Does learning how sacrifices were offered long ago impact my spiritual life? What does it matter if a king committed adultery and murder 3000 years ago? (Not just the stuff of current day soap operas, by the way…)
Why to Give it a Try
The Bible is given very unique authority in a Christ-followers life (see 2 Timothy 3:14-17 below). There are many ways to engage the Bible, God’s Word. One can read, study, listen to it read, hear it preached, and the list goes on. Each year, we encourage you to take the opportunity to read through the Bible in a year (or more). Here are a few reasons to consider this:
- Get the whole story—When we read through the Bible there are details and ideas that begin to connect up that doesn’t occur when we read only parts. There is a big story that we, as the body of Christ (the church), are a part of…and we need to continue to realize how God has worked throughout it.
- Be impacted by verses you rarely read—The Holy Spirit will often use different stories or teachings you have not read to speak to you. Similarly, passages you have come to know well will often be refreshed or renewed by God because of reading things you don’t know as well.
- Have ALL of the Bible speak to your life…not just your favorites or the easy ones—One may have favorite parts but it can be good to read sections we avoid because they challenge us to deal with our anger well or how pride impacted a king to his downfall. God will use sections we want to avoid or consider insignificant to grow us toward maturity in Christ.
- Know and love God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) more completely—By reading it through, we better understand who God is…His character, His attributes and how He interacted with others. Then we become more aware of potentially how He may interact with us…and how we interact with Him!
- Follow God well—By reading the whole Bible we get a good idea of the life God calls us to, how other’s have lived that and how God lead and guided them. By reading the Bible, you will gain a greater spiritual sensitivity when you have to make a decision…and what decision will honor God.
Ways to Give It a Try
There are some great ways to try this and I have had people comment positively on each of these:
- One Year Bible (for sale) sets up readings for you to read the Bible in a year,
- Chronological Bible (for sale) is NOT a time travel Bible but it does put the events and writings in order…such as Paul’s letter to the Romans is set right after the reference in the book of Acts, David’s penitential psalm (51) about his adultery with Bathsheba is set right after the account in 2 Samuel 11, etc.
- A reading plan (free) you can pick up.
Be encouraged by Paul’s words about the Bible (Scripture) to Timothy, who he was mentoring/discipling:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:14-17)
May your 2011 be one of living a life that loves God and is faithful to Him as you love others!