Happy New Year!
As we enter into 2018, we let go of the past and look to the future. Our prayer is like the prayer for 2018 is the prayer of Moses from Psalm 90:12:
Teach us to number our days so we can have a wise heart.
2018 is a big year for First Fire. We will have our own budget, bank account and will have more local leadership responsibility for what we do and who we become. The direction that we take must be God-led.
To be God-led I believe we have to experience the great and bountiful treasure of the written and recorded Word of God — a.k.a. The Bible — It is right under our noses and we don’t realize that it is a treasure. It is in our homes and we simply do not open it up and experience the life it offers. We need to do something this year to dive deeper into the Word of God.
I want to invite us to open up the Word of God in a very intentional and shared way as a church family so that the direction that we take will be God-led.
Here is the plan:
We will all read the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. It was all written by Luke who was a physician. Both books together have 52 chapters, which means one chapter per week for the next year.
I am asking that everyone read the assigned chapter at least once a week, that’s only a suggestion — you can re-read it as many times as you want to during the week.
A simple way to read and get more out of the Word of God is the SOAP method. SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
Here is the break down:
Scripture • Read the Scripture out loud – might seem strange, but it helps you the hear the Word in a deeper way.
Observation • What stuck out to you? Write it down – it sticks in your brain and heart in a deeper way when you do. There are no wrong observations. Also, write down any questions you may have.
Application • What do you need to do with this passage? What is your next step? How do you apply this to your life? Take time to write down how you apply this Scripture to your life – how do you need to live differently because of this passage.
Prayer• Take time to pray. This does not need to be long – but make the time to offer your heart, your thoughts, your application points, etc to God.
I am going to write once a week on my reflections about the chapter and make it available to you all in some form or fashion – a blog, facebook, twitter, etc. From time to time, I will preach a series out of the chapters we are reading together.
There are so many other things that I think we can do with this during the year to benefit us as church, but I will share that with you as the year goes along. So all you need to know now is start with Luke Chapter 1 during the week of January 1-7th – and then chapter 2 of Luke the next week.
If you have any questions or concerns you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859.771.6816.
Strength and courage,
Kevin A. Parido
First Fire Pastor