This coming Sunday is the first day of 2017, and I hope that you are making plans to bring in the new year by gathering together with your faith family.  Beginning this January at Green Street, we are going on a journey through the Bible that I am calling “The Scarlet Thread.” From the very first book of the Bible through the last book, the theme of salvation and redemption to be found in Christ is found throughout—on every page, in every chapter, and in every book. The Bible is truly a book about salvation. The Word of God tells us how we came into being, what our problem is, and points us to the only One who can save us—the Lord Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the most important goal you can have as a believer in 2017 is to read God’s Word with regularity and devotion. In a world that views absolute truth as subject to individual interpretation, the Bible’s claims and stories seem obsolete to many modern minds. However, the Bible has not changed and is as relevant now as it ever has been. What has changed is the number of people who consult it. Now more than ever, the need to read and study the Bible, to understand the big picture of its storyline, and to grasp the relevance it has for your life is critical.

I know that many of you have a yearly plan for reading and studying God’s Word. Some of you have never read the Bible all the way through. Like a countless number of other Christians, you start this time of year with great enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm wanes about six weeks into it as you begin to encounter endless genealogies, and chapters chocked full with details that seem so unrelated to your life.  That’s why I am really looking forward to this journey through the Bible that we are going to take together throughout 2017.  The reading plan that I am promoting this year is the Scarlet Thread Reading Plan based on the chronological plan developed by George Guthrie. The plan takes the reader through the progressive revelation of how God determined to rescue us from our sin. Dr. W.A. Criswell, the late pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, once preached a message that he entitled “The Scarlet Thread of Redemption.” In the sermon, he pointed out the marvelous truth that there is a thread of redemption that begins in Genesis and goes all the way through Revelation. The Bible is one story that points us to faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Beginning on Sunday morning, January 1, and going throughout 2017, I plan on tracing this scarlet thread out as I preach through the big story of the Bible. We will start in Genesis and will end the year in Revelation.

My prayer is that 2017 becomes a year of great growth in the life of our church as we delve into the truth of salvation and see how all of Scripture is really one story—the story of God’s glory and man’s rescue.