Today, Sister Talk begins a three year journey through the Bible. We hope you’ll join us.
We’ve added The Journey page to Sister Talk Faith. [To find our pages scroll to the bottom of this site.] On The Journey page you’ll find the weekly readings, a link to a PDF for the first year’s reading schedule, and from time to time we’ll talk about insights we’ve received along the way.
If you can’t meet with us, consider gathering some sisters to meet once a week to read along with you.
The Journey begins…
I’ve read through the Bible more than once now and each time I complete it I find myself with a desire for more and to share it with others.
Have you read through the Bible before?
Many times over the years others have asked, “Have you read the entire Bible?” My response was simple, “I’ve read a lot of the Bible, but I can’t say I’ve read every word.” Last year I set a goal to read the entire Bible… every single word. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set this goal and failed to reach it. I would get behind on my reading schedule and eventually give up all together.
Honestly, I began the year with no expectations… thinking it would be another year I would fail. I asked God to help me stay the course. I made a plan and just kept going. There were times I got behind… times I wanted to give up… times I wondered if it was really important. In December, as I read the last chapter I closed my Bible and realized for the first time I completed what I failed at so many times before.
In the completion I can say one thing for sure. It was God who completed this work in me. Not my own will or stamina, not my own determination or time management. When we begin a journey and take His hand, walk along side Him, take it step by step, He is faithful to complete it.
And when we arrive at our destination and we turn… look back at what it took to get there, we know without doubt. It. Was. Him!
What are you hoping to get out of this journey? how do you feel about it?
My inspiration for reading through the first time came from Jesus’s words:
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
I concluded I needed to read the entire Bible. I thought: How can He remind me of something I’ve never heard (or read)? So off I went. And then again, and again… following different reading plans and translations.
The goal of The Journey is to read the Bible in three years.
Readings are scheduled five days a week. One day to catch up or review or rest in what you’ve read/heard. One day to gather and encourage those journeying with you.
- The reading plan. [Click here.]
- A Bible. A translation of your choosing. The only one we wouldn’t recommend is a complete paraphrase, like The Message.
- A notebook or journal. A place to store your reading plan and a place to record your thoughts, revelations, questions, doubts, fears, etc…
What do you know about the Bible?
- Translations are needed because the original is written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
- The Bible is a historical document. Studied by Believers and unbelievers.
- The Bible is a collection of 66 books (39 OT books & 27 NT books) written over 1500 years (Hebrew OT written 1400-400 BC; Greek NT written 45-85 AD) by numerous authors — kings to fisherman, prophets to shepherds — telling the one story of Jesus (Romans 1:2).
- The Bible is not written chronologically. Nor are all the individual books.
- Testament the English word translated from Greek means covenant. Old Testament and New. Covenant. “The essence of covenant is to be found in a particular kind of relationship between two persons. Mutual obligations characterize that kind of relationship. Thus a covenant relationship is not merely a mutual acquaintance but a commitment to responsibility and action. A key word in Scripture to describe that commitment is ‘faithfulness,’ acted out in a context of abiding friendship.” (Tyndale Bible Dictionary)
- The Bible is God’s Word to His people. In order to get anything out of it we must first be surrendered to Him, and by faith believe/trust that it is His Word.
How to approach The Journey:
- Pray for those on The Journey with you. Pray for encouragement, perseverance, and revelation as they read.
- Pray before you read. Read prayerfully. Before you open your Bible, pray. Ask God to open your heart and mind to His Word. Ask the Spirit to teach you as you read.
Scriptures to consider using:
Wash me with water through Your Word. (Ephesians 5:25-26) Ask for cleansing/sanctification through His Word.
Open my eyes that I may see. (Psalm 119:18)
Open my mind that I might understand the Scripture. (Luke 24:45, see 44-47)
- Pray over what you’ve read. We’ll read large chunks of Scripture each week, which may seem overwhelming and feel like your time spent in the Bible is superficial. But with the Spirit involved, we believe God will have something to say to you each week.
Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading or sacred reading) is one way to meditate on Scripture to hear what God is saying to you. It’s a practice we hope you will learn and apply. It’s probably not something you’ll do every day, but perhaps weekly with one passage that speaks to your spirit.
Steps of lectio divina:
- Read the passage slowly, listening for a word or phrase.
- Re-read the passage. Re-read until your spirit is captured by a word or phrase.
- Take the word or phrase and ask God what He wants you to know.
- Study the word or phrase. Let the Spirit lead you in this process. Look up the definition of the word or words. Use a concordance to find other verses with the same word or phrase.
- Listen for what God has to say. He may not answer in that particular moment, but carry it with you in the back of your mind and continue to listen as you go about your day.
As a Community.
We will not be lecturing. During our times together, we’ll share what we’ve heard during the week, our experiences, our challenges.
At the beginning of each book we will share some background information. One of our goals is to orient you chronologically to the events and writings in the Bible, since it is not written in chronological order.
Our main goal is for us to share our experience with God through His Word and through our walk of faith.
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. Romans 1:12 NLT
There is a spiritual exercise based on Acts 22 that we would like you to follow to enhance our discussion times each week.
Read Acts 22:1-10
Do you hear the two questions that Paul asked?
Who are you, Lord? and What do you want me to do, Lord?
These are questions we would challenge you to ask as you approach each day’s reading.
- Ask God to reveal Himself to you; to show you something about His character.
- Ask God how He wants you to respond to His Word.
Insights/epiphanies/revelations from asking these questions will help spur discussion each week.
Look for Jesus. We are starting with the gospel of John to help us get a good picture of Jesus before we enter the Old Testament. Ultimately, the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is about Jesus. As we read through Scripture, particularly the OT, be on the look out for glimpses or foreshadowing of Jesus.
Keep the Destination in Mind.
Remember we are on a journey.
journey – an act or instance of traveling from one place to another: trip
Over the next three years we’ll travel through the Bible — one place to another — journeying from book to book.
Ultimately, we all need to remember we are on a journey — a pilgrimage — traveling through this wilderness world to the Promised Land.
We have a Guide to direct us through the Word and hopefully as we journey we’ll learn more about the One we are to follow.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5
Father God, we ask You to bless our journey. Bless us with perseverance for the journey and faith to hear You speak to us as we read.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out The Journey page each week.