My wife, Joyce Ann, and I read through the Scriptures together this past year and have already begun reading through them again. This coming year, 2024, will be my fifty-ninth reading through the Scriptures.
Some may wonder why we discipline ourselves to read through the Bible each year. Here are a few of those reasons.
One cannot read about the life of Christ without realizing the Scriptures were important to Him, and if they were important to the Son of God they should be important to us as His followers.
I think sitting under the preaching of God’s Word each Sunday should not be a revelation of what the Bible says, but a confirmation of what I have been reading for myself. I prefer to know what I believe about the Scriptures and what they say firsthand and think through why I believe them.
Although written by approximately forty human authors over a period of around 1600 years the Bible has a wonderful unity and needs to be read and understood from this perspective because it has One Author, God. Reading it over again reminds me of this truth, spares me from being isolated on favorite passages, and prevents my memory of what they say from being supplanted by my imagination of what I think they said.
Constantly pouring over the Scriptures I see things I missed before but have become clearer as I (hopefully) mature in Christ. Reading the Word of God is one of the disciplines that aids in that maturation. The Book of Books enjoins us to renew our minds so that we begin to see life from God’s perspective.
Focusing on His perspective helps prevent us from being blinded by the confusion of current events that can overwhelm the thinking of the best of us. We see events through the lens of time, God sees the same events through the lens of eternity, and we are in constant need of His eternal perspective so that we do not lose our way in time.
I have said the first four words of the first chapter of Rick Warren’s bestselling book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” are the most important in the whole book; “It’s not about you.” If you believe as I do that God created us, then He created us to fulfill His plan and purpose, not ours. The Father has revealed His will to us in His Word.
If you are searching for the true meaning of life this is the only book that has it. Why not read the Manufacturer’s owners’ manual that reveals to us in grand detail the One who made us and why?
I have a very simple reading plan; I begin with Genesis 1:1 and read an average of five chapters a day, Monday through Friday. When I get to Ruth or Jonah, each with only four chapters, that is all I read that day. When I get to books like Daniel with twelve chapters I read six chapters one day and six the next.
I keep a journal and post my thoughts on some portion of what I have read on my Facebook page Monday through Friday. On weekends I read and study other parts of the Bible, my Sunday school lesson, and sermon preparation for those times when I get an opportunity to preach.
I pray you will consider reading through the Bible in 2024.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever,” Isaiah 40:8.