Reading the Bible in 2021Blog
Confession: I didn't expect to get a lot out of reading through the whole Bible. I knew the Bible was important and it was a good thing for me to read it as a Christian. But how necessary is it to read the Bible on my own when I can listen to someone teach it to me at church? They understand the Bible better than I will. But in spite of my lesser knowledge of the Bible, it surprised me how beneficial reading the whole Bible was to my walk with the Lord.
Reading the Bible will strengthen your understanding of who God is
and who we are in light of Him.
The Bible tells us this about itself: it is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). It is powerful though it might not feel like mountains are being moved when you read through books like I & II Chronicles (gotta love genealogies) but faithfulness in daily reading will strengthen your understanding of who God is and who we are in light of Him that will result in a deeper love for Jesus and his Church.
Here are a few tips as you commit to Bible reading this year:
- Find a friend. Use a Bible app like YouVersion to go through a plan with a friend and keep one another accountable. There were people along the way that walked through scripture with me as I went through difficult seasons and it had a profound impact on me. Having other people that you are studying the Bible with gives you both accountability to read the Bible and insight into Bible study God is giving to others.
- Make a plan. Figure out what you can feasibly keep up with. Is it every week day, every day, three times a week? You’ve got to start somewhere. My first time to read through the Bible was when my siblings suggested following a Bible reading plan. The next year I did it again, and have continued to read the through the Bible every year since I began. You will not reach your goal unless you make a plan.
- Pray before you read. Ask God to build in you a desire to read His word and ask that he would allow you to understand it. If you read the Bible without prayer, you are missing the point of the Bible. God wants us to read the Bible not to become smarter, but to spend time with Him. My husband is really good at this. Before he reads the Bible, he tries to take a moment to pray and settle his mind and heart so that he comes to the Bible seeking to grow closer to God.
The best way to start is to start. Don't allow comparison to keep you from experiencing the life change that can happen from daily Bible reading. If you never read the Bible, start with the YouVersion verse of the day! If you are reading the Bible every now and then, read a short book (maybe one of the New Testament letters) and just read a chapter each day. If you have been reading more actively, make this the year you take the challenge of reading the Bible cover-to-cover. But whatever you do, remember the goal is not merely knowledge of God, but love for God.