One reason I wanted to read the Bible was that I found myself reading more books about the Bible than the actual Bible itself! That doesn't seem right. Now, more than ever, I read more books about the Bible, but I don't feel so bad about it. Commentators and theologians and people way more spiritually advanced than me really shed light on some things that I normally wouldn't pick up on at all. Take Beth Moore, for instance. She will take a verse I've read a thousand times and believe to have sucked dry of any additional possible meaning and BAM! She'll turn the verse on its head to give it a completely fresh new meaning for me.
Right now I'm reading Just Like Jesus by Max Lucado. He talks about the importance of getting to know Jesus so we can become more Christ-like. Not surprisingly, Lucado advocates reading the Bible every day. He advises: "Study the Bible a little at a time... He [God] provides 'a command here, a command there. A rule here, a rule there. A little lesson here a little lesson there' (Isa. 28:10). Choose depth over quantity. Read until a verse 'hits' you, then stop and meditate on it."
The verse that "hit" me in Amos was Chapter 4, verse 5: "'Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings- boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do,' declares the Lord."
Totally irrelevant for the new year, right? So let me leave you with Genesis 27:28 instead, "May God give you heaven's dew and earth's richness- an abundance of grain and new wine."
See you in 2014!