I have been thinking about what I’ve learned in reading the Bible through at least once per year over the last four years, and as I dwell on the benefits of such an exercise, I keep finding more.
Overall, the Bible is the Word of God: within it God has revealed Himself—the great I AM—to us. That alone should be reason enough for any believer.
Not just reading.
I do not mean to imply that you must read all the time, although reading does have additional benefits. Many would prefer to listen, and that’s great—there are many CDs, audiobooks and apps that will read the Bible to you in many versions and different narrators.
The point is getting the Bible into your head and heart, not the medium.
We waste a lot of time.
The M’Cheyne plan usually takes fifteen to thirty minutes to complete, every day. Yet, I often felt like I didn’t have enough time to do it. A plan to read the Bible in 90 days takes me on average 40-60 minutes per day, and I did that once this year—while helping care for an infant and working full time.
A lot of people watch an hour or more of TV every day. What if we read our Bibles for just one hour, instead? When trying to get through the Bible in 90 days, I had to pare off a lot of extra little things (TV) or use some times (lunch breaks) better.
Other activities are attractive.
Even when I recognize that I should read my Bible, I sometimes don’t — sometimes I say self, watching TV will be more satisfying. But it’s a lie, because I regret it every time. It means I’ve chosen television over the Word of God when I had committed myself to the Word.
It’s a daily spiritual checkup.
Whether I stay on plan or not is a quick check of my spiritual life; this is obvious when I am in the word, but I’m blind to it when I’m not. This doesn’t mean that if I’m reading my Bible I’m healthy or vice versa, but it can be a good indicator that something’s up. Not reading the Bible isn’t a cause of sin or temptation, nor does reading it prevent all sin—but it helps me prepare for the fight, Ephesians 5 style.
Looking back on seasons where I was engaging in more sin, I was usually reading the Bible less. This is enough to want me to be in the Word every morning!
The more I read, the more I connect together.
One of the greatest joys of reading through the Bible over and over is how parts of it become connected together in your mind. It is a massive collection of books that span many genres, but the more you work through it the more you sense and see the internal harmony of the Bible as a whole. Threads of theme, motif, and story adorn the pages more and more as it becomes more familiar.
Reading regularly also helps me to recall passages when needed, as well. Most people know scattered verses in the Bible, but regularity becomes familiarity with discipline. It has been very helpful in writing and conversation to always have the Word fresh in mind.
We can’t know it all.
The Bible is a huge tome; there are 66 books with over 1000 chapters containing more than 30,000 verses. I don’t think it’s possible for one person to know and recall all of that—and certainly no single expert on all of it. We must rely on the body of Christ to help us understand the whole book—but that shouldn’t stop us from reading it all.
Don’t get bogged down in your daily readings—push through even the difficult parts and return to them later. The point of reading through in a year is to get all of the Bible through your mind, not to understand 100% of it.
Do it in the morning before anything else.
I am a night owl. But getting up early to read is much more effective for me; perhaps because there is nothing else to capture my attention, yet. No work. No family. No phone calls, etc.
It’s a great way to start your day, too. Before putting food in your stomach, you feast on the Word of God. Scriptures are planted on your short-term memory to be carried with you in the day, for whatever you might face.
You need Jesus more than you need sleep.
Welcome to 2018
So here we are, it’s 2018. Will you join me and thousands of other ms in committing
to read through the whole Bible this year?
Here’s a few plans I like if you don’t k is where to start:
M’Cheyne (1 Year)
Chronological (1 Year)