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Dear GFBC church family and friends,

We are excited to introduce to you our 2016 Bible Reading program along with daily insights from the elders and other leaders of GFBC. We are encouraging everyone at GFBC to join with us in this journey of reading through the New Testament and Psalms. Each day, one of our elders or leaders will supply a brief insight from God’s Word that we will share through an e-mail like this.
We recognize the absolute importance of regular contact with God’s Word for the growth and vitality of the follower of Jesus. God has designed His Word, implanted in our hearts (James 1:12), along with the Holy Spirit to be the means of transforming us into the image of Jesus (Romans 12:2). That is why we have made Colossians 3:16 to be our theme verse related to having our consciences “constantly  contacted” with the Bible. We want to make a conscious effort to do this:

“Let the Word of Christ dwell richly within you…”

What does it mean to let God’s Word “dwell within us?” Kenneth Wuest gives us this insight:
The word he uses means “to live in a home.” The exhortation is to the effect that the Christian is to so yield himself to the Word that there is a certain at-homeness of the Word in his being. The Word should be able to feel at home in his heart. The saint should give it unrestricted liberty in his life.

Then he uses this word “richly” to enhance the idea of God’s Word dwelling in us: Wuest states:

“Richly” [means] “abundantly.” Not only must the saint be yielded to the Word, but he must have a good knowledge of it. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God that we know as He talks to us and guides our lives. He can efficiently talk to us to the extent to which we know the Word. That is the language He uses.[1]

This idea of letting God’s Word dwell richly within us is something we consciously “do,” something we “grow into” in allowing God’s word a home in us that is a springboard for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. There is no shortcut or option, if we truly want to become mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28-29).

You may already have a reading program or some form of getting into God’s Word on a regular basis. We don’t want to take you away from that. But maybe adding a few minutes of the day to join with the rest of us in reading a chapter from the Bible and then gleaning from a short insight written about it would not only benefit you, but could also be common ground for conversations and further discussions. Sunday School Classes or Community Life Groups could use it for the basis of study as well. It could be a great tool for family devotions. And, if you don’t have a plan for letting God’s Word dwell within you, consider this for 2016.

We will start the reading in Matthew on January 2 and will work our way through the New Testament interspersed with selected Psalms along the way.

Let this be the year that your conscience is contacted “constantly” by God’s Word! You won’t be the same if you do!

Pastor Brian Early

[1] Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Col 3:16). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

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