LIVING IN THE STORY OF GOD
A Year in the New Testament & Psalms Together
As we stand at the start of a New Year, we believe we hold in our hands something that contains extraordinary life. That in every season, from the valleys to the hilltop moments, this book daily sustains us: containing in its pages words that set people free and teach us how to live the unforced rhythms of grace that humanity was always created for.
So here’s the simple invitation, as we start this new year, we want to read through the New Testament and pray through the Psalms together. Each day we want to encounter Jesus. Before we look at our phones, respond to emails, or get caught up in the busyness of life, we want to carve out space to breathe in the truth of what God says over us.
Jesus says ‘I am the bread of Life’. He invites us to eat and to be satisfied.
As we journey together through this year we will be asking God to use his word to form us into his likeness, enabling us to become agents of kingdom renewal in the places we live, work, and spend our time. We are looking to become, as the Psalmist says, like a tree planted by streams of living water, sustained by the presence of God, providing shade to a weary communities, and producing fruit that speaks of a better story.
So let’s open up the scriptures together, devour it, devote our day to God and press on, expectant that we’ll be changed, challenged and transformed as we live in and live out the story of God.
We’ve produced a journal which lists the passages for each day and provides space to write down what God might be saying to us through the text. We’ve created a PDF version of the BREAD journal for you to use on your device, or a printable overview of the bible reading plan, both of which you can download below. You can also purchase a physical copy of the journal for £5.00 and pick it up at a Gateway Sunday service from 1st January.
Each weekday we will be looking at a chapter from the New Testament and we’ll use this simple pattern: BREAD
BE STILL - Find a place where you can encounter God, ask him to fill the space and take a minute in stillness. Fix your eyes on Jesus and invite the Holy Spirit to guide your time.
READ - Read through the passages for the day. Look for one verse that stands out or interests you. Write out that verse in the ‘read’ section.
ENCOUNTER - Taking your chosen verse, meditate on it. What comes to mind and how does it make you feel? What do you think God is trying to reveal through this verse and allow him to speak to you. Write a short reflection on what you think he might be saying.
APPLY - Now turn your focus outward. Think about how you might apply this to your day and write down how you’re going to try and live this out.
DEVOTE - Finally, close by writing a simple prayer of devotion to God. Ask that God would fill you afresh and commit your day to him.
Whenever we start a new book of the New Testament there is a QR code giving a link to a short video explaining the context of that book. You can watch an introduction to the New Testament below.
Each weekend we will read a different Psalm, ‘Praying through the Psalms’ has been practiced by Christians for hundreds of years. The Psalms display the rich tapestry of what it means to be human - to feel joy, disappointment, anger and grief - and yet the psalmist's model to us how to express the rawness of our hearts to God in prayer. To pray through a psalm, read the psalm and notice the emotion held within the verses. Allow the psalmist’s words to become your own prayer as you read through the passage slowly. Perhaps the psalmist’s cries resonate with your own heart - allow the truth of who God is to orientate your heart towards him again.