A few years ago, it became popular for people to choose a word to be their theme for the year. A twist that I take on this concept is to choose a chapter in the Bible that I want to gain a good understanding of. This has been helpful to me, and by considering the chapter over the course of an entire year, it has given me ample time to really consider what it means.
The first year, I did Galatians 5 which focuses on the Fruits of the Spirit. The first time I really read the various fruits, a wave of peace passed over me – these Fruits are what I want for my life and for all those around me!
The second year, I focused on Philippians 4. There are several verses in Philippians 4 that bring me great comfort and peace. I even created a canvas which has Philippians 4:6-7 on it.
Next, I focused on Romans 8. Some say it’s the greatest chapter of the Bible. Lots of valuable pieces in this chapter.
Last year, I was going to focus on the book of Revelations. When I told my Pastor, he said, “Good luck”! He was right. I suppose there are lots of reasons why, but mainly a lack of focus could sum up why I wasn’t very successful this past year.
For 2017, I’m going to focus on 1 Corinthians 13. This chapter focuses on how we should love. Without love, not much else matters.
I’ve changed my views of this chapter over the years.
When I was a young adult, many of my friends’ weddings had this as the scripture passage in their wedding ceremony. Several years ago, I thought of Paul writing these words in a lecturing tone – Love is patient! Love is kind! Yikes! There are many times when what I’ve shown others has been on the ‘don’t do’ list.
Now, I think of Paul more as an empathetic elder saying, ‘you know – love should be kind and patient. Love doesn’t envy or boast, and it isn’t proud. Do you understand how this impacts you and others around you?’ I like this thought process of how Paul wrote these words, and I think that’s how God intended them.
So, how do you “focus” on a chapter of the Bible of the course of the next year? I’m so glad you asked, but I don’t do anything very rigid. I print out two copies – one from the New International Version and one from The Message. I like to read and compare the translations to gain a better understanding. These are then placed in the cover of a 3-ring binder that stays in my kitchen. My binder has lots of tidbits of information that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else – some might call it a Control Journal. Sometimes I’ll read through the entire chapter daily. Other days, I might just focus on one verse. Over the course of the year, I’ll memorize the chapter.
It’s been very interesting to me to see how, throughout the year, I will “find” many opportunities that this passage is presented to me. For example, just last night, one of the weekly devotions that I receive in my email was written about 1 Corinthians 13:8. How strange and interesting and wonderful is that?
If you chose one chapter of the Bible to focus on for a year, what would it be?