Mayor Tom Hayden of Flower Mound, Texas declared at a city council meeting in December that 2014 would be known as the "Year of the Bible." With help from local pastors, Hayden launched TheBible2014.com in the hopes that many would look to God's word for guidance in the coming new year.
Flower Mound is a suburb of Dallas, Texas, right in the midst of the "Bible Belt." The city's mayor hopes to encourage the community to read the Bible daily so that God's word can greatly impact their town.
"God puts people in certain positions and in certain areas, and He uses them to do things," said Hayden in the December city council meeting. "I've had something on my heart for a couple of years ... to encourage our community to discuss the Bible - to discuss it with your kids and to discuss it with your family," he says. Hayden reminded council members that the Bible was the basis of many of our country's laws, and that America's founding fathers were largely men of faith.
"The morality that helped build our country is based on the values that are found in the Bible. And as we look at problems, maybe we're getting away from those values ... in my little small way, I want to encourage people to get back into those values," Hayden told Fox News. TheBible2014.com was created to help people get into the word, with daily readings which walk through the entire Bible in one year.
Many in the community have responded positively to Hayden's 2014 initiative. A member of a Flower Mound-based congregation, The Village Church, says, "Believers in the church are no strangers to following biblical commands like abiding in His Word ... but it's the secular sector who will determine whether this mayor's proclamation will make a difference in the community. Most importantly, there needs to be a spiritual awakening in this land. Without a complete dependence on God, reading the Bible may provide behavioral modification but won't leave a lasting effect. 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Micah 6:8 are commands that, if followed, can change the moral makeup of any community forever."
TheBible2014.com also gives introductions to books of the Bible, provides links to helpful resources for further study, and provides devotions to go along with daily readings. Below is an excerpt from the website explaining more about why the Bible is so important:
1. It is God's Word
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16
2. It Gives Wisdom
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding ~ Proverbs 2:6
3. It is Truth
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. ~ John 17:17
4. It Gives Hope
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. ~ Psalm 119:114
5. It Makes Us Spiritually Strong
But He answered and said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" ~ Matthew 4:4
6. It Gives Life and Health
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. ~ Proverbs 4:20
7. It Transforms
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting (transforming) the soul; ~ Psalm 19:7
8. It Sheds Light
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119: 105
9. It Revives
My soul clings to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. ~ Psalm 119:25
10. It Brings Joy
I rejoice at your Word as one who finds great treasure ~ Psalm 119:162
11. It Strengthens
My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word. ~ Psalm 119:28
12. It Gives Faith
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God ~ Romans 10:17
13. It Shows the Way to Salvation
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God ~ Romans 10:17
14. It Gives Understanding
Give me understanding according to your Word ~ Psalm 119:169