We are a church joyfully leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus, which is why we so desperately want our people to know, trust, understand, and love God’s word. The Bible reveals the great wonders of God, the mysteries of salvation, and the hope of heaven. It shows us who God is, who we are, and how to have life to the full in God’s universe. The Bible is, without a doubt, the greatest document ever compiled by the greatest Author of all time. I believe that your relationship with God will either flourish—or flounder—based on your heartfelt engagement with God’s word.
Which is why we want you to commit to engage with Scripture this year! I want to let you know of a few ways in which you can go deeper into the Bible in 2023.
1. Get a Bible
We give out Bibles for free at Richview. It’s not an inconvenience for us, we love to do it! We generally use the New International Version of the Bible, which is a reliable, readable translation of the original Greek and Hebrew texts of Scripture. If you don’t have one, we are pleased to give you one!
But I hope you know that everyone with a cellphone has free and unlimited access to various translations of Scripture, audiobooks of Scripture, reading plans, and devotions from the YouVersion Bible App. Go to the app store on your smartphone and search “YouVersion Bible App.” Now you have Scripture wherever you go!
2. Bring the Bible
When you come to church on Sunday, bring a copy of the Scriptures with you. You may have noticed that when I preach, I don’t usually have the Scriptures up on the screen. Why is that? It’s to encourage you to open up the Bible for yourself! I want you to know that there’s nothing that I preach that has any spiritual force or authority unless it proves true according to Scripture. I want you to be able to navigate the Bible yourself, read it through, and understand the connection between what is being preached and the Scripture passage.
I have a picture in my mind that, sometime in the near future, when I ask everyone to open up to a passage of Scripture, I hear the whisper of pages turning and I see people opening their Bible apps to read along. You know what else? I want visitors who are joining us to see how much we value the Scripture. I want them to look around and think “wow, these people really want to understand the Bible.” Perhaps that will pique their interest in Scripture more than the preaching itself!
Bringing your Bible is going to become even more important in the New Year. Starting January 8, we will be doing a sermon series exploring the book of Ephesians. We will be going through the entire book, verse by verse, seeing what God has to show us in His word. When you have your Bibles open and follow along, my hope is that you’ll eventually start to think “yes! I see where he got that!”
3. Read the Bible
Each year, the church has been doing a Bible Reading plan together. We use the YouVersion Bible App, which allows us to read through a Bible plan as a group and make comments or ask questions at the end of each reading. It’s been a great way for us to stay in the word and stay encouraged in community.
Last year we went through the New Testament along with the Psalms and Proverbs. This year, we’ll be going through the entire Old Testament! I’m excited to dive into the journey of God’s people as the unfolding plan of God leads us to Jesus. Each reading will have a short video that helps to explain the context and purpose for each book of the Old Testament. These guides will help us get the most out of each reading.
If you wish to join us on our journey, download the YouVersion Bible app, and tap here on your smartphone. Just follow the prompts to join us.
4. Discuss the Bible
Though our reading plan is over the internet, nothing replaces real-time, face-to-face biblical meditation discussion. The place to do this is in Community Groups. Bob Fukumoto, our Discipleship Pastor, has been working on creating a community group structure that allows people to grow in greater intimacy with God and with each other. If you are not in a biblical small-group community, why not join one this year? Just click here to get started.
May 2023 open up new wonders for you in God’s Word!