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Yearly Devotional

Our yearly devotional is now available to download in book format. Click here to download the devotions in digital formats (mobi and epub) that are compatible with a variety of devices (Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc).

Yearly Bible Reading Plans

The most important thing for a Christian to do is to keep his or her relationship with God fervent. The best way to do that is with a consistent devotional life, a life of prayer and Bible study. We suggest that a Christian pray everyday, read the Bible and study it. Here we have listed for you several different programs to help you read through the entire Bible in a year. You can read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, read it through in order of events (chronologically), or a few other ways, but whatever way you choose - READ THE BIBLE! Click on the title to download that program in PDF Format. Most "Through the Bible" methods were taken from backtothebible.org

Chronological

Read the events of the Bible as they occured chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis since Job lived around the same time as Abraham.

Historical

Read the books of the Bible as they occured in the Hebrew and Greek traditions (the order in which they were written). For example, the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible do not occur in the same order as they do in our English Bible. The New Testament books are arranged according to their date of writing as well.

Old and New Testament Together

Read the Old Testament and New Testament together. Your knowledge of the Old Testament will be enhanced by what you read simultaneously in the New Testament.

Beginning to End

With this guide there are no surprises. You simply read through the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.

Robert Murray McCheyne

This Through The Bible Plan was written by the Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne for his congregation. The readings in the left hand column are to be read by the entire family as a family. The readings on the left are individual (or "secret" as McCheyne called them) readings. They are meant to be read during personal devotion time.


Devotion For August 19, 2017

Purpose In Pain

INTERESTING FACTS : "Real pain can alone cure us of imaginary ills." - Jonathan Edwards

DAILY READING : Jeremiah 26-29,30-31

TEXT : Jeremiah 29:11-14 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive."

TRUTH FOR TODAY : Purpose In Pain

Jeremiah 29:11 is probably one of the popular and often-quoted verses of the Bible, and with good reason. It's speaks to God's desire to give us good things, and not bad. Not only that, it tell us what God thinks about us, and when we sometimes feel far from God, it's good to know He really is thinking about us.

Isaiah had warned Israel that they needed to repent or else they would become captives of the Babylonians as God's judgment on them. Unlike Nineveh who repented of their sin and averted the judgment of God, Israel refused to turn from their ways and in turn the prophecy of Isaiah came to pass. Israel was now in captivity to Babylon, as we have been reading in the book of Jeremiah.

But God's judgment wasn't just for the sake of punishment, but it was for correction - for correcting Israel's sinful behavior and turning Israel's heart back to God. In chapter 29 of Jeremiah, the prophet is in the city of Jerusalem, writing the words of God to the exiles in Babylon. God tells them, in essence, to get comfortable because they were going to be there for a while. He tells them to marry and build houses, plant gardens and pray for the peace of the city they're living in. God then reminds them again not to listen to the false prophets, and then tells them that after 70 years He will perform His Word to return them to Jerusalem.

Then God says "For"...or..."in light of"...

In light of all the things that have just been said - in light of the fact that Israel was in exile because of their rebellion, and that they were put there by God, and in light of the fact the God had promised to bring them back and would do so after 70 years - in light of all these things God says "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end".

There was a purpose in what Israel was going through in exile. There was an expected end. A planned end. An end that God had in mind and planned out before Israel was even in exile. That planned end was for Israel's good and for their benefit. Even though what Israel was going though was evil, it was uncomfortable and painful, there was a divine purpose in it to bring good and peace to Israel. What was that ultimate good? That they would have their hearts turned back to God. That they would be inclined to seek after God, and in seeking Him, would find Him.

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive."

There was pain in the life of the people of Israel, pain that was put there by God, but that pain had a purpose for the good of Israel.

It's funny how many times we quote these verses and never really consider their full implications when taken in context. Another similar one is 2 Chronicles 7:14.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

But many people don't consider the previous verse when quoting verse 14. Verse 13 reads -

"If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;"

The healing of their land spoken of in verse 14 is needed because of the destruction sent by God in verse 13. But God's destruction and judgment spoken of in verse 13 has a purpose - and that purpose is to humble the people and to turn them back to God in prayer to seek His face.

It's also funny that even though we may not consider the context of these verses when we quote them, more often than not we are quoting them in the midst of hard times. Let's allow the context of these verses to remind us that God has a design in our hard time. That our pain has a purpose that may not be immediately known to us, but God knows the thoughts He has for us, and they are for good, and for peace.
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