Why Read through the Bible in a Year?
Before you know it the New Year will be here. I hope your New Year’s plans include reading through the Bible in a year in 2017. Reading, studying, meditating on and obeying God’s Word should be our lifelong adventure.
No matter how much you have gotten out of your reading in the Scriptures this year, you will get abundantly more during the next and the next and the next!
What about reading through the Bible with a friend or a co-worker? The world around us is literally perishing—our society has lost its moral foundation, individuals are dying and going into an eternity where they will be separated from God forever, marriages are falling apart, children are suffering, and so much more … and we have the answers … but we must do the work of growing and learning and sharing them with others!
Even people who don’t go to church will often respond positively to the question, “Would you like to learn more about the Bible with me?”
Prayerfully consider signing up for the “Bible in a Year” devotionals. They will pop up in your inbox daily as a gentle reminder to stay in His Word. And call or text a friend and challenge him or her to sign up with you!
What if … you thought about reading through the Bible, but just never did?
What if … you tried before and failed?
If you have tried before and failed, that’s OK! I tried numerous times before I got all the way through without falling behind and, eventually, quitting.
But why not make it your goal for 2017? It’s worth the effort. But it won’t happen unless you make a plan and get started.
So … why should you read through the Bible in a year?
You don’t have to be a believer for long to realize that God’s truth often clashes with the world’s interpretation of truth, whether it’s theology and science, the source of true wisdom, how we view God, or how to face the increasingly dangerous world we live in. Each of us has to decide, “What will be my source of truth?” Jesus said, the “Word is truth” (Jn. 17.17).
And let me share with you some thoughts from Donald Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.”
In the opening chapter Whitney outlines three ways that God grows us spiritually. The first is through people. God uses our friends and family, our co-workers, our pastors and teachers, parents and children, and even our enemies to grow us.
“As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27.17).
The second is through circumstances: financial problems, relational problems, world events, natural phenomenon like the weather, sickness, and all kinds of tests and trials.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to beconformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren”(Rom. 8.28-29).
The third is through the spiritual disciplines like Bible intake, prayer, fasting, service, worship, journaling and others. Whitney uses the stories of the blind beggar Bartimaeus (Lk. 18.35-42) and the tax collector Zacchaeus (Lk. 19.1-10) to explain the importance of the spiritual disciplines.
When he heard that Jesus was approaching, Bartimaeus, over the objections of others in the crowd, cried out repeatedly for Jesus to have mercy on him. And Zacchaeus, a wealthy but short tax collector, climbed up into a sycamore tree just to get a glimpse of Him. Both of them, unashamedly, placed themselves in the His path. And in both cases Jesus stopped and responded to their desire for an encounter with Him. Continue reading