For the coming year, our church is encouraging us to all read the entire Bible together. They have provided a wonderful resource to guide us through it, based on the Discipleship Journal’s plan.
Two years ago, I wrote about my first experience of reading through the Bible in a year as I considered my new year’s resolution. (You can read that here.)
This past year, I started again to read the whole Bible in a year, taking a different approach than chronological. This time I read four different parts of the Bible each day, using the M’Cheyne Bible reading plan, and reading For the Love of God by D.A. Carson, daily devotions to accompany that plan. I invited a friend to do the same.
It was absolutely one of the most beautiful studies of the Bible I had ever done. I was fascinated with seeing the big picture of the Bible, the ways things from the Old Testament were tying into the New Testament. It gave me a place to go each morning when otherwise I would have wondered where to read.
Sometime during the year, though, I started a Bible study and stopped my daily reading plan, thinking I couldn’t do both. I have missed it. And I had long forgotten starting the year reading my Bible with my friend and talking about that with her — until I got an email from my friend this morning. She told me she had just finished reading her Bible all the way through for the first time, thanking me for that encouragement to do this.
It surprised me. I hadn’t thought about it in months. She is reaping the reward of that diligent reading of God’s Word that I missed. And it struck me that with a little encouragement and support, this is something we can all do together.
The reading and study of God’s Word, which is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), has so many benefits (Psalm 119, to name a few) and will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). It is so worthwhile and can literally change our lives. As Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie once said, “Day by day, as I was in the Word, the Word did a work in me.”
I’m looking forward to reading the Bible this year with my church and invite you to join me in this, too!
Happy New Year!