Yesterday I posted my goals for the new year. The very first goal that I listed was to read the entire Bible through this year. This is a goal that I set for myself each year because it encourages me to stay in the Word and because I think that it is a goal that every Christian should strive for.
I am often surprised (of course, by now I shouldn’t be) by "Christians" who have never read the Bible in its entirety. They may start to read it but then they lose interest and quit. These same people will "quote" the Bible, but the things that they quote are not in there – it is just something they have heard others talk about. (and they think that it sounds good). I really believe that if you truly love the Lord with your whole being, you will have a desire to read His Word in order to get to know Him better.
Jesus was God’s greatest gift to us, but we need the Bible in order to fully appreciate and understand why this statement is true.
In thinking about reading the ENTIRE Bible, I am reminded of the Bereans and how Paul praised them for searching the scripture to verify the things that they were being taught. They didn’t just listen and nod their head in agreement so they could be out of church by Noon for lunch. Nope, these folks listened to what their teachers taught but then they went and studied God’s Word so that they knew that they were being taught truth.
It is so easy to be led astray, especially if we don’t know what the Bible really says. I recently had the pleasure of inviting a couple of ladies into my home who had to come to visit me (again) and tell me about their
cult "church". One of the ladies opened her Bible to “instruct” me as to what the Bible says, and I asked her to wait and I grabbed my Bible. In going through the scripture, I was able to defend the faith and point out where her scripture had been twisted. I would not have been able to this if I had not been a student of the Word and read the Bible from cover to cover (well, I haven’t studied the maps… LOL). It is so easy to take one or two verses and make a claim that sounds good but that is really false because it is out of context. If we are not to be deceived by the world and by the evil one, then we must fill our mind with the complete Holy Word of God (and not just bits and pieces of it).
Now that you are convinced that reading the Bible is important, where do you start? That is the easy! You can either just start in Genesis and start reading or if you have a touch of OCD (like me – LOL), you can get on a reading plan. There are a gazillion plans out there (okay, maybe not quite THAT many). Beth has quite a few links to different plans on her site that you might want to check out.
I found a reading plan that I really liked, and even though it will be quite a challenge, I am going to take it on. I am going to try to read through the Bible in 90 days. My thought is that if I succeed, then I will be able to read through the Bible 4 times this year but if I fail… well, that is fine too because I am sure it would put me further along than a year long plan would and I can still accomplish my original goal. If I start on this and realize that I am not soaking up the Word as I should, then I will slow down the pace and stretch it out to 180 days BUT I have learned that most folks (including me) can do MUCH more than what they are doing (especially when it comes to spiritual growth) and that they (me too!!!) need to be stretched in order to grow and learn. I would caution, however, that if you have never read through the Bible at least once, then it may be best (and not as overwhelming) to stick to a year plan. It would be much better to take your time and actually do the reading than to start, get overwhelmed and quit.
Even though there are lots of wonderful books out there written by godly men and women, the most important book EVER written is the Bible because it is what we are to conform our lives to. How can we truly live for the Lord if we don’t take the time to see for ourselves (like the Bereans) what it is that He has truly said?