In 2023 I will approach Bible reading in a way I never have. Early this year, I decided that 2023 would be a year to focus on Jesus. So I am devoting next year to the book of Hebrews, with a cursory read of the gospels.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” (Amplified Classic).
In the last few years, I have realized that much of the preaching I grew up with was not about Jesus. Scripture was used, but Jesus wasn’t the focus; I was. Jesus was a means to get what I wanted, and ministers twisted Scripture to prove that point.
As Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27 ESV).
Everything in Scripture points to Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1-4 ESV “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”
Jesus is the theme, the message, and the hope of the gospel. The gospel message is not the entry point; it is the point. As I look back, I realize how empty my church life has been of the person of Jesus. Sure, Jesus was mentioned, but the subject quickly became healing, prosperity, or faith to receive something great. That is not about Jesus; that’s using Jesus to fulfill my own fleshly desires.
James 4:3 CSB “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Salvation brings me into a relationship with my Savior and Lord; it doesn’t make Him my butler. So, in 2023, join me on a journey of knowing Jesus – not for the sake of things, but for Himself alone.
I am looking forward to spending all of next year absorbing Jesus in the book of Hebrews, reading and rereading the gospels, and reading books about the person and work of Christ.
Here is my layout
January-April: Hebrews 1-4
May-August: Hebrews 5-8
September-December: Hebrews 9-13
I will read the chapters of Hebrews each day.
I am reading four chapters from the gospels each day.
John Owen (7 Volume Set)
John Owen (Abridged)
Biblical Doctrine: MacArthur and Mayhue (5-10 pages a day).
Recovering the Gospel: Paul Washer (3 Volumes).
My prayer for this endeavor is that I know Jesus, to know Him, His Work, and the beauty of salvation. I have spent two decades hearing the Bible from a man-centered view. In the fall of 2019, God set me on the path of freedom from false theology, and 2022 was a year where I truly grasped the bankruptcy of what I came from, so in 2023, I want to get to know the Jesus I have believed in since I was nine but was kept hidden from me.