The Taste and See Challenge
January 1st can be the most intimidating day of the year. It’s the day of starting, and starting can be scary. New habits, new resolutions, and new goals both stir in us a passion for more and better and a fear that we will fail and won’t measure up. For years I’ve taken time in December to dream up my plans for the following year. What will I change? What will I do? How can the next year be different? January 1st feels like the start of a new chapter. It is a fresh canvas for God to paint His grace onto the story of our lives.
Resolutions are a beautiful thing when made for the right reasons. In looking back at resolutions I have made over the years, the common theme is a bettering of myself. Most of these resolutions aren’t kept for more than a few weeks. But the resolutions that are made for the Lord and rooted in His Word not only change my own life, but the lives of those around me. This year, instead of making a list of resolutions that revolve around myself and the temporary situations of my life, I am resolving to do the one thing that I know will change my life and the lives of others, and will also mold and shape my life to be more like Christ.
I am resolving to be in the Word of God every single day in 2016 and to hide truth in my heart. I am resolving to daily taste and see that the Lord is good.
Pick Up Your Fork
The Word of God is unlike any other book that has ever been written. Each word is divinely inspired and breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12). It has stood against every test and its promises hold true in every storm and trial of life. The Psalmist challenges us in Psalm 34:8 to pick up our spiritual fork and knife and to eat of the Word of God. When we fill our spiritual bellies with truth, the result is that our eyes will be opened and we will see that the Lord is good, in all things and at all times.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.” Luke 6:21
Jesus explained to the disciples in Luke 6:21 that it is good to be spiritually hungry, because spiritual hunger results in satisfaction. The meaning of the word “blessed” is happy. Happiness doesn’t come from achieving worldly success, it comes from being hungry for more of Jesus. When we daily fill up on God’s Word, bringing Him our empty cup to fill up, and eating truth with our spiritual forks and knives, Jesus promises that we will be satisfied and well-fed. The ache in your heart for more will only be satisfied by knowing Jesus through the Word. What if in 2016 we resolved to be spiritually hungry? What if we picked up our Bibles, journals, and pens, and ate the truth of the Word that never fails and answers our deepest needs? What if we taste for ourselves and open our eyes to see that God is good?
Let’s make these “what if’s” into a reality.
"What If" To What Now?
The taste and see challenge is a call to experience God’s Word for yourself. It is a call to leave the comfort of your faith and embark on a journey with God up the hills of calvary, ascending into the valleys of daily discipleship, and walking the narrow path of a life lived for eternity to come. It is a call to be a “well-watered woman” who daily comes to the Well of God’s Word and drinks deeply of His goodness and faithfulness.
What now? How do we practically do this?
First, let's make a plan.
Below I am going to share with you my plan for 2016. You can either join me in this plan or create your own! Either way, the challenge is simply to come hungry and come daily to God's Word and taste and see for yourself that He is good.
Bring Your Empty Cup
In 2013 I read through the Bible chronologically for the first time. Before embarking on this journey, I never could have expected how life-changing it would be! Reading though the entire Word of God opened my eyes to the entire story of redemption and it also made me comfortable to open books of the Bible I had never read before. This year I am going to read through the Bible chronologically again and would love for you to join me! I will be following this free reading plan that reads through the Bible chronologically. Another option is to do the F-260 plan that is chronological but shortened. You can find it for free here. There are other plans that you can read through the entire Bible in a year while daily reading in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here is a reading plan that follows this set-up!
In this commitment to reading through the Bible, I know that as a mama and a wife there will be times I will get behind. My goal is to read the Bible in one year, BUT if I get behind I will embrace the grace of God and slow down. The aim is not check off daily reading on our to-do list, but to read to know Jesus more intimately. If it takes me more than one year to read through the Bible, I will rejoice in that! Don't be afraid to start because you are afraid you will fail. Give the Lord your best time. Seek Him with your whole heart. Embrace His grace.
eat truth for breakfast
The next part of the "taste and see" challenge is to memorize God's Word. Pick a chapter or book of the Bible to memorize this year. I will be memorizing the book of James and would love for you to join me! (find out more tips on memorizing the Bible here and purchase a memory journal to use as a tool here!) I will post a plan for this soon!
Second, let's be accountable.
I will periodically send out encouragement emails to those of you who choose to take the taste and see challenge with me! You can sign up for these emails here! This email list is separate from the weekly encouragement emails.
For everyone who is joining in the "taste and see" challenge, my encouragement to you would be to find a friend or a group to hold you accountable to getting into the Word each day. Accountability sets you up to go deeper in your walk with Jesus.
third, let's give our plan to Jesus.
A note to the women who is reading through the Bible for the first time:
If this is the first time you are committing to open the Word of God each day, I want to encourage you not to be fearful or nervous. In Isaiah 55, the Lord calls us to “come, everyone who thirsts, come to the water, and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” He calls us to come just as we are with our nothingness to receive the abundance that can only be found in Him. In very 10-13, He promises us that as we read the Word, that it will accomplish the purpose of which He sent it and that we will go forth in joy and peace. Why would we ever forfeit these incredible promises for any lesser thing? There are so many resolutions you could make in this life, but the one that will last forever is to know Christ and to make Him known. Trust the Lord to show you His incredible ways and to teach you truth in your secret heart (Psalm 51:6).
A note to the perfectionist and to-do list lover:
This challenge is not meant to be another item to check off. It is meant to encourage us to be disciplined, to love God's Word, and to give Him our best. If you get behind, do not give up. Set your gaze on Christ and hand Him this plan. Let's be like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus each day, listening to His teaching, learning from His ways, and loving Him with our whole hearts.
A note to the mama and busy woman:
If you feel this year isn't the best to read through the Bible, my challenge to you would be to commit to be in the Word every day. If this looks like meditating on one verse for a week, write it down and pray through it as you go throughout your days. Read through a book of the Bible slowly. Set aside some time each day to place your gaze on Christ. Don't allow your busyness to take away from choosing what's best in this life - being with your Savior.
- I will be using the "Give Me Jesus" journal to study as I read through the Bible chronologically. We have a 90-day option that is created for busy mamas and women who don't write as much, and a 40-day option for more in-depth study. We also have a men's quiet time journal for your husbands, brothers, and friends who are seeking to go deeper into the Word.
- If you are new to studying the Bible, there are videos and blog posts going more in-depth into studying the Bible go through the "Well-Watered Women" series.
- Iva May has a chronological Bible teaching series that is incredible. You can find this resource here!
- Lastly, I will be coming out with some new Bible studies this year if you would like to go deeper into one book! Upcoming studies include the book of Esther, the fruits of the Spirit, a guide to memorizing Ephesians 4:17-32, and a few more! We plan on releasing the first studies in February and will have new journals in April! You can find a study on Proverbs 31, the book of Ruth, Romans 12:9-21, and the disciplines of the Christian faith in the shop!
Will you take the “taste and see” challenge with me? Let’s make a resolution that will last for all of eternity. Share your name below and what you plan on studying/memorizing! I am praying for you. January 1st is coming. Jesus, take the first, the last, and everyday in-between, and make us more like You! Amen.
tasting and seeing with you that He is good,