It’s like this every year isn’t it? Right after this blessed season of Christmas, the birth of a new year is upon us, Lord willing.

We’ll say things like, “Can you believe the new year is upon us?”, and “What happened to last year?”

As the years click by on me, I have an increasing desire to see the redeemed of God grow in grace. It is my hope that the many children God has blessed your homes with these past years would all taste this great salvation of Christ. Like the apostle Paul, “With God as my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” This increases on me every year.

I don’t know what the year 2018 holds for us. It is likely, as we do every year, we will experience many things of this temporal world: birth, death, sorrow, joy, sickness, health, pain, tragedy and comfort. We will be allowed many times to display who our Lord is in how we respond to good and difficult times.

We will likely fail because of lack of discipline; and we will yet again bless the Lord for His mercy and grace as we grow and overcome the simple sins that once owned us as a slave master.

May we learn sooner that we stand strongest in Christ when we depend upon Him and not upon ourselves or others. To do so, we must be driven more to our Bibles. If we are to stand at all in the many things that are before us, if the Lord delays His coming, we will best face those things with a path illuminated by the lamp of Scripture.

There are many Bible reading plans to help us persist in this beneficial task. It is my desire that you receive my invitation to read the Bible with me in 2018 with an understanding of the benefit it will be to our souls together. It will bless the aged and it will help our children.

I have selected the reading plan originally developed by Robert Murray M’Cheyne in 1842 for his congregation in Scotland. As you consider this, know that this must not be viewed as a work of Salvation. You are not selected for God’s grace of salvation to rest upon you because you keep this reading schedule. You do not lose favor of His mercy throughout the year if you fail and stumble your way through the reading plan.

If you would like to read the Bible with the same reading plan I am using this year you can download it here:

May the Lord be pleased to bless the reading and hearing of His word in our lives. The Holy Bible is unlike all books in the hands of humanity. In it, the Holy Bible, contains all that is required for man to know about the nature of God, the nature of man, and God’s plan to redeem sinful humanity from her fallen estate unto righteousness.

Join me in reading the Holy Bible in 2018.

Paul Thompson is the pastor at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls.