About five years ago, Pastor Ron began encouraging us to read the Bible every day, but particularly to read it from start to finish if we had never done so. He suggested a short timeline of just a few months which is an aggressive pace, but this allows for an easier understanding of context because the beginning is fresh in one’s mind when reaching the end. I grew up in church and I went to a Christian college. I had read most of the Bible at that point, but I wasn't sure if I had actually read every word, and I knew I had never read it continuously through from Genesis to Revelation. Reading so many chapters daily was challenging at first, but eventually a habit was formed (though I did miss a few days here and there) and I finished the Bible in four months. I was amazed by the number of things I’d missed during previous readings, and surprised by how much better I did, in fact, understand the context due to reading it so quickly.
I was amazed by the number of things I’d missed during previous readings...
After finishing my first read through, I immediately started going through it again and that time read it in six months. Since that time five years ago, I’ve gone through it at least once or twice a year. Over the last fifteen months, I haven’t missed a day of reading. After a lot of trial and error, I found it works best for me to keep my reading as part of my morning routine. After reading it a few times through, I started listening to the audio version in the YouVersion Bible app on certain days. Listening with the app has become a regular part of my routine on days when I find my schedule more full because I can listen while getting ready, or while driving. If you're struggling to work it into your schedule, just keep trying. Don't get discouraged if you miss a day entirely, or if one day you can only read one chapter (or verse!) instead of seven. Any time spent in God's Word is beneficial and I've found that the more I read, the more I want to read.
More than ever before, I find myself recalling verses that apply to situations in my life as I encounter them.
More than ever before, I find myself recalling verses that apply to situations in my life as I encounter them. Although I do sometimes find it hard to hear from God about certain things, the reading has boosted my confidence in my ability to hear from God in that way because I know He's the one bringing those verses to mind. Not only is that helpful for me, but during discussions and prayer times with others, I'm now able to share verses with them as well. I know the time I've invested into reading has made all of this possible. In a recent service, it was said that we are sometimes tempted to judge God’s Word based on our experiences rather than view our experiences through His Word. It can be hard when things go wrong to still trust that God is good. It’s hard to believe that He wants to heal us when we are sick. However, the Bible says He is good. The Bible says He is a healer. If we don’t read it, we won’t know what the real truth is and we will be shaped more by what we see and experience instead of by His truth. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6 that we have a number of weapons, including the shield of faith, that we can use against the enemy when he attacks. The Bible also says in Romans 10 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by God’s Word. If we don’t know His Word, we will struggle to exercise faith when we need it! I finally understand just how vital it is to know what God’s Word says so we can walk in faith and in the truth of who He is.