Scripture reading – Colossians 1-4; Philemon 1

Today’s Scripture reading marks the beginning of our study of the books known as “The Pastoral Epistles,”and is my 349th devotional commentary of the year.

Today’s devotional blog is a departure from my usual commentary format, and is an invitation for you to share your thoughts and opinions as we look ahead at the New Year (2021).

My 2020 commitment to write and publish a daily devotional commentary for the whole Bible will soon be complete. It has been a blessing, and a privilege to be followed daily by hundreds of readers. It has also been a great undertaking in both time and effort; however, I fear the length of the Scripture readings, coupled with my daily devotional commentary, has proven too long for many to consistently follow.

Being mindful of the need of balance in reading and study, and I do not want to be guilty of leading “Heart of a Shepherd” readers to become what Solomon observed 3,000 years ago: “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

At the same time, the world is changing rapidly, and more than ever we need to be anchored and disciplined in the Word of God. Paul’s challenge to Timothy should resonate in our souls: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Future of Heart of the Shepherd

Looking ahead, I am contemplating the possibility of a two-year, chronological Scripture reading schedule for 2021-2022. A two-year study of the Scriptures would mean that daily Bible readings would be half the length of this past year. In addition, a lighter reading schedule will afford me an opportunity to develop Scriptural truths, historical context of passages, and doctrines more fully.

If you value the daily devotionals from, you are invited to email your thoughts and opinions to:

With the heart of a shepherd,

Pastor Travis D. Smith

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith