Have you thought about how you will read through Scripture this year? I have to admit, this challenge can remind me of a lot of years of feeling like a failure! How about you? But that’s still not a reason to start the year with a good goal of being in God’s Word every day.
What are the benefits of reading through the Bible?
- You gain a greater appreciation for the thread of redemption that is woven from Genesis to Revelation.
- You gain knowledge and understanding of God, His character, His attributes, and His ways as you read about how He deals with people who were just like you and me – fallible, imperfect, and needy!
- You expand your understanding as you read both Old and New Testaments. Often, we stick to the New Testament because it seems more “practical” and “applicable” to our life. But the reality is, the Old Testament is just as important, and we lose much of the meaning of the New Testament if we skip studying the history of the Jewish nation, the prophets, and the psalms. Listen to what Jesus said about the Old Testament: These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. (Luke 24:44) The Old Testament is all about Jesus, too!
- You begin to see the Bible as one complete story, rather than 66 separate books.
- You grow in your understanding of grace as you see the patience of God.
- You discover truths that you may have heard, but never read for yourself.
- You give God the opportunity to teach you personally, as His Spirit speaks to you while you read, giving you wisdom and understanding.
My goal in 2019 is to follow a chronological reading of scripture. Did you know all those major and minor prophets (those books with strange sounding names like Hosea and Obadiah) actually overlap with the events in Kings and Chronicles? That the story of Job occurred around the same time as the events in Genesis? A chronological read helps us put events in order, and see how each book of the Bible connects with the others.
If you want to join in, you can find a schedule to print out below. It’s a PDF on Google Docs, and you can download and print it. There are six days of reading so you get a “grace” day each week to catch up! I’ve typed up the plan so it fits on three regular sheets of paper, and you have check-boxes for each day. You can find the original source of this reading plan here. Also, I highly recommend popping over to visit Leslie at her Growing4Life blog for some great details and resources on this plan, as well as a contest you can enter to win a free book! Leslie’s post inspired me to try reading chronologically this year.
Whatever scripture reading plan or method of Bible study you choose this year, I pray that God grows your love for Him and for His Word. When we make time with Him a priority, everything else in life seems to work!