- Do you live like you're loved?
- Do you live like you're forgiven?
- Do you live like you're free?
- Do you live like a son or daughter of God?
- Do you see you the way God sees you?
- Are you burdened? Are you wearied?
- Do you wish that you could escape you? that you could stop fighting you?
- Are you your own worst enemy?
What can you do to get ready? Some of the first activities will be to….
I. Create at least one playlist. Here's a link to my playlist if you want ideas. I'd recommend songs that either a) reaffirm who you are in Christ, b) focus on the gospel itself, c) praise and glorify GOD. The focus of the challenge is not exactly to build self-esteem, but, to turn your eyes off your flaws and failings and TO the Savior who LOVES you and ACCEPTS you.
Examples of "A"
Steven Curtis Chapman's Who You Say We Are
Hawk Nelson's Live Like You're Loved
Examples of "B"
Casting Crowns' Glorious Day
Newsboys' Hallelujah for the Cross
Big Daddy Weave's The Only Name
Examples of "C"
Chris Tomlin's How Can I Keep From Singing
Matt Redman's 10,000 Reasons
Steven Curtis Chapman's One True God
The mix can be fast, energizing, uplifting. The mix can be slow(er) and more reflective. It is completely up to you. Though my examples are all modern praise songs (mostly), you can use hymns or whatever songs you want. It is however crucial that the lyrics of the song be GOOD. You also want the songs to be so good they are CONTAGIOUS and get stuck in your head.
Listen to the playlist often. I'd recommend at least once a day! You cannot listen to it too much as far as I'm concerned.
If you do get a bit tired of your playlist before the month is out, feel free to create more playlists along the same lines but with different songs and artists.
II. Create a Scripture journal. The journal is for writing verses to "preach to yourself" daily. I've divided a small journal into sections (with post-it-note tags). I have an "every day" section, and, then a section for each day of the week. (So 8 sections in all.) There is something about writing out verses by hand that I've found beneficial. The journal doesn't have to be expensive or beautiful. Just have blank paper! Butt if you want to create a document instead, that would work too.
Everyday verses: Psalm 138:8, Romans 8:26-30, Romans 8:31-39, Psalm 103:1-5, etc.
Sunday verses: Psalm 145:4, Psalm 145:13, Psalm 130:5-6, etc.
Monday verses: James 1:2-5, Titus 3:4-8, etc.
Every journal will be unique, I think! This will be a work-in-progress. Even at the end of the month, there will still be plenty left to do! Try to find time to journal at least several times a week!
Why preach to yourself daily?
III. Prepare your heart to study the Word of God. (Ezra 7:10) You might select which Bible or Bible translation you want to read. You might start thinking where you want to read. Romans. John. Psalms. Colossians. Ephesians. To name a few! And it shouldn't go without saying--prayer is foundational. Prayers don't have to be fancy or wordy. Just seek God, and seek His instruction. He has written,
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8.IV. There may be weekly activities, or at least weekly posts on this blog.
I am contemplating hosting a read-along of a christian nonfiction book. I've got it narrowed down to two options: Note to Self by Joe Thorn or Gospel by J.D. Greear. But. I don't want to overwhelm anyone. And I don't want to overwhelm me either! The point of the challenge is not to do more, more, more. It is not to try harder, to work longer. It is not to put more burdens on you. Just the opposite is true. Jesus paid it all. Jesus is enough. His grace is sufficient. He is a good and faithful God who forgives sin. A great God who gives us His Holy Spirit and seals us as His forever!
So let me know if you'd be interested in a no-pressure read-along, and, it might happen. But if there's no interest, that's fine too. I may or may not reread those books this month anyway.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible