His Spirit In Me

Basic ChristianityThumbing through my copy of John Stott’s classic book Basic Christianity after recommending it to someone today I found this passage I had highlighted when I last read it. I thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit in me.

It is by the Spirit of Christ that we can be transformed into the image of Christ, as we keep looking steadfastly towards him. We thus have our part to play, in repentance, faith and discipline, but essentially holiness is the work of the Holy Spirit.

William Temple used to illustrate the point in this way. It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear, and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it; I can’t. And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live a life like that. Jesus could do it; I can’t. But if the genius of Shakespeare could come and live in me, then I could write plays like that. And if the Spirit of Jesus could come and live in me, then I could live a life like that. This is the secret of Christian sanctity. It is not that we should strive to live like Jesus, but that he by his Spirit should come and live in us. To have him as our example is not enough; we need him as our Saviour.

This is one of a couple of books I’d put on my list of must reads about once a year.

Grab the book in one of these formats:
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YOUR WORD Is a Lamp To My Feet

Your word is a lamp to my feet

With a new year fast approaching it’s a good time to make a plan for reading through God’s Word. Here are a few of my favorite resources to help you choose a Bible reading plan that fits you.

  • Get the ReadingPlan app. If you have an iOS device start here. There are several of the plans listed below and many more that come with this app. I’ve been using this app every day for a couple of years and love it.
  • My next stop would be the ESV.org website which has quite a few Bible reading plans to choose from. And there are mobile, print, email, rss and ical formats of each.
  • The Discipleship Journal website has several helpful Bible reading plans available. My favorite there is the Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan.
  • There are a few shorter Bible reading plans at BibleGateway.com including some that are 61 days and 121 days as well as a one year plan.
  • I really like the M’Cheyne daily Bible reading plan which will guide you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in one year. There are various formats of this plan available to download and print.
  • Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading Plan (PDF) will take you through the Bible at pace of 10 chapters a day. This is an aggressive Bible reading plan but will really immerse you in God’s Word. I highly recommend it.
  • David Murray is publishing a weekly Children’s Bible reading plan. There’s a morning and evening reading each day and a question to answer or a verse to write with each. This is a great way to teach your children to read the Bible daily. We’ve used this with our children before and have enjoyed it as a guide for fruitful discussions about God’s Word.
  • If you prefer a two year plan here’s a plan provided by The Gospel Coalition (PDF). This will guide you through the Old and New Testaments in two years and the Psalms and Proverbs four times.
  • Finally, if you don’t want to follow a specific plan but simply want to chart your progress, this Bible reading chart from Mark Barry is a colorful, visual way to do just that.

I hope you’ll take up the privilege of reading God’s Word in the year ahead. Just a little reading each day will go a long way to shaping your heart and life with Godly wisdom.

Upon A Life I Have Not Lived

Upon A Life I Have Not Lived

Upon a life I have not lived
upon a death I did not die
another’s life, another’s death
I stake my whole eternity
-Horatius Bonar