My name is Stewart Bailey and the reality of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour was solidified about 22 years ago. In 1992 I was challenged with the notion of absolute truth and whether Jesus was who he said he was (God) or just another historical human figure. There were a number of converging events back at that time that led to me the Lord. A primary variable was the reality of the Word of God and how it clearly spoke to my heart.
When the call to cultivating life came around last fall, I was wrestling with how I should be responding to the challenge. My initial feeling was that I need to commit to some form of fasting however as important as that discipline is, it became more evident that I needed to get back to making the Word of God my top spiritual priority. I still feel called to fast and need to get more serious about that as this year unfolds.
Both my wife Tina and I discovered Nicky Gumbel’s (Alpha) “Bible in a Year app” over the last year. We both have the app on our electronic devices and renewed our commitment to go through the Bible in a year using this terrific tool. It has made what can be a very onerous task extremely enjoyable. I have missed a few days this year, some days I am rushing it but when I really take the time to soak it in, this daily discipline is golden.
The electronic devotional automatically updates daily. It starts out with a very encouraging and challenging introduction by Nicky followed by links to both New Testament and Old Testament chapters. There is always a relevant message that has practical applications to my life. For example, today’s theme is “Priorities”. I continually need to be reminded of how loving God and loving people are the two top priorities in life. If I really take this in and obey the message, I am going to have a great day today! A string of great days lead to great weeks and so on….
A great side benefit of both Tina and I using this app is that it has become a great catalyst for spiritual discussion between us. We have had some terrific discussions on how the Lord has spoken to us (sometimes very differently). We have also used the app to have some family devotion times around the table. It is a tremendous tool that facilitates great discussion. I am reminded that we should be doing much more of this – especially as the time with our children is very limited and the window of opportunity to have these times will quickly close.
Now, excuse me while I need to catch up a couple of days of reading…..
**(To download The Bible in One Year App from the iTunes Store, click here)
Stewart has been attending NSA since 1992 with a break between 2002 – 2008 when the family moved to California. He is married to Tina and they have 3 terrific children Luke (20) , Hannah (19) and Sam (15).