Dearest Hope Family,
Warm New Year’s Eve greetings to you all!
A music professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wanted to test his assumption that few of his students actually read the class syllabus. This fall he hid a $50 bill in a locker in the music building. He embedded the location of the prize and the combination to the lock on the door prominently within the paragraphs of his class packet. He stashed the $50 bill in the locker on top of a note that read, “Congrats! Please leave your name and date so that I know who found it.” Lastly, he set the combination lock on a certain number so that he could easily see if any attempts at opening the locker had been made. He then waited for the entire semester before checking. To his dismay, the combination lock hadn’t been touched. None of his 70 students had claimed the $50 prize!
One hundred and sixty-two verses into a one hundred and seventy-six verse psalm of praise for God’s word, the psalmist writes, “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great treasure (Psalm 119:162).”
In all candor, I struggle to read God’s word consistently and devotionally with an anticipation of treasures embedded within, waiting to be discovered. I am convicted by another of Psalm 119’s verses, “I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments (v. 131). Sadly, there are many other things I “pant” for besides picking up the Scriptures – probably because there’s something in me that views the Bible as God’s class packet, his wordy syllabus, that I can pass the class without giving much attention to.
My wife and a few friends are wrapping up a year-long journey through the Bible. They have followed a chronological reading plan that engages the story of Scripture as the events occurred. They have raved about this journey through the Bible; indeed, they have rejoiced as those who have found great treasure.
I am going to give it a shot this year. I’d love for you to join me. There are two reading plans attached to this message. One is the chronological plan for the entire Bible. The other is one for the New Testament. Both can be found online with a host of other resources to accompany and enhance the journey.
There is treasure awaiting us all. Let’s discover and enjoy it together.
Grace and peace,