Faith without works is dead. We’ve all heard that Verse. But for many of us, it’s even more basic than that. We’re not in the Bible regularly and it’s keeping us stagnant and not flourishing in our faith. What if I said reading God’s Word could become a passion of yours and not so much a checkmark on your “to-do” list? It can.
I’m not a pastor or a theologian, but I am a Journalism major. Ha—OK, what I’m getting at is I have no dog in the hunt here (caution: phrase used in TN, but might not mean much in, say, Rhode Island) except to find a closer walk with God. “A Heart Completely His” is something I strive for, not something I’ve attained. But, Psalm 119: 9-16 gives me hope where David says:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me Your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of Your mouth. In the way of Your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and fix my eyes on Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”
That’s what I want! The highlighted areas are my emphasis, but show that God’s Word is key to our faith and certainly was key for one of the Bible’s most Godly men. Without it, how are we navigating…what is our foundation? Back to my Journalism degree (and minor in Speech Communications). One thing it taught me is that you can’t know someone without communication. You likely agree that we’re stagnant in our faith if we’re not actively seeking God in His Word and in prayer.
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A new year is a great time to pick up your Bible and start reading it. If you’re like me, you’re a Christian. Or, maybe you’re not, but you’re kicking the tires of this God thing. But statistically, you likely have never read through God’s Word entirely. Truth is, it’s daunting—that’s one thick book. But, what if I told you that reading the Bible could be something you will look forward to every day?
Just over four years ago, I stumbled across a group at church that were reading through the Bible in a year. Oops, wrong group (or so I thought). But, the more I thought about it, I took on the challenge. Here I had been a Christian for a number of years, but never read through the Bible—just bits and pieces from Bible studies and church—not a complete picture.
Imagine calling yourself a doctor never having read the medical textbooks, but relying on what others told you.
Here are the key elements I gleaned from that study:
Find the time of day where you’re at your best—God deserves our best and you’ll be alert.
Couple reading with something you enjoy such as coffee.
Stick with it for at least two weeks. After that, you’ll find it becomes a habit and something you look forward to.
You can always start at Genesis and read all the way through to Revelation. To mix things up though, there are a number of “one year” reading plans with 5, 6 and 7-day-per-week reading plans that interject both Old and New Testaments with Psalms and give great flexibility. You can see a few of them in the sidebar (there are others, but I’m only showing ones that I’ve used). There’s even entire Bibles compiled so you can journey through God’s Word in a meaningful way. One such Bible that was sent to me to review that I’m very impressed with is the Day-by-Day Chronological Bible by LifeWay. There are six readings per week with a brief summary on day 7. Very doable. It’s a great Bible! Each day starts off with a callout that summarizes the reading and gives perspective on what you’re about to read. Below are a few photos and you can also read more here.
To be clear, there are parts of the Bible that are slower than others. Don’t give up! You might wrestle with a few genealogies and temple specifications, but there are HUGE moments of adventure and inspiration as you gaze into God’s heart and character that are well worth the journey. Keep in mind, this is GOD’S WORD—how cool is that? As His followers, that alone should excite us to read what He has chosen to write down for us.
We’re a couple weeks into 2019, but don’t let that lessen your resolve to get into God’s Word. Many of the plans aren’t date-specific, so you can pick it up at any point. If you want to wrap up by the end of December, reading a little extra here and there will have you caught up by mid February. Comment below and let me know you’re going to get started. It will be your way of committing and we’d love to encourage you. I suspect your life will be different—not overnight, but a little each day. You can’t help read the Bible and not be inspired. You. Will. Be. Changed.