When I talk to fellow believers about this, I am often surprised at how difficult so many people find this topic. Despite the encouragement from a range of people including pastors, small groups and church events, the whole idea of Bible reading seems to overwhelm most people. I do admit that this does happen to me, and my bible reading is not without its challenges, but I cannot stress enough the criticality of engaging in a Bible reading plan for one’s spiritual growth.
There are a lot of great devotionals out there. One of my favorites is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. 365 readings with some great ideas to contemplate. But, this is not what I am talking about when referring to Bible reading.
What I am talking about is reading your Bible. Cover to cover. And what I am really talking about is doing this in one year. Here are some reasons why.
Over the course of a year, you’ll gain personal insights, not someone else’s. One can read a lot of theology based on someone else’s work. But the Bible is surprisingly easy to understand. God managed to get this work produced in such a way so that we could understand it. A plan, a bible, and a commitment is all you need.
Over the course of a year, you’ll get a good sense of the big story. You’ll see how God works with people from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, to David to Jesus. You’ll really see that the main character is God. Most importantly, you’ll see Grace in action.
Over the course of a year, you’ll see how God seeks out people, and how people respond to the invitation of faith. And you’ll see that the other main characters are deeply flawed. Our imperfections are not an impediment to our relationship or growth.
Over the course of a year, you’ll encounter stories that directly relate to your life. At some point in the Bible’s stories about anger, frustration, regret, anguish, fear, hope, or joy you’ll say, “That’s me.” And from that, you’ll have encouragement, and perhaps a better understanding of how God is continuing to reach out to you and guide you.
Over the course of a year, you’ll learn that this book says more about practical, God-centered, hope-filled living that you can possibly imagine.
Yes, it will be a challenge. Yes, it can be overwhelming, Yes, you might get demotivated. But, how cool is it that the book inspired by God sits right at your fingertips? The book that describes His love for us is so easily available. And in this day and age, it’s literally everywhere.