It happens on a fairly-regular (more than I’d like to admit) basis where I find myself in a spiritual conversation of sorts and say out loud, ~or more likely say to myself~ “that’s in the Bible?!?!” Which can be a little embarrassing since I’ve been a Christ follower for pretty much all my conscious existence! And while I don’t feel the need to defend myself per se, let me encourage those of you who may have found yourselves in similar situations.
I have read through The Good Book cover to cover with certain ‘intentionality’ 4 times; which does not include all the other days that book has been opened before me in over 40 years of sermons, seminars, Sunday school classes, life group discussions, conferences, personal devotions and more. So,…. why do I continually find myself asking “That’s in the Bible?!?!”
Well, I can pretty much boil it down to the simple fact that the Bible is living (Hebrews 4:12, John 6:63, 1 Peter 1:23) and I take that to mean our encounter with God’s Word will be different every time we read, (as is our experience with every other living thing). There’s always something new to see … something unique to discover … something fresh to glean.
“…our encounter with God’s Word will be different every time we read…”
Christmas, in all its beauty, will be celebrated to the fullest tomorrow. Some families will finally put that baby Jesus figurine in their nativity sets, others will gather together to read the cherished Luke 2 passage and grateful words of thankfulness for the baby Jesus will be prayed all around the world. And when everyone goes home, and the tousled paper is piled high in the recycle bin, many will begin placing hopeful eyes on the New Year.
I love the exercise of resolutions. Don’t get me wrong. I rarely see my list of goals to the finish line but every attempt is still a success at moving towards good habits for my mind, body and soul. I ask myself the question, “what will my Bible reading resolution be this year?” I just read an article that said “most Christians approach yearly Bible reading goals with trepidation and guilt.” I get it. My goal to read the Chronological Bible in a year accidentally stretched into a 3-year goal. Literally December 31st of THE THIRD YEAR I was cramming down that super-easy Revelation-read at about 11:45 pm….And just to be super honest with y’all, I didn’t get to: “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21)”until after the clock rolled past 12… so yeah, technically I was in my 4th year before I actually finished…but who’s counting?
Friends, that is still a success. Taking three years (and one day) to read through The Bible started years and years prior when I first resolved to read the New Testament in a year. (Are you looking for an easy goal? Start there!) And that goal turned into an Old Testament read-through plan the following year.
As you consider your 2019 plan for personal time in God’s Word, know there are lots of creative ways to approach it. Find something that excites you and remember; taking the time is a great win all by itself. If you need a little inspiration, here’s a link to some different Bible reading plans (Click this link here)(and another here).
Do you have some interesting Bible studies/plans that worked for you? Tell us about it in the comment section! Let’s learn from each other and “spur one another on to good reads!” (Hebrews 10:24~ish)
Written by: Sarah Graham