis 1:1-2:25; Matthew 1:1-2:12; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 1:1-6
What struck me today is how the Old and New Testament both start with life. Genesis 1-2 describe the beginning of life as planned by God in the Garden. God says, “Let us create human beings in our image, to be like Us.” Matthew begins with the redemption plan of God as He creates His Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be like Him, so we will in turn have a path back to God through the redemption of His Son.
But how do we live life, with access to a Holy God. Psalm 1 tells us to “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night and plant ourselves near the riverbank” of the Lord. When we do this, we will “bear fruit in every season, our leaves will never wither and we will prosper.”
But there’s too much to study, some say. How can we meditate on the Law of the Lord when the Bible is so big?! The answer I believe is found in the opening words of Proverbs which are part of the reading for today.
“The proverbs of Solomon… Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just and fair.”
Paradise Lost… Paradise Found
We see paradise lost in Genesis. We discover paradise found in Matthew. In between the Psalms help us discover the ups and downs of life, even when we are planted by the riverbank. Proverbs helps us live disciplined and successful lives.
The joy of the journey revolves around the fact that we do not journey alone. 2020 was a year of stripping away the excess, and getting alone with God to discover He is always faithful. He has promised to “never leave us nor forsake us.”
As we Advance Into the Year 2021, I believe this is also a Year of Building and Rebuilding. It’s always best to do that with other like-minded people, encouraging one another along the way on this journey as Fellow Sojourners in life.
Let’s advance and build together in 2021.
A Fellow Sojourner,