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The Word [Free Resource for Your Church]

As a pastor, one of my greatest desires is to see our people grow in their knowledge of the Word.  If believers can make scriptural study a habit, every other good work will come out from it (2 Tim. 3:17).  That’s why it is so important to get them into the Word.

I want to provide some resources to you for free if they could benefit your church.

We went through a sermon series entitled, “The Word,” which was a 100-day focus on walking through the Scriptures together in daily Bible reading and sermon content.  Take the material below, change it, edit it, and make it better.

Series Overview

Here’s the simple basics of the series:

  1. Get your people to commit to be in the Word for 100 days – off the shelves and into our lives!
  2. Use daily reading plan of 50 days in the Old Testament and 50 days in the New Testament (you might think some passages need to be included or excluded, then make your personal adjustments).
  3. The reading is chronological so that it jumps around in books but progresses through the narrative.  You will hear the prophet’s sermon right after the event to which he was speaking.
  4. Preach from one of the assigned passages each Sunday and keep connecting the dots for the church.
  5. It allows the entire church to see the big picture narrative of the Bible rather than as mere isolated stories.

Links

  1. Here is the list of the 100-Day Bible reading plan – make any tweaks to it that you see fit.
  2. Here is the sermon series – as someone who has taught Bible in university classrooms, I do wish I would have started the series less academic and more pastoral.  It is an easy trap to fall into.  I also borrowed some texts from the week’s reading, and if I did it again, I would have preached strictly from each Sunday’s readings.

Sermon Overview

It was amazing to me seeing how the reading plan had so many of the Sunday readings on a topic that related to the importance of the Word.  I wish I could say I was that smart to figure out how to do it, but that is all God.  The first week was the reason for the series.  The second week was a summary of the Bible.  The third week served as the first day in the reading plan.

  • 8/6 – The Word: For the Bible Tells Me So (Ezra 7:1-10) – Similar to our context, Ezra the scribe lived in a time when the Word of God had been neglected.  How are we to reorient our lives to what the Bible teaches?
  • 8/13 – The Word: The Story of the Bible (Rom. 1:1-6) – The Bible is not a collection of disconnected, moralistic stories. It is the one overarching story of how the cross of Christ will rescue a fallen people.
  • 8/20 – The Word: Two Trees in the Garden (Gen. 1-3) – It didn’t take long before sin corrupted God’s good creation. While disobedience brought about brokenness, God revealed a plan to redeem what had fallen.
  • 8/27 – The Word: There’s a Ram in the Thicket (Gen. 22) – God miraculously gave Abraham a son but later commanded to sacrifice him. Instead of Abraham having to go through with Issac’s death, a ram in the thicket became a substitute.
  • 9/3 – The Word: God Meant It for Good (Gen. 50) – Once Israel died, his sons feared Joseph’s retaliation. While Joseph had been hurt by their evil, he viewed his suffering role as critical in the good God was doing.
  • 9/10 – The Word: Impatient Idolatry (Ex. 32) – Even though the people had gotten out of Egypt, Egypt hadn’t gotten out of the people. Growing impatient with God’s timing, the people used a gift from God as a replacement for God.
  • 9/17 – The Word: The Word of the LORD Was Rare (1 Sam. 3) – Samuel was called to be a prophet during a time when the word of the LORD was rare.  His ministry was established by God’s presence and determined by God’s Word.
  • 9/24 – The Word: Walk in His Ways (1 Kings 2) – As David neared his death, he gave final instructions to his son, Solomon.  Out of all the wisdom he could have given, he urged his son to walk in the ways of the LORD.
  • 10/1 – The Word: I Have Found the Book (2 Kings 22) – King Josiah stumbled upon the neglected Word of God and it changed the nation. We must blow the dust of the Bible and encounter God’s claims upon our lives.
  • 10/8 – The Word: The Great and Awesome Day of the LORD (Malachi 4) – As God’s people wavered in their devotion, Malachi promised that the promised Messiah was drawing near. This great and awesome day of the LORD would change everything.
  • 10/15 – The Word: Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16) – As Jesus began his public ministry, he gathered disciples in order to teach them how to live for the Kingdom. As he once encouraged them to be salt and light, we are called to the same lifestyles as his followers.
  • 10/22 – The Word: The God Who Washes Feet (John 13) – Before the cross, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in an act of humble servitude.  Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
  • 10/29 – The Word: Day by Day (Acts 2:42-47) – As the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples, the early church was born.  This body of believers met together day by day and saw God do amazing acts in their midst.
  • 11/5 – The Word: Doers of the Word (James 1) – Learning biblical information does not guarantee biblical transformation.  We must learn how to apply the Word of God into our lives.
  • 11/12 – The Word: Red and Yellow, Black and White (Eph 2:11-22) – In Paul’s description of the Church, he explained that Jesus’ cross broke down sinful, ethnic boundaries we established.  How are we to combat racism within the Body of Christ?
  • 11/19 – The Word: When Jesus Sat Down (Heb 10) – Priests could never sit down in worship because sacrifices would always need to be offered. Once Jesus offered himself, he sat down at the right hand of God for the task was finished once and for all.
  • 11/26 – The Word: All Things New (Rev 21-22) – What once was broken will be made right again. Jesus is making all things new

Graphics

Slides for Presentation

Pray that this can be a resource for your church or a catalyst for an idea to get your church into the Word!

The Word 100-Day Reading Plan

The Word Bible reading plan is a chronological 100-day guide that focuses on 50 pivotal Old Testament readings and 50 pivotal New Testament readings. 

As we go through “The Word” series, our Sunday sermons will focus on the passage for that day.  During the week, our church will be reading through the rest of the passages to gain a fuller understanding of the grand narrative of Scripture. In addition, we have a Bible study for adults and students on Wednesdays to go along with the study.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

As you go through this reading plan, here are some things to consider:

  1. Pray.  Pray that God will speak to you through his Word before you begin.
  2. Plan.  Your schedule can get hectic.  Plan when you will read and set yourself up for success.
  3. Partner.  Find someone who can keep you accountable.  Partner together with a friend or your family to keep each other on track.
  4. Persist.  Don’t quit if you miss a day or a week.  If you missed yesterday, don’t let that hinder you from today. Persist in reading!
  5. Present.  Don’t keep all you are learning to yourself.  Present a truth you learned through a conversation, letter, text, social media post, etc. Learn to present what you are learning to others!
  6. Prepare.  As you learn, begin preparing yourself regarding what you will read after this plan ends.  If you stay consistent, you are developing a habit that you don’t want to lose.

We will make weekly posts for reminders of the Bible reading on our site and app, you can download a printed booklet of The Word Bible Reading Plan Handout, or you can see the entire plan below.

100-Day Bible Reading Plan

  1. Aug. 20: Creation – Gen. 1:1-31; Gen. 2:1-25
  2. Aug. 21: Fall – Gen. 3:1-24
  3. Aug: 22: Cain & Abel – Gen. 4:1-16
  4. Aug. 23: Flood – Gen. 6:5-22; Gen. 7:1-24
  5. Aug. 24: Outward & Upward – Gen. 9:1-17; Gen. 11:1-9
  6. Aug. 25: The Call of Abram – Gen. 12:1-20
  7. Aug. 26: The Covenant with Abram – Gen. 15:1-21; Gen. 18:1-21
  8. Aug. 27: Issac – Gen. 21:1-7; Gen. 22:1-19
  9. Aug. 28: Jacob & Esau – Gen. 25:19-34; Gen. 27:1-46
  10. Aug. 29: Jacob to Israel – Gen. 28:10-22; Gen 32:22-32; Gen. 33:1-11
  11. Aug. 30: Joseph’s Dreams – Gen. 37:1-36
  12. Aug. 31: Joseph’s Perseverance – Gen. 39:1-23; Gen. 40:1-23
  13. Sept. 1: Joseph’s Position – Gen. 41:1-57; Gen. 42:1-38
  14. Sept. 2: Joseph’s Provision – Gen. 43:1-34; Gen. 44:1-34
  15. Sept. 3: Joseph’s Forgiveness – Gen. 45:1-28; Gen. 46:1-7; Gen. 50:15-26
  16. Sept. 4: The Early Years of Moses – Ex. 1:1-22; Ex. 2:1-25
  17. Sept. 5: The Burning Bush – Ex. 3:1-22; Ex. 4:1-17
  18. Sept. 6: God Promises Deliverance – Ex. 6:1-13; Ex. 7:1-13
  19. Sept. 7: The Passover – Ex. 11:1-10; Ex. 12:1-32
  20. Sept. 8: The Exodus – Ex. 12:33-42; Ex. 13:17-22; Ex. 14:1-31
  21. Sept. 9: The Ten Commandments – Ex. 19:1-25; Ex. 20:1-17
  22. Sept. 10: The Golden Calf – Ex. 32:1-35; Ex. 33:12-23; Ex. 34:1-10
  23. Sept. 11: Substitutes in the Desert – Num. 20:1-13; Num. 21:4-9
  24. Sept. 12: The Wanderings – Deut. 1:19-46; Deut. 2:1-25; Deut. 6:1-15
  25. Sept. 13: The Death of Moses – Deut. 32:44-52; Deut. 34:1-12
  26. Sept. 14: Be Strong & Courageous – Josh. 1:1-18
  27. Sept. 15: The Battle of Jericho – Josh. 5:13-15; Josh. 6:1-27
  28. Sept. 16: Choose This Day – Josh. 24:14-31; Judg. 2:6-23
  29. Sept. 17: The Priest Samuel – 1 Sam. 1:1-28; 1 Sam. 3:1-21
  30. Sept. 18: Request for a King – 1 Sam. 8:1-22
  31. Sept. 19: King Saul – 1 Sam. 9:1-27; 1 Sam. 10:1-27
  32. Sept. 20: David & Goliath – 1 Sam. 16:1-23; 1 Sam. 17:1-58
  33. Sept. 21: King David – 2 Sam. 5:1-12; 2 Sam. 6:1-15; 2 Sam. 7:1-29
  34. Sept. 22: Songs of David – Ps. 23:1-6; Ps. 103:1-22
  35. Sept. 23: David & Bathsheba – 2 Sam. 11:1-27; 2 Sam. 12:1-15; Ps. 51:1-19
  36. Sept. 24: King Solomon – 1 Kings 1:28-53; 1 Kings 2:1-12; 1 Kings 3:1-15
  37. Sept. 25: The Wisdom of Solomon – Prov. 3:1-35; Ecc. 2:1-11
  38. Sept. 26: The Temple – 1 Kings 8:1-61; 1 Kings 9:1-9
  39. Sept. 27: The Division – 1 Kings 11:1-13; 1 Kings 12:1-24
  40. Sept. 28: The Prophet Elijah – 1 Kings 18:1-40; 1 Kings 19:1-18
  41. Sept. 29: Warnings of Judgment – Jer. 1:1-19; Jer. 2:1-13
  42. Sept. 30: The Fall of Israel – Amos 5:14-27; 2 Kings 17:1-23; Hosea 6:1-6
  43. Oct. 1: King Josiah – 2 Kings 22:1-20; 2 Kings 23:1-3
  44. Oct. 2: The Fall of Judah – Jer. 29:1-14; 2 Chron. 36:11-23
  45. Oct. 3: Sent to Exile – Lam. 3:1-45; Ps. 137:1-6
  46. Oct. 4: God’s Faithfulness – Is. 40:1-31; Ezek. 36:22-32; Ezek. 37:1-28
  47. Oct. 5: Life in Exile – Dan. 1:1-21; Dan. 6:1-28
  48. Oct. 6: Rebuilding the Temple – Ezra 1:1-5; Haggai 1:1-15; Ezra 3:8-13
  49. Oct. 7: Rebuilding the Wall – Neh. 1:1-11; Neh. 2:1-20; Neh. 8:1-12
  50. Oct. 8: The Great Day of the LORD – Mal. 1:1-14; Mal. 4:1-6
  51. Oct. 9: The Word – John 1:1-18
  52. Oct. 10: The Coming Messiah – Luke 1:1-80
  53. Oct. 11: The Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:1-40; Matt. 2:1-12
  54. Oct. 12: Prepare the Way – Luke 3:1-20; John 1:19-51
  55. Oct. 13: Ministry Beginnings – Luke 4:1-30; Mark 2:1-12
  56. Oct. 14: Follow Me – Luke 5:1-11; Luke 6:12-19
  57. Oct. 15: Sermon on the Mount – Matt. 5:1-48
  58. Oct. 16: Sermon on the Mount (cont.) – Matt. 6:1-34; Matt. 7:1-29
  59. Oct. 17: For God so Loved – John 3:1-36
  60. Oct. 18: Parables of the Kingdom – Matt. 13:1-58
  61. Oct. 19: Bread of Life – Matt. 14:1-36; John 6:22-71
  62. Oct. 20: Parables of the Lost – Luke 15:1-32
  63. Oct. 21: Triumphal Entry – Matt. 21:1-46
  64. Oct. 22: The Last Supper – Luke 22:1-30; John 13:1-38
  65. Oct. 23: Parting Teachings – John 14:1-31; John 15:1-27
  66. Oct. 24: The High Priestly Prayer – John 16:1-33; John 17:1-26
  67. Oct. 25: Arrest of Jesus – Luke 22:31-46; John 18:1-40
  68. Oct. 26: Crucifixion – John 19:1-42
  69. Oct. 27: Resurrection – John 20:1-31; Luke 24:13-35
  70. Oct. 28: Commission – Matt. 28:11-20; Acts 1:1-11
  71. Oct. 29: Pentecost – Acts 2:1-47
  72. Oct. 30: The Church Grows – Acts 3:1-26; Acts 4:1-37
  73. Oct. 31: Stephen the First Martyr – Acts 6:1-15; Acts 7:1-60
  74. Nov. 1: Persecution – Acts 8:1-40
  75. Nov. 2: Damascus – Acts 9:1-31
  76. Nov. 3: No Partiality – Acts 10:1-48
  77. Nov. 4: Paul’s First Missionary Journey – Acts 13:1-52; Acts 14:1-28
  78. Nov. 5: Faith & Works – James 1:1-27; James 2:1-26
  79. Nov. 6: The Jerusalem Council – Gal. 1:1-24; Gal. 2:1-21; Acts 15:1-35
  80. Nov. 7: More Missionary Journeys – Acts 16:1-40; Acts 17:1-34; 1 Thess. 5:1-28
  81. Nov. 8: Paul in Ephesus – Acts 20:17-38; 1 Cor. 13:1-13; 2 Cor. 5:1-21
  82. Nov. 9: The Righteousness of God – Rom. 1:1-32; Rom. 8:1-39
  83. Nov. 10: Gaining Christ – Phil. 2:1-30; Phil. 3:1-21
  84. Nov. 11: The Supremacy of Christ – Col. 1:1-29; Col. 3:1-25
  85. Nov. 12: Saved by Grace – Eph. 2:1-22; Eph. 6:10-20
  86. Nov. 13: The Quality of Leaders – 1 Tim. 3:1-16; 1 Tim. 6:3-21
  87. Nov. 14: Every Good Work – Titus 2:1-15; Titus 3:1-11
  88. Nov. 15: Living Hope – 1 Pet. 1:1-25; 2 Pet. 3:1-18
  89. Nov. 16: Paul’s Defense – Acts 26:1-32; Acts 27:1-44
  90. Nov. 17: Soldier of Jesus – 2 Tim. 2:1-26; 2 Tim. 3:1-17; 2 Tim. 4:1-8
  91. Nov. 18: Paul in Rome – Acts 28:1-31
  92. Nov. 19: The Sacrifice of Christ – Heb. 9:1-28; Heb. 10:1-39
  93. Nov. 20: The Great Cloud of Witnesses – Heb. 11:1-40; Heb. 12:1-29
  94. Nov. 21: Walking in the Light – 1 John 1:1-10; 1 John 2:1-29
  95. Nov. 22: The Vision – Rev. 1:1-20; Rev. 2:1-17
  96. Nov. 23: The Churches – Rev. 2:18-29; Rev. 3:1-22
  97. Nov. 24: The Throne – Rev. 4:1-11; Rev. 5:1-14
  98. Nov. 25: The Great Multitude – Rev. 7:1-17; Rev. 12:7-12
  99. Nov. 26: Rejoicing in Heaven – Rev. 19:1-21; Rev. 20:1-15
  100. Nov. 27: The New Heaven & New Earth – Rev. 21:1-27; Rev. 22:1-21

A Bible Summary in 271 Words

I have preached through the narrative of the Bible in different ways in the past.  For “The Word” series at our church, I decided to give an outline.  In the past, I have always told people to avoid taking notes because it is too free-flowing.  But I have also found myself spending so much time on the Old Testament that I have to rush through the New Testament.

For this time, I tried to write out some bullet points for the message for people to follow along with while allowing them to take the message down and share with someone else.  As I began to fill out the list, it felt rhythmic and so I began to rhyme a few of the lines.  From the first few lines, I got into a rhythm myself and had to complete it for my own summary purpose.  Since poetry is more naturally memorized, I attempted to bring it together this way.

This is an imperfect summary of a perfect narrative.  Here is a Bible summary in 271 words.

God created the heavens and the earth,

Mankind rebelled trying to prove their worth.

Sin escalated to the shedding of blood,

God’s wrath displayed in the form of a flood.

Yet one was blessed to be a blessing,

A nation promised, a Messiah coming,

A people rescued out from slavery,

The Law given to show their inability.

Finally settled into the Promised Land,

Yet the cycle of sin punished again and again.

A kingdom established, kings took up the crown,

Yet the greatest of men still let the people down.

A nation divided while prophets warned in the streets,

Until godless enemies came and administered defeats.

A people in exile suffering with their guilt,

A remnant returns, a city rebuilt.

The people feared if they’d been left on their own,

400 silent years before the answer was known.

 

Glory to God and peace upon the earth,

A Savior was given, a virgin gave birth.

God in the flesh lived free from sin,

Jesus conveyed grace and truth from within.

Recognized as teaching with authority,

Despised and rejected by the Pharisees.

Christ crucified on the hill of Calvary,

Exchanged righteousness for our depravity.

Yet on the third day, the Savior would rise,

Commissioned the disciples in his ascent to the sky,

The Holy Spirit empowered, the gospel unashamed,

The Church established, giving everything away.

No amount of persecution could keep the message back,

Paul was converted, proclaimed the faith he attacked.

Among the nations, churches were multiplied,

Letters were sent, doctrine and practice clarified.

A revelation was given for though the future seems grim,

Christ will return and we will be with him.

 

[If interested, you can watch the entire message where I explain each of these lines here at “The Story of the Bible.”]

How Often Do You Read the Bible?

I once was asked if I believed in the Bible.  My answer was emphatically, “yes!”  After my response, the person asked, “Have you read everything in the Bible?”

At that point, I couldn’t say that I had.

I was basing my entire life off of something I had not completely read yet.

That needed to change.  I began to read the Bible daily and for a significant portion of my day.  While I’m not perfect in the discipline and have struggled with seasons of inconsistency, Bible intake has become a steady and consistent part of my life.

So, how often does the average person read the Bible?

As of 2017, the statistics I gathered gave these numbers:

  • Daily – 13%
  • Weekly – 22%
  • Monthly – 7%
  • Yearly – 30%
  • Never – 28%

Where would you fall in those statistics?

Distractions from the Bible

People often say that they don’t have enough time to read the Bible.  I do believe that we are busier than ever before, but I don’t believe that everyone is too busy to read the Bible even for just a little portion of the day.

Here are some of the distractions causing us to miss Bible reading.

Did you catch that?  People spend a daily average of these many minutes on these different distractions:

  • Facebook – 35 minutes a day
  • YouTube – 40 minutes a day
  • Netflix – 100 minutes a day
  • Mobile Phones – 300 minutes a day
  • TV – 304 minutes a day

We do have time to read the Bible.  We just are filling that time up with lesser pursuits.

I want to encourage you to find time to read the Bible today.  There are reasons your Bible reading is inconsistent, but you can fight against the trend.

  • If you haven’t read regularly, don’t expect to have a 30-60 minutes devotional time the first attempt.  Start somewhere and work to where you want to be.
  • Don’t vow to read the entire Bible when you have never finished a single book of the Bible.  Start reasonably and get there over time.

Get into reading the Word today.

While I have many days where I make excuses about slowing down to study the Bible, I have never once regretted that time spent.

[For more on this topic, check out the sermon, “For the Bible Tells Me So.”]

Fear Not [Storytellers]

“Fear Not” was written for “The Word” project to cover the incarnation of Jesus.

“The Word” is a project by North Side Worship telling the grand narrative of the Bible.  It is available at North Side (May 3, 2015) and iTunes (May 5, 2015).

Song Info

  1. We had finished writing all the songs for “The Word” project and “Fear Not” was not on there.  We had a sing along at my house where we sang through all the songs and we originally had another song that focused on Jesus’ birth.  That night as we sang through the entire project, that song was the only one that didn’t seem like it fit.  It was a good song, but in this stage of the narrative, we needed something sounding huge like the divine was invading the Earth.  So after that night, I told band I wanted to take one more stab at it.  The song came together quite quickly when we got the feel down.  So very thankful we stopped something good to work on something better.
  2. Kala Collins did a fantastic job singing this song.  Her joyful power in her voice conveys so much energy and passion.  She nailed this song.
  3. The band sounded like an onslaught as it hits.  They played it wonderfully.
  4. I love how the song walks through the narrative but also allows current singers to rejoice at the coming of Christ!

Chord Chart: Fear Not – G

FEAR NOT BOX

Lyrics

VERSE 1
Heaven’s silence deafening, our hearts were filled with fear
Had our God left us upon our own?
The prophets saw the Coming One, a Savior drawing near
The night the angels made your glory known

CHORUS
Fear not, rescue has come
Fear not, behold God’s Son

VERSE 2
For unto us is born this day a Savior Christ the Lord
The good news that our hearts have longed to hear
It’s with great joy the heavens sing, man’s hope has been restored
Finally, the Word of God is here

CHORUS 2
Fear not, rescue has come
Fear not, behold God’s Son
Fear not, Immanuel
Fear not, He has come to dwell

BRIDGE
Glory to God in the highest
Peace on earth, may Your favor rest

Track Listing

  1. Let There Be (Creation)
  2. How We’ve Fallen (The Fall)
  3. No One Like Our God (Exodus)
  4. The Ten Commandments (Law)
  5. Our God Is With Us (Covenant)
  6. Enter His Gates (Psalms)
  7. Return to Me (Prophets)
  8. How Long O LORD (Exile)
  9. Fear Not (Incarnation)
  10. Amazed (Jesus’ Ministry)
  11. What a Savior (Passion Week)
  12. Come Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
  13. Day By Day (Church)
  14. You Alone Are God (Trinity)
  15. Your Word (Epistles)
  16. Faithful and True (Revelation)

“The Word” is a project by North Side Worship telling the grand narrative of the Bible.  It is available at North Side (May 3, 2015) and iTunes (May 5, 2015).