Each year doesn’t have to be another year full of good intentions and broken commitments – another year where we say, “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…done it sooner!” 2017 can be different if we get ONE thing right! You can lose all the weight, save all the money, and climb the ladder but it will all come crumbling down if you don’t get this ONE thing right! What is it? It’s so simple it’s hard…SEEKING GOD! Consider these words from the Bible: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” How about, “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners…instead his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water…whatever he does prospers.” Or as we talked about this morning at Crossroads…King Uzziah, “as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”
The ONE thing that will make the difference this year…seek God! Don’t waste another year saying, “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…done it sooner!
Seek Him by reading the Bible! Remember, it’s not about knocking it out or checking it off the “to do list.” It’s not even about reading the whole Bible in a year. It’s about customizing a plan that works for who you are, your personality, how you are wired, your life situation, etc…THE POINT IS…SEEK HIM…SPEND TIME WITH HIM!
Here are a few reading plans that you could use:
1. “The Story Bible”: We are actually giving every person at Crossroads a copy of “The Story” Bible in January. It’s a really cool read the Bible because it reads like a book rather than a chapter and verse Bible. I started reading this a few weeks back and really have to say…it’s hard to put down. Love it!
2. ”Everyday with Jesus” Bible: I’ve used this one a couple times. It has a reading from different parts of the Bible everyday. It really helps me not to get bogged down in some of the tougher chapters or books because you move around so much. There are also great devotions to help you focus on what you are reading.
3. YouVersion App: This app is amazing! You can customize your plan, pick your favorite version (I use ESV and/or NIV), read a section every day or EVEN have it read to you. I do that a lot of times driving back and forth to Crossroads.
4. Bibleis App: I’ve used this app a whole lot last year. It has 846 languages available and it’s high quality, dramatized audio that makes you feel like you are right there! This app is definitely for the creative at heart who likes to put themselves in the story. One of my top favorite apps ever!
I’d also like to challenge you to read this year. Read books that push you to think about God and take practical steps to know Him more. I’m not really a reader. My wife is…she reads a book a day. That sickens me! But I force myself to read and I’ve sought God by immersing myself in books about God. Remember, I’m not trying to read a book a day or even a week. Some can and some can’t! I can’t! But I seek God by reading books that keep my mind sharp and my heart focused on Him.
Here are a list of my favorite books that you might like to read in 2017:
The Reason For God by Timothy Keller
The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask by Mark Mittleberg
Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller
The Grace of God by Andy Stanley
How Good is Good Enough by Andy Stanley
Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley
Forgotten God by Francis Chan
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem
Spiritual Disciplines of a Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll
A Great and Terrible Love by Mark Galli
And Then He Called My Name by Richard Exley
More Than A Carpenter by Josh McDowell
It’s Not About Me by Max Lucado
In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado
Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybles
Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning
Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper
Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar
What’s So Amazing About Grace by Phillip Yancey
Boundaries by Henry Cloud
Maybe I’ll hit on a few other ways to seek God later. This certainly isn’t exhaustive. I haven’t even touched on listening to music, worshiping, praying, writing and many others. But…I promised I’d post this during our weekend services. No more, “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda…done it sooner! Seek Him! Do the First Things First…