An Unlikely Story
If anyone had asked, they would have said it was impossible. Jesus was passing through town and the most unlikely character to want a front-row seat could see only the crowd. The fact that this rich man, a tax collector, wanted to see Jesus seemed ridiculous to most. Many of us are familiar with the story. A wee little man climbed a sycamore tree so he could see God in the flesh. And we know that Jesus saw him and invited himself over to have dinner with Zaccheus, a well-known sinner.
But there are facts to this story that drew me in more than any of the above details. When I read Zaccheus’ story in Luke 19:1-10 recently, I noticed these three points:
- Zaccheus hurried down from the tree when Jesus called him.
- Zaccheus received Jesus joyfully.
- Zaccheus changed in the presence of Jesus.
The children’s song about Zaccheus ends this way:
“And as the Savior passed that way, he looked up in the tree, and he said,
‘Zaccheus, you come down. For I’m going to your house today.
For I’m going to your house to stay.'”
I never understood that part of the song when I was a kid. I envisioned an eternal sleepover. And that sounded fun! No wonder everyone smiled at the end of the song, right?
You see, after Jesus came to visit, he never really left. Oh, his body walked out the door, but his spirit remained.
Zaccheus was a changed man who opened not only the door of his house, but also the door of his heart.
This Month: In His Presence Bible Reading Challenge
Oh that we might follow Zaccheus lead as we read through this month’s topical Bible reading challenge! I pray that we would rush to get to his feet and spend time with Jesus. I want us to joyfully enjoy the moments we have in God’s Word and prayer. And yes, we want to be forever changed through drawing closer to him. This is what happens when we enjoy the gift of his presence!! I can hardly wait!
How to Participate
If you’ve never joined a Bible reading challenge here before, each day we follow the plan and read the passage. You can share what you are learning on social media or just keep it between you and God. My goal through the reading is to draw closer to Jesus, and I want that for you too!
For this month, we will use the hashtag #inhispresence. Almost every day, I post on Instagram or Facebook about what I’m learning through the passages and sometimes I post the Bible journaling pages I work on throughout the study.
On Fridays, I post a summary of what I learned through the week here on the blog and invite you to share what God is teaching you in the comments.
Additional/Optional Bible Reading Challenge Features for January
Each Thursday at 9 PM EST, I’m going to be on Periscope to discuss the passages we’re studying this month. I was a bit sporadic in December with Periscope due to a memory lapse and the holidays, but I will do my best. Tune in for the first session on Thursday, January 7. What’s Periscope? A super cool app that allows me to chat real time with you anytime, anywhere, as long as you log in to listen. Don’t forget to download it before then! Follow me @rachelwojo.
As you may know, I’ve been working on learning to Bible journal a little art and since you’ve been asking, I’ve got a FANTASTIC tool to help us both consistently read God’s Word, study it, meditate on it, and enjoy it. Use this Bible Journaling Guide to process the Bible reading through your choice of journal writing, art, or both.
And now for the Bible reading plan, In His Presence!
In His Presence Bible Reading Plan
1. Luke 19:1-10
2. Deut. 4:5-10
3. Deut. 4:29-33
4. Psalm 34:15-19
5. Psalm 73:21-28
6. James 4:1-8
7. Isaiah 55:1-7
8. Hebrews 7:17-22
9. Psalm 91:1-8
10. Psalm 91:9-16
11. Hebrews 10:16-22
12. Psalm 65:1-5
13. Colossians 3:12-17
14. John 12:25-33
15. Joshua 1:5-9
16. Luke 9:23-27
17. Psalm 100:1-5
18. Psalm 119:141-152
19. 2 Cor. 5:16-21
20. Psalm 145:14-21
21. Psalm 142:1-5
22. Jeremiah 23:23-28
23. 1 John 2:1-6
24. Phil. 3:8-12
25. Romans 8:5-9
26. 2 Chron. 30:18-20
27. Psalm 63:1-8
28. Acts 17:24-28
29. Psalm 14:1-7
30. Isaiah 30:15-18
31. Psalm 119:141-152
Printable or Digital
Just screenshot the graphic to your smartphone and mark it as a favorite for easy daily access. For a simple printable copy, click on the graphic or HERE and print out two copies of the Bible reading plan. Share one with a friend!
Ok! Who’s joining us on January 1st? I’d love to hear from you today!