I say a year or more because I don’t want you to get overwhelmed by the size of the challenge. A number of people have told me that they prefer to shoot for reading through the Bible in two years, or more. While I want to encourage you to stretch to accomplish the task in a year, far better that you do it in a longer period of time than not at all.
It has been my practice to read according to a plan for covering Genesis to Revelation in a year for the last ten years. Few disciplines have more thoroughly shaped my spiritual life. I plead with you – pick up a copy of the plan at church this Sunday or access one of the several alternate approaches you can download on line or get a subscription to Tabletalk Magazine which includes a plan in its daily devotional or purchase a Bible organized for daily readings that take you through it in a year. Just do something in this regard. It will change your life!
In case you need convincing about this, I submit to you sixteen biblical reasons for giving yourself to reading through the Bible in a year.
- All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16). Inspired means breathed out. It comes from God Himself to us as a gift. We dare not neglect any portion of the sacred text.
- That same Scripture in entirety equips us for a life of good works (2 Tim. 3:17).
- That same Scripture in entirety leads us to a proper knowledge and experience of the gift of salvation and the eternal life it bestows (Phil. 2:16; 2 Tim. 3:15; Jas. 1:21; 1 Pet. 1:23).
- The Word of God is His appointed means for fighting sin, Satan, and temptation in the spiritual warfare that constantly assaults us (Matt. 4:1-1; Eph. 6:17).
- Scripture pierces the heart with Holy Spirit conviction to purify thoughts, intentions, and motives of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
- Scripture conveys to us the grace of God and helps to build us up in our most holy faith (Acts 20:32; Jude 21).
- The Word of God is the means whereby God sanctifies us – sets us apart for His use and purposes (John 17:17; Eph. 5:26). It provides the spiritual nourishment whereby we may grow with respect to our glorious salvation (1 Pet. 2:2).
- Scripture keeps us from the peril of spiritual error (Matt. 22:29).
- The Bible charts out for us the path to true blessing and happiness (Luke 11:28).
- Scripture fosters faith and counters unbelief (John 20:31; Rom. 10:17).
- The Word clothes us with a nobility similar to the Bereans who searched the Scriptures DAILY (Acts 17:11).
- God’s Word transforms the mind in such a way to make a powerful antidote for being squeezed into the world’s mold (Rom. 12:2).
- Scripture increases patience, comfort, and perseverance in the testing that comes with trials (Rom. 15:4).
- The Bible sets apart the everyday gifts of God like food and sex by informing our understanding of the proper use of such things (1 Tim. 4:5).
- The Scriptures act as a preserving agent keeping us from the disaster of apostasy and spiritual shipwreck (Heb. 2:1-3).
- The Bible yields to us the exceedingly precious promises of God whereby we may become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
There are probably more. But you get the point. Oh how many benefits come to us by the discipline of daily reading the Scriptures! If you make any resolution for 2011 I pray it would be this one. Take up and read through the entire Bible this year.