“But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.’ The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.” Acts 4:19-22, NLT
Peter and John had been preaching in the streets and had attracted enough attention that they were called to face the religious officials, who wanted to intimidate them into silence. But when they looked those officials in the eyes, the officials “were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures” (Acts 4:13). Why was this? It was because the Holy Spirit had come and empowered them. The officials began to recognize that these were men who had been with Jesus. There was a different dynamic with them—and it was entirely due to the work of the Spirit.
Just as Jesus had promised, Peter and John had been baptized with the Holy Spirit, and they were filled with the Spirit, giving them power (Acts 1:5, 8). That power has always existed. The Spirit was there at Creation and when the Red Sea was opened. His power had been evidenced in the lives of the Old Testament prophets and had brought Jesus back from the dead. It is the same power that is active in believers today and that gives them the ability to be open and effective witnesses for the cause of Jesus Christ.
That is the secret to how these apostles, who earlier had been shrouded in fear and hiding behind closed doors, began to preach Christ openly. They had seen the resurrected Jesus, and the Spirit of God had come. After those events, these men had pushed the doors open and walked out into the streets with the audacity to face persecution and even martyrdom for their testimony about Jesus. The power of the Holy Spirit would move them the rest of their lives, in and out of persecution, with and without earthly comforts, and under all sorts of adversities. We see Peter and John facing the same religious officials again in Acts 5:26-42, and there they stand, firm as ever in their obedience to God rather than people (Acts 5:29)— even up against those who would just as soon kill them (Acts 5:33).
The Holy Spirit’s power is for all believers, not just for the twelve apostles. We see in Acts 6:3 that the apostles looked among the believers and found seven men who were “full of the Spirit.” This means they were consistently tapping into the Spirit’s power, which is available 24/7 to every believer. One of those chosen was Stephen, a man who was not an apostle but was every bit a witness by the power of the Holy Spirit. He later preached such a powerful message that the religious officials became angry and stoned Stephen, making him the first martyr.
The daily question we each face is not whether we will be martyrs nor whether we will face opposition bravely. The question we face is whether we are tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit or stifling Him (see 1 Thes. 5:19). When He empowers us, it is not a matter of whether we have guts or creativity. When the Holy Spirit is in us, there is a special dynamic at work transforming us and making our lives and our words a witness. Sometimes that witness may offend others—and it will always bring conviction—but it also powerfully displays the love and humility of the Lord Jesus in its proclamation of the truth.
The amount of time it takes you to read through the Bible really isn’t what’s important. What really matters is that you are spending daily, consistent time in God’s Word. For some people, having a Bible with a reading plan can help them stay on track. Having a goal of reading through the Bible in a year might be the motivation they need to push through some of the more difficult passages (yes, like Leviticus). There are lots of good reasons to read through the Bible in a year, but the most important reasons are to gain a better understanding of who God is and of his relationship with us and to experience his full story of salvation. Like any great book, it’s important to read the beginning, middle, and end (yes, even Leviticus). You don’t want to miss out.
If you think a year-long Bible-reading plan Bible would be helpful, we have a few ideas for you:
The One Year Bible is the #1–selling reading-plan Bible. And there are a variety of different formats and plans so you can pick which one is best for you. The daily variety reading format has a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for you to read each day. If you want to go on a historical trek, the chronological versions are arranged into 365 daily readings that help you experience the Bible events in the order they actually occurred. Both varieties are also available with wide margins for journaling and coloring, and the daily variety format is available in multiple translations. See them
Looking to combine your Scripture reading with focused prayer time? The One Year Pray for Bibles include the New Living Translation Bible text in the daily reading format as well as prayer prompts focused on an urgent topic or need. This year we partnered with The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) on The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Bible. A unique prayer prompt is included with each daily Scripture reading, covering a wide range of needs facing persecuted Christians today. When we pray for the persecuted and read their stories of courage, faithfulness, and obedience, we enter into fellowship with them. Also available are The One Year Pray for Life Bible and The One Year Pray for America Bible. Learn more
The NLT Daily Reader’s Bible is a new and unique way to read through the Bible in a year. Instead of grouping daily readings by date, this Bible groups them by theme. Each reading includes three passages—a selection from the stories of the Bible (the Old Testament books of Genesis through Esther and the New Testament books of Matthew through Acts); another from the teachings of the Bible, including the prophetic books of the Old Testament (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel through Malachi) and the letters of the New Testament (Romans through Revelation); and a third from the wisdom of the Bible (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations). Since this is a reading Bible, there are no chapter and verse interruptions, and because there are no dates, you can read it at your most comfortable pace. See it
Many Bibles include reading plans to help you engage with God’s story. Some, like the Life Application Study Bible, have a 365-day reading plan checklist in the back. Filament Bibles give you access to a variety of Bible reading plans through the Filament Bible app. Here are a few more Bibles with some great reading plans:
The THRIVE Devotional Bible for Women is a full NLT Bible that includes 365 devotional readings. Devotionals are interspersed throughout the Bible and contain a key Scripture, a love letter from God, a reflection from beloved author Sheri Rose Shepherd, a treasure of truth, and a special prayer for the reader. Learn more
The Wayfinding Bible gives you lots of reading-plan options. With an innovative, full-color visual guide at the top of each reading, The Wayfinding Bible provides you with three paths through God’s Word. Following the Fly-Over Route, you’ll cover the most important events in the Bible in just 40 readings, giving you a fresh overview of how these events tell the story of God’s redemption. Following the Direct Route’s 200 readings, you’ll gain a better understanding of how God’s story develops through history. Following the Scenic Route, you’ll explore new territory while discovering a richness and depth in God’s Word that you haven’t seen before. All without the discouragement of getting bogged down in any single book. And there are even more reading plans. Ready to learn more?
Immerse: The Reading Bible splits the Bible into six volumes and is specially crafted for a distraction-free reading experience, helping you dive in and get immersed in Scripture. Chapter numbers, verse numbers, and all other modern additives have been removed. Each volume includes readings plans so you can read through an individual volume in 8 or 16 weeks. Created to be read in community, it’s a great way to read the Bible with others, like your church, Bible study, book club, and friends. Go deeper
The Daily Walk Bible offers a simple daily reading plan to see how the Bible fits together. Each day’s reading includes an overview to give you a bird’s-eye view of the day’s reading, several chapters from the Bible, an interesting fact from the day’s reading, and a short devotional to help you reflect on and apply a specific insight from the day’s reading. Every seventh day offers a pause on the journey as you are invited to Look Back over the readings from the previous week, Look Up to God, and Look Ahead to the reading to come. Learn more
The DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Bible is a beautiful wide-margin Bible that takes you deeper into God’s Word using twelve indisputable truths about who you are in Christ such as you are known, you are blessed, and you have a reason for hope that highlight God’s promises and devotion to his children. Devotionals and reflections connected to these truth are scattered throughout the Bible, and each truth has a unique logo to help you visually connect the dots. See it
How will you connect with God’s Word in 2022?
Now Trending: Truth
Tyndale House Publishers
by Molly Jo Nyman
In our world of sound bites, scrolling, and skimming headlines, reading Scripture may seem like an idea destined to fail. And inviting people to read the entire Bible through in one year? Well, that seems even less likely to attract “followers.”
Yet right now, people around the world are committed to—and enjoying—regularly reading the Bible at a pace that takes them through the entirety of God’s Word in 365 days. Grace Fellowship of Kent, a church in the Seattle suburbs, serves as one example of how this goal can take root, grow, and bear great spiritual fruit in individuals, families, and communities.
According to church elder Kristopher Galvin, the idea started in late 2018. A man who had grown up in the church had moved away and then discovered The One Year Bible. He became an enthusiastic proponent for this reading program and had recommended it to his friends and family. When he moved back to Grace Fellowship of Kent years later, he pitched the idea to the elders.
The church website expresses well why the elders chose to elevate the goal:
God has provided such a great blessing in His Holy Word, the Bible. This unique and remarkable book describes and demonstrates His many immeasurable qualities and illuminates the only path to eternal life with Him, which is through His only Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. It gives meaning to history, context to our present life and hope for the future.
The Bible provides believers in Jesus with tools to live a life that is consistent with our faith and to share the good news of Jesus with others. The only way to realize those blessings is to read it, meditate upon it, and pray about it. These are some of the reasons that the folks at Grace Fellowship of Kent are reading through the whole Bible in one year.
It’s not a one-time “bucket list task” to complete the reading in a year. Better analogies would be eating and breathing—something to do every day. In our busy daily lives, it is so beneficial to have a daily schedule for exercising your mind and soul to “work out your salvation” (Philippians 2:12) and for “eating a healthy diet” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Like a precious letter from someone you are in love with, you will want to read it all, again and again.
Galvin shared, “We encourage people to follow The One Year Bible reading schedule, so we are all reading the same verses each week; usually about 20 minutes per day. This schedule includes daily selections from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, so readers don’t get bogged down in just one book.”
If you’ve ever attempted to read through the Bible and lost your steam somewhere in the seemingly endless genealogies, you’ll understand the advantage of doing it this way!
Galvin added that community is also a key success factor. “When people see other people enjoying and succeeding with it, they realize they can do it. And by using the same schedule, we’re all ‘on the same page’ each day, which facilitates discussions and prayers in our small groups and during our Sunday worship service.”
The Bible reading emphasis in the church started with offering free One Year Bibles in the New International Version to start the reading program on January 1, 2019. Later, a young man suggested adding the New Living Translation (his favorite). After the elders researched, reviewed, and approved that translation, the young man gladly donated a stack of New Living Translation One Year Bibles.
Galvin said, “We also saw that other interesting formats like The One Year Pray for America and Pray for Life Bibles and the larger-print slimline NIV edition struck a chord with people. So now we are actually giving away more of those.”
The church continues to regularly provide One Year Bibles for free. Anyone who attends is encouraged to take one—or more—to give to friends as they invite them to join the Bible reading program. So far, the church has distributed a total number of copies equal to over 200% of its regular Sunday attendance!
Could you start a Bible reading program in your sphere of influence? With people everywhere hungry for Truth and with the power of prayer, you could be the next trendsetter who elevates the Word of God and its ability to create more faithful followers.
Interesting Fact: About one-third of the church body at Grace Fellowship of Kent has one or more Chinese speakers in the family. Their sermons are translated into Mandarin.
What Do Tyndale Bibles Team Members Want for Christmas?
Tyndale House Publishers
Okay, maybe it’s not all our Bibles Team members want for Christmas, but these Bibles would bring huge smiles to our faces if they showed up under our Christmas trees. One of our passions is to encourage people to engage with God’s Word. God loves variety! Just look at the world around us. We understand that how people engage with Scripture is as uniquely beautiful and different as his creation. That is one of the reasons we are creating such a varied lineup of Bibles. We hope to help you or your loved one to find the perfect Bible to keep you reading and connecting with God’s living Word to us. What Bible are you hoping is under your Christmas Tree?
I love discovering new Bibles! Bibles are my favorite gifts to give because God speaks to us through them. Tyndale has released a bunch of new Bibles this year, and there is definitely something for everyone! The Bible I would love to unwrap is the new DaySpring Hope & Encouragement Bible. As Christians, eternal hope and encouragement are some of the greatest gifts we can share with others—and receive. This Bible amplifies twelve indisputable truths about who we are in Christ. It has really great, focused content, and there is space in the margins to write or create. I will use that space for writing out prayers as I read through Scripture. I’d love the navy LeatherLike edition because it’s perfectly floppy to hold (if you know, you know). It’s a gorgeous edition of God’s Word that I will treasure.
The best gifts, as the saying goes, come in small packages. And the best Bibles are the ones that increase our ability to take them anywhere, study them everywhere, and understand them without phoning a friend.
That’s why I’ll be looking under my Christmas tree this year for the new NLT Compact Bible with the Filament Bible app. It meets these criteria and more. At about 4 inches by 6 inches, it fits in the palm of my hand. And because it is paired with Filament’s enormous reservoir of content (continuously curated to the pages I’m reading), including study notes, book introductions, articles, devotionals, and even videos and worship music, it’s a study Bible on steroids.
With all of this, it’s certainly the smallest study Bible in the world, and because these Bibles feature the New Living Translation, I’ll get the most accurate and readable Bible translation in the English language. Now that’s a great gift in a small package!
This year, I’m wishing for a copy of The Swindoll Study Bible. I’d love to settle into my armchair with this beautiful Bible and a cup of coffee to spend time with God. I’ve listened to and admired Chuck Swindoll for years, and I’d love to go deeper with his insights into the Scriptures.
This year for Christmas, I’m wishing for the NLT Filament Journaling Collection. Since it’s currently available only in the New Testament, I’ll be able to pack one wish into two Christmases! The beautiful interleaved pages will give me plenty of space to journal, and the Filament-enabled typesetting will provide a full suite of curated study notes, devotional thoughts, reading plans, full-color maps, and insightful video content all without creating a distracting reading experience. The attractive bindings and beautiful slipcases will make this an attractive addition to my Bible and reference library. I can’t wait!
I’d like to see The One Year Pray for the Persecuted Bible under my tree this year. It will not only help me read through the Bible in a year but also prompt me to be in daily prayer for brothers and sisters around the world. As I learn more about people who are enduring persecution, I’m inspired by their courage and their determination to live faithfully. As I better understand their needs, I can join with them in prayer and in faith, knowing God will hear and will meet the needs of all his people.
I hope that under my Christmas Tree this year is the new NLT Compact Bible, Filament-Enabled Edition. It is the perfect size to carry around in my bag so I can read my Bible anytime and anywhere. What’s even better is that it has the Filament app so I’m not only carrying around a beautiful text Bible but also have all of the study notes, devotionals, videos, music, and so much more right on my phone!
The Life Application Study Bible has been such a blessing in my life. I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations, which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large Print Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.
This Christmas, the Chronological Life Application Study Bible is on my list. Its beautiful, full-color interior is second to none, but that’s not the only reason I like it. Back in 2013, when the Chronological Life Application Study Bible released, I first opened it up and immersed myself in the interesting format. I had never seen the Bible laid out in a chronological format—in the order events actually happened—and it blew my mind. I read all about the ten eras of Bible history, and things that I had never pieced together before came together for me—mostly because of the helpful Life Application notes, but also through the charts and infographics scattered throughout. Even though I started the year off strong and was on pace to finish in 2014, by about summertime, I stopped reading it. No good reason, but I quit. So this time, 8 years later, I am remembering why I found this edition so particularly interesting and helpful in my faith journey. I have committed to make it through 2022 with this Bible!
I’m hoping for a newNLT Daily Walk Bible this year as I have read through my original Daily Walk Bible so many times it’s beginning to show much wear and tear.The Daily Walk Bible is easily my favorite go-to Bible as I love how six days a week, in addition to a short daily Bible reading, I get to read a brief overview of the day’s reading, an insight, and a practical devotional. Then the seventh day is set aside to review the past week, look ahead to the next week, and finally “look up ” for God’s guidance. There simply is no easier, more straightforward way to work through the Bible in a year while also being fed wonderful insights to help provide context and depth to my Bible study.
In 2022, I want to spend more time in God’s big Story and read without being interrupted by chapter and verse numbers, so I am hoping for the complete six-volume set ofImmerse: The Reading Bible. Dividing the Bible into six volumes helps make reading more manageable. The removal of chapter and verse numbers helps take away distractions and creates a beautiful reading experience that puts me right in the story, like reading a novel. I also love the easy-to-carry paperback that I can throw in my backpack or in the car so I can read it in the school pickup line or wherever I’m going.