Let’s be real. I’m an INFJ. I’ve never liked small talk. Maybe because it doesn’t change anyone’s life. Discussing the weather may be exciting for a meteorologist, but it doesn’t further anything significant in our hearts and minds. So I’ll get right to the point…
I’m sure you’ve noticed that we are in the midst of a psychological war and a spiritual battle. Our values, beliefs, and worldviews are being challenged – and refined. Where is life headed and what will the world look like in 2021? I do not know.
But I do know this: We need to “gird up the loins of our minds”. This phrase keeps coming to me, so I did a little digging and found it in 1 Peter 1:13 (NKJV):
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind,
be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace
that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
What does it mean to “gird up”? Well, back in the day when tunics were the customary attire, men wore these knee-length robes as their normal everyday wear. When preparing for hard work, taking a journey, or called to battle – a man would “gird up his loins” – meaning tuck his tunic into his girdle so he would have the mobility necessary for the task at hand. An untucked tunic was a detriment. The excess fabric would get in his way and he could trip over it.
To gird our minds, then, is to mentally prepare for action – to get ready to face the hard work, go on a journey, or engage in a battle.
Friends, I cannot stress enough how important this is. We simply must gird up the loins of our minds on a daily basis. And how do we do this? By reading the Bible – renewing our minds with the truth of God’s word – and keeping our eyes on Jesus each day.
Here’s the thing. No one can tuck in your tunic for you. No one can gird up your mind for you – you must do it for yourself.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it together! In fact, there’s already a group of us “tucking in our tunics” and getting ready to embark on a journey – to read through the Bible in chronological order in 2021. I can’t wait – and you are invited!
Are you a bit unsure? On the fence about committing to such a long journey? I want to encourage you! The idea isn’t to feel like a failure if you miss a day (or a week) – the point is to get to know Jesus better throughout this coming year, reinforce our faith, and enjoy meaningful conversation with one another.
This isn’t a contest to see who can get a perfect score. It’s an invitation to gird up the loins of your mind and come out on the other side of 2021 with more faith and more peace – all because you know Jesus better than you do today.
Oh, and just so you know: This isn’t your typical “Bible study” and I’m not the teacher. Oh nooo – we’re all in this together, friends – each of us meeting individually with Jesus and sharing what we gleaned from our time with Him. If you joined me for the 90 day New Testament, you get the idea. Each of us can share as much or as little as we like as we go along. Talkers and lurkers are equally welcome!
I love the story when Jesus meets a woman at the well. Her encounter with Him touched her so deeply that she had to tell people about Him so they could meet Him too. I love what happens next…after they had all spent some time with Jesus:
Then they said to the woman,
“Now we believe, not just because of what you told us,
but because we have heard him ourselves.
Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
– John 4:42
So come. And come thirsty. Just like the woman at the well. Let’s meet Jesus there. Let Him teach us. Get to know Him. Hear Him for ourselves. Just like they did.
If you’ve been walking with Jesus for a long time, come.
If you’re just starting your journey, come.
If you’re not sure what you believe, come.
If you’re growing in your faith, come.
If you’ve been away too long, come.
If you’re tired, or thirsty, or scared or anxious, come.
You’re invited. I’d love to have you in the conversation no matter where you’re at.
The fact of the matter is – we’re all in a weird place right now. The world is topsy turvy and if we’re not careful we can slip into fear real fast. But that is not God’s desire for us! He has not given us a spirit of fear! He has given us a spirit of power, love and a sound mind – a mind that is girded up and ready to go – so let’s do this!
Starting January 1, I am inviting you – to read the entire Bible – in a year – in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER – meaning read it the order in which the events occurred. Read it as one big story where we see it all unfold in order – one big epic story! Because that’s what it is – and we are a part of it! (I’ve always wanted to read it this way…so 2021 is the year!)
There are a few different chronological Bibles, but we are reading the one titled The Daily Bible (by F. LaGard Smith). It’s available in NLT or NIV. (I like the NLT, but choose what you like.) Each day’s reading is clearly marked with the date and takes about 15 minutes per day.
Would you like to “gird up your loins” with me?, Send me an email me and let me know so I can get you connected with the group. And invite a friend to join with you! I’m still deciding if it will be a Facebook group or something else. Do you have a preference? I’d love your thoughts on that – so let me know!