1-Year Bible Reading Series for Healthy Living (December: Making Plans)

1-Year Bible Reading Series for Healthy Living (December: Making Plans)

Welcome Back!  This month we will explore what the Bible teaches about Making Plans.  

Do you make to-do lists, short-term goals, or long-term objectives?  Do you get anxious when things don’t go as planned?  Or, maybe you tend to be laid back and habitually procrastinate, causing missed deadlines and unmet aspirations.  Do you ever wonder how to strike a balance between planning and waiting to see how things work out?

The Bible is filled with instructions to be diligent in carrying out fruitful work, effective systems, and wise strategies while also walking in faith.  This month will be an opportunity to take in God’s teachings so you can enjoy more success and satisfaction in your endeavors, and experience more peace as you trust the Lord with your plans, efforts, and results. 

Are you ready to get started growing closer to God and improving your life?

Let’s go…

December - Making Plans

Plans are made for many different purposes whether it is to help with reaching personal development goals or short and long term work-related goals, or a number of other reasons.  Schedules and to-do lists are a couple of tools commonly used to assist in carrying out plans.

A Gallup poll looking at the likelihood of people setting goals for the new year showed that the majority of respondents indicated they would set a goal.  Interestingly however, most of them revealed that they would not follow through with a plan to reach their goals.

Related:  Does God Want you to Rediscover Your Childhood Dreams? 

God advises that people should make plans (Proverbs 21:5).  And in other places, He warns us that plans can be inconsistent with the Lord’s will.  For example, Proverbs 19:21 says “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Ultimately, we are to plan for the future, but plans are to be made under the counsel and direction of God.  “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

Week 1:  Praying & Reading The Word

Before jumping into Scriptures that teach about making plans according to God’s will, it is important to establish an understanding of the purpose of life.  The best and most commonly accepted answer to this central question is found in the Westminster Catechism.  The first question and answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is: “What is the chief end of man?  To glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

By remembering that your chief purpose is to bring glory to God and to delight in Him, your prayers and plans will align with your true desires given to you by God and intended to be fulfilled by Him (Psalm 37:4).  

In this week’s readings, take in the guidance found in God’s Word so you can gain inspiration in how you look at and approach the goals and plans you have.

Dec 1

Esther 4

Esther & the Jews Pray as She Prepares to Talk to the King

Dec 2

Psalm 40

David Seeks God

Dec 3

Psalm 119

A Lamp for Your Feet

Dec 4

Psalm 20

Trust God not the World’s Ways

Dec 5

Matthew 6:5-18

The Lord’s Prayer

Dec 6

Isaiah 30

Making Plans without God

Dec 7

Jeremiah 29

God Has a Good Plan for You

Week 2:  Wisdom

Wisdom is essential when it comes to making and carrying out plans.  Without wisdom it would be easy to be inefficient or unproductive.  By incorporating the principles of life God provides in the Bible, you will know what to desire, and how to prioritize and focus your efforts.

The Scriptures this week will impart wisdom in your life.  They will transform your mind and heart.  As you prepare to read them, take a moment to ask God to help you see, understand, accept, and practice His ways. 

Dec 8

Proverbs 1

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Dec 9

Proverbs 2

Wisdom’s Value

Dec 10

Proverbs 4

Keep Listening to Wisdom

Dec 11

Proverbs 8

Wisdom’s Blessing

Dec 12

Proverbs 9

Wisdom vs. Folly

Dec 13

Proverbs 10

Wisdom Brings Security

Dec 14

Proverbs 12

Benefits of Wise Living 

Week 3:  Seeking Counsel

God is always the first One we are to seek guidance from when making plans; but the Lord also tells us to inquire with wise people in our lives in order to receive godly guidance.  It is vital to weigh their advice with God’s Word.  If someone counsels you to do something that is inconsistent with Scripture, do not follow their advice.  Find someone else to talk with.  If you’re unsure who to ask, find out from your pastor who might be good to talk with.  [Don’t have a church?  How about starting to attend?  Check out this article:  6 Tips for Choosing the Right Church For You]

Related:  3 Essential Beliefs all Christian Churches Share 

In this week’s Bible passages, get acquainted with the role wise counsel should play in your life.  Pray about and ask your pastor where you can develop relationships with people that are grounded in God’s Word so you can learn from them.    

Dec 15

Proverbs 18

Don’t Isolate; Seek Counsel

Dec 16

2 Corinthians 1:12-2:4

Seek God’s Answer & Consider Your Effect on Others

Dec 17

2 Timothy 4

Don’t Compromise Truth Even When Listeners Reject Truth

Dec 18

Jeremiah 18

God’s Plans will not be Thwarted

Dec 19

1 John 4

Test the Spirits

Dec 20

Proverbs 3

King Solomon Advises His Son to Listen to Wisdom

Dec 21

Proverbs 19:8-29

Listen to Advice & Accept Instruction to Gain Wisdom

Week 4+:  Desires of Your Heart & God’s Plans

Plans are made with the purpose of acquiring something desired or preventing what is displeasing.  Have you ever obtained something you worked hard for only to discover it didn’t bring you the fulfillment you hoped for?  Or, have you ever failed to get what you wished for and later realized it’s better that you didn’t?

The Bible explains why this happens:  the human heart often deceives the mind (Jeremiah 17:9).  Therefore, to experience the fulfillment of your deepest longings, it is necessary to accept that God knows your truest desires better than you know them yourself.  By recognizing God as your all-loving, all-knowing, and all-powerful heavenly Father, you can have all the comfort and assurance you need that He will satisfy your sincerest yearnings (Psalm 37:4, Psalm 73:25-26,  ). 

As you read this week's Scriptures, open your heart fully to God.  Share with the Lord your dreams, fears, and disappointments. Ask Him to help you connect deeply with and delight in Him. 

Dec 22 

Jeremiah 17:7-13

Let God search your heart

Dec 23

Psalm 145

God Fulfills the Desires of Those Who Fear Him

Dec 24

Matthew 7:7-11

Ask, Seek, and Knock

Dec 25

Matthew 26:36-46

Jesus in Gethsemane

Dec 26

Jeremiah 29

Seek God and Know His Good Plans for You

Dec 27

Proverbs 16

Weigh Your Plans Against God’s

Dec 28

Psalm 42

Thirst for God

Dec 29

James 4:13-17

Only God Knows What Tomorrow Brings Regardless of Your Plans

Dec 30

Isaiah 55:6-9

God’s Ways are not Your Ways

Dec 31

Psalm 21

God Gives King David his Heart’s Desire

Where to Go From Here

To get the most out of life, it is good to reflect on past lessons and experiences, live in the present, and plan for the future under God's direction.  By praying and reading the Bible as well as seeking wise cousel, you can gain sound guidance in how to use your interests, talents, and resources in carrying out God's  ultimate mission for your life: loving Him, loving others, and sharing the Gospel with unbelievers.

Congratulations, you made it to the end of the year!  Do you have any big plans for next year?  Share it with us in the Comment section below!

Articles in this series:  January - Fitness     February - Sleep & Rest     March - Nutrition  April - Stress Management    May - Recreation     June - Family    July - Work    August - Faith    September - Finances    October - Mindset    November - Relationships    December - Making Plans    

Would you like to read more about making plans? 

Check out these articles:

  1. Few Are the Plans of Many: The Wisdom in Scheduling Well
  2. What is the Purpose of Life?

Do you want to learn more about the Bible or how to become a Christian?

Check out these articles:

  1. Bible Recap 101: Your Essential Guide to the Bible's Core Storyline
  2. How to Become a Christian in 2 Life-Saving Steps

Are you looking for a church? Check out these articles:

  1. 3 Essential Beliefs All Christian Churches Share
  2. 6 Tips for Choosing the Right Church For You

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