The Bible is a collection of stories of very different people who have found God.  But one of the common refrains imbedded in these stories is that the people who find God are also the people who seek Him.  God actually invites His people, “Seek the LORD your God and you will find him”.  Jesus echoes this same refrain in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find
In 2017, we would like to encourage each of you to “seek the Lord” devotionally through Scripture reading and prayer.  Listed below are a few resources which we believe are worthy of your consideration.  Each of these are basic “Bible-Reading Plans” that give you the opportunity to walk through the Scriptures directly.  Feel free to choose a plan that may be better suited for your learning style.
But here is the twist.  We don’t want you to do this alone!  The people who seek the Lord with the greatest amount of fruitfulness are the ones who do so in community with others.  Hebrew 10:24 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing to near.”  With that in mind, consider 2-3 other people at Midtown Church whom you could invite to join you.  A great place to start is with the existing relationships promoted by the church, such as your own family, community group, or discipleship group.  Or perhaps it is someone you have met at church for which this could be a great opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level.  The idea would be that you commit to connecting with these individuals with some measure of regularity (at least once/month) to share what you are learning and to encourage one another in seeking the Lord.  If you need assistance in connecting with other individuals who might join you in this endeavor, you can reach out to our Women’s Director Paige Capes (paige@midtown-church.org) or Pastor Lindsey Williams (lindsey@midtown-church.org).
Bible-Reading Plans:
Community Bible Reading Journal: A few of the leaders of Midtown Church are planning to go through this in 2017.  On January 17th at 7pm we will actually join Christ the King Church for a joint seminar led by Rev. Ted Sinn, who is the executive director of the CBR Journal.  He will talk through the premise of reading the bible in community and how to use the CBR Journal towards that end.  We have already purchased 30 of these journals for those who might be interested in the CBR Journal.  They cost $10/piece.  Email Lindsey if you want to purchase one of these 30 journals we have on hand, and if you want to participate in this seminar on 1/17.
“Reading Plan” App: This allows you to make use of your smartphone.  It is available for free through the iTunes app store and published by “James H. Price”.  The program keeps track of your progress, can send reminders, and you can have it on multiple devices.  Anna Milner (annakmilner@gmail.com) has used this app as well as other bible-reading plans, so she would be a good resource if you have any questions about this.
Daily Bible Reading Plan (PDF): You can print out this pdf which allows you to read a chapter/day with the goal being to read the entire Bible in a 3 year period.  The plan also alternates between the Old Testament and New Testament.
**Note: There are bible plans that allow you to read the Bible in 1 year, however the purpose of reading the Scripture is not to accomplish an academic goal or to declare “I did it”.  The desire is to actually seek the Lord through the Scriptures.  Therefore, we do encourage folks to slow down, give yourself grace, and seek the Lord earnestly.  As you read through a chapter, consider the following 3 questions each time: 1)What does this passage say about me/humanity?; 2)What does this passage say about God?; 3)How does God want me to respond to what I’ve just read?