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Your daily work-out: How to use your REAP journal

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

1 T im ot hy 4:7 –8 What is the Bible? The purpose of your REAP journal is to help you study the Bible. What is the Bible? In short, it is the story of God’s relationship with us in this world. It is the story of his profound grace, mercy and love towards us. Through this story he reveals to us his deepest desire: for us to enjoy him. And this is to enjoy the very best thing there is. God’s desire is given full expression by more than 40 authors who wrote the Bible in three languages over a period of 1500 years. All these authors, inspired by God himself, reinforce God’s great concern: that we might know him personally. The Bible will reveal to you just how much God loves you in Jesus, and through his Holy Spirit you will grow in knowledge and power to live as his follower.

Getting the most from your work-out If you go to the gym and want to be fit and healthy, you’ll soon discover the program that you need to undertake. If you want to train to be a concert pianist, you will soon discover the scales and regime that will help you attain that goal. How do you train to be godly? The clue is found in 1 Timothy 4:13–14 where Paul says, ‘Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you’. Devote yourself. This is the same concept used in 1 Timothy 3:8 where Paul says to Timothy that deacons are not to be indulging in (devoting themselves to) much wine.

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To be devoted to the Scriptures is to be given over to the word of God completely; so much so that we ought to be booked for ‘D.U.I.’ every day because it is clear that we are under the influence of the Scriptures. Be diligent. We need to be disciplined in allocating time, which is why Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:15, ‘Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them’. Australian golfer Greg Norman hit on average 1000 practice balls every day for 30 or so years— that was in excess of 11 million balls, excluding putts! That is the sort of diligence that we need to give ourselves to when it comes to bringing our lives into line with the Scriptures and to training ourselves to be godly. Persevere. In the course of a year, the Bible Reading Program takes you through large portions of the Old and New Testaments. (In the adult version, it’s the whole Old Testament once and the New Testament twice.) At first you may find it challenging to read four or five chapters a day. Like someone beginning to run long distances, build your stamina by adding chapters. Begin by reading the passage that is in bold. When you feel you can read another passage, go ahead. Over the course of a few months or a year, you’ll find that you will be reading all the passages listed. Why not think of it as spending time with a great mentor? ‘I’m sitting with David today, what will I learn from him?’ ‘I’m sitting with Zephaniah today, what will I learn from him?’ Time spent with great ones passes quickly. So be encouraged to persevere!

How to use your REAP journal What follows is a step-by-step guide to this particular discipline: STEP 1: All you need is a pen, your Bible, your REAP journal and a diary.

Find the Bible reading corresponding to today’s date from the Bible Reading Program. Turn to the chapters in your Bible, asking God to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Be practical. When you are reading the Scriptures and thoughts come into your mind that distract you, write them in your diary (or record them on your smartphone or tablet). It might be a reminder to catch up or pray with someone from church—just write that down. Or you might think of another passage or lesson that your reading takes you to—just write that down, too. Writing these

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thoughts down frees you up to concentrate on the Bible reading for the day. And you will remember important things you need to do later in the day. STEP 2: As you read the passages, underline or highlight anything the Lord impresses

upon you as a personal word to be applied. You might not be accustomed to marking your Bible but this is a great way to get the most out of your time with your Lord. After all, by underlining and highlighting parts of your reading, you are in effect agreeing with the author; you’re agreeing with the Spirit of God! STEP 3: When you see what Jesus is teaching you (a lesson of life for you personally),

record what he has just shown you in your journal. This is where REAP comes in. REAP stands for:

Read (your Bible) Explore Apply Pray Use these words to head up four paragraphs on each page of your journal then: • Read the day’s passages and record the key verse from each one. This will be the verse that stands out most for you. • Explore the text and summarise the passages surrounding the verse you have written down. • Apply what you have learned—record your answer to this question: ‘How will I be different today because of what I have just read?’ • Pray Write out a prayer in the light of what you have read and pray it. When you take the time to slow down and read with a receptive heart, the word of God will produce fruit in you (Mark 4:20); the Lord will give you words of encouragement, direction and correction (2 Timothy 3:16). STEP 4: Record the date at the top of your journal entry. Give your journal entry a title—

something that encapsulates what you have just written. Then turn to the Bible reading program and complete your entry by underlining the Scripture verses

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you have read, and writing in the title and page number. This will be a great source of encouragement for you in the future as you review what God has taught you. It will also be a great resource when you want to find what God has to say on a subject. And for the preacher, this can be a helpful resource for sermons. STEP 5: Conclude your daily devotional time by praying your written prayer and

praying for other matters that are on your mind and heart.

What if I miss a day? There is no need to worry. As year passes to year you will find that you will eventually read every page of the Bible numerous times. So, if you miss a reading this year, you will in all likelihood read it next year. There is no need to do ‘catch up’ readings. A helpful thing to keep in mind is the REAP Program is not your master: it is your servant. And you will be well served if you simply read the readings set for the day you are in.

I’m new to reading the Bible If you are a newcomer to Christianity, why not try the following reading schedule for the next 31 days? This will effectively introduce you to Jesus. For your first month you suspend the normal reading schedule and do the following plan. The readings are shorter and focus on the life of Jesus.

PASSAGE 1. Luke 1:1–38____________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

2. Luke 1:39–80__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

3. Luke 2__________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

4. Luke 3 __________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

5. Luke 4__________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

6. Luke 5__________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

7. Luke 6__________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

8. Luke 7__________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

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9. Luke 8:1–25____________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

10. Luke 8:26–56__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

11. Luke 9:1–27____________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

12. Luke 9:28–62__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

13. Luke 10_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

14. Luke 11:1–28__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

15. Luke 11:29–54_________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

16. Luke 12:1–34__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

17. Luke 12:35–59_________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

18. Luke 13_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

19. Luke 14_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

20. Luke 15_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

21. Luke 16_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

22. Luke 17_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

23. Luke 18_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

24. Luke 19_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

25. Luke 20_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

26. Luke 21_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

27. Luke 22:1–38__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

28. Luke 22:39–71_________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

29. Luke 23:1–25__________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

30. Luke 23:26–56_________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

31. Luke 24_________________________

  Title________________________________________________________ Pg. _____

Once you have completed it you will be ready to pick up the normal readings in the full REAP program, starting on the current date. As you continue reading the Bible you will be joining thousands of other Christians in the healthy habit of getting to know our good and great God. Your life will be wonderfully transformed. In fact, you will grow to become more like Jesus Christ. And you will grow in knowledge and understanding which will enrich your hope, fuel your faith and bring rest to your soul.

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Some things to consider when reading the Bible The two main factors that determine how we read a particular part are style (genre) and context. The different styles (or genres) affect our understanding. Poems, songs, and prophecies may be full of imagery (metaphors), in contrast to narratives, which can be long stories about ‘not nice’ people (for example 2 Kings). The metaphors are vivid and at times complex. But don’t let this put you off reading the Bible. Sometimes the metaphors are explained in the next section you will read so keep reading. We also have access to people who have studied these and can teach us what they mean. One such person would be your minister. Others you could access are those who write commentaries. Your minister or pastor will be able to put you onto the best commentaries and he/she may even lend you one! Context questions include: Are we in the Old Testament or the New Testament? Who is being addressed? Who is doing the talking? What are the specific issues at hand? Is this passage telling me something about God’s nature? Am I being called to do something? Stop doing something? If we are in the Old Testament, does the passage describe, for example, a particular problem with people’s faithfulness to the old Covenant? Or if we are exploring general wisdom books (such as Proverbs, Job or Ecclesiastes), what is said about life? If it’s a song that explores the nature of God (like Psalm 18), what does it describe? If we’re in the New Testament, are we reading a letter from an apostle to a specific church or person? Or is it a gospel narrative? Knowing style and context will help you understand what is being said and why. For an overview of how the Bible works, we recommend God’s Plan for Salvation by Allan Chapple. For easy-reading trustworthy commentaries, we recommend the Reading the Bible Today series edited by Paul Barnett. Both of these can be found at cepstore.com.au

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Prayer list Date

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Answered


Date

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Answered


Bible reading program JANUARY 1. Gen 1; Luke 1:26–38 .. ..................................... 2. Gen 3; Luke 2:1–21 .. ........................................ 3. Gen 6; 7:17–24; Luke 3:21–22 ................ 4. Gen 9; Luke 4:14–30 .. ..................................... 5. Gen 12; Luke 5:1–11 .. ..................................... 6. Gen 15; Luke 6:27–49 . . .................................. 7. Gen 19:1–16; Psa 3; Luke 7:1–35 ......... 8. Gen 21:1–7; 22; Luke 8:16–25 ................ 9. Gen 24:12–27; Luke 9:37–62 ................... 10. Gen 25:19–34; Luke 10:25–42 ................ 11. Gen 28:10–22; Luke 11:1–13, 33–36 . 12. Gen 30:22–24; Luke 12:1–12, 22–48 . 13. Gen 33; Luke 13:10–30 . . ............................... 14. Luke 14 .. ................................................................... 15. Gen 37; Psa 7:9–10; Luke 15:1–7 ........ 16. Gen 39; Luke 16:1–15 ................................... 17. Psa 5; Luke 17:1–19 ....................................... 18. Gen 45; Luke 18:15–43 ................................ 19. Luke 19 .. ................................................................... 20. Gen 50; Psa 8; Luke 20:9–19 ................... 21. Exod 2:1–10; Luke 21 .................................... 22. Exod 3 ....................................................................... 23. Exod 6:1–12; 7:1–7; 8:16–19; Luke 23:32–34 . . .................................................... 24. Exod 11; Luke 24:1–12, 36–49 ............... 25. Exod 12; 13:17–22 . . ......................................... 26. Exod 14 .................................................................... 27. Exod 20 .................................................................... 28. Psa 12; Acts 4 ..................................................... 29. Psa 14; Acts 5 .....................................................

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30. Acts 6 ........................................................................ 31. Exod 29:44–46; Acts 7 . . ................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___   Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

FEBRUARY 1. Exod 32; Acts 8:1–25 . . ...................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

2. Exod 33; Acts 9:1–19, 31–43 . . .................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

3. Acts 10 .....................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

4. Psa 19; Acts 11 ..................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

5. Exod 40:34–38; Psa 15; Acts 12 ............

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

6. Acts 13 .....................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

7. Lev 5:1; Acts 14 .................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

8. Lev 9:23–24; Acts 15 .....................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

9. Lev 10:1–3; Acts 16 ........................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

10. Acts 17 .....................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

11. Acts 18 .....................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

12. Lev 19:1–4; Psa 13; Acts 19 .....................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

13. Lev 22:31–33; Acts 20 ..................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

14. Lev 23:3; Psa 24; Acts 21 ...........................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

15. Lev 25:17–19; Psa 25; Acts 22 ...............

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

16. Lev 27:30; Acts 23 ...........................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

17. Num 2:34; Acts 24 ...........................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

18. Acts 25 .....................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

19. Num 6:24–26; Psa 22:8–11; Acts 26 .

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

20. Psa 23; Acts 27 ..................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

21. Num 9:15–23; Acts 28 ..................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

22. Psa 27; Eph 1 .. ......................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

23. Num 13; Eph 2 .. ...................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

24. Num 14; Eph 3 .. ...................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

25. Psa 29; Eph 4 .. ......................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

26. Psa 28; Eph 5 .. ......................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

27. Eph 6 ..........................................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

28. Num 27:12–23; Gal 1 . . ...................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

29. Gal 3:1—4:7 . . .......................................................

  Title........................................................................... Pg. ___

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REAP Journal - Youth Edition  

REAP stands for Read, Explore, Apply and Pray and is designed to make reading the Bible easy as a part of everyday life. This REAP Journal...

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