Resolved to Read the Word
Reading through the bible seems to be on just about everyone’s list of “to do’s” at the beginning of every year. But that resolution usually ends in failure for most. Some hold on a few months, and some sink within days, but I think if we had solid reasons for reading through the entire bible, rather than just trying to muster the will to do it, then we would be more inclined to read it from our hearts rather than out of sheer duty.
No Small Exercise
When we commit to reading the word of God, we are not simply trying to read another chapter book. We're not chiefly trying to better ourselves, or gain a new skill, or a new perspective. We are willfully sitting ourselves at the feet of our heavenly Father and reading eternal words written by him. We are reading words that the majestic and awesome God of all creation spoke, himself (2 Timothy 3:16). So, this is no small exercise, or some small part of the day that can merely be swallowed up in the rest of the day’s activities. We must give it our full attention (2 Peter 1:19) for both our life here and now, and for the future of things. We are chiefly reading God’s word so that we may know the God of whom it speaks, and be conformed into his image to bring him glory! Most would grovel to sit and hear the wisdom of history's great men who have been long dead, but we, as children of the living God, have the marvelous privilege of immersing ourselves in his heart and mind every single day - let us not take this lightly!
What’s The Benefit?
Some may ask, “what's the benefit of reading through the bible every year?” and I think this is a good question with a motivating answer. Without mentioning the benefits of discipline and consistency which come with sticking to a reading schedule, I have at least 4 reasons why this should be something that we all purpose to do.
1) Reading the bible everyday and inundating our minds and hearts with God’s word is how God intends on keeping us unstained from the world (Romans 12:2; James 1:27). Just living in the world means we are immersed in ungodly propaganda brought about by the evil influence of the devil (Ephesians 2:2) and deceitfulness of sinners. If we are not diligent and our loins girded we will fall prey to the battle being waged for our souls (Ephesians 6:12). In other words, reading God’s word everyday is not just another thing to check off the list, it is literally warrior training (which gets me a little excited).
2) All the words we find in the bible were spoken by God so they must be important, right? Yes! That is exactly right. Paul explains to Timothy that all of scripture, not just the Old Testament, or just the New, or just the epistles that he wrote, but that all of it is breathed out by God and is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). This means that everything from the census in Numbers to the Sermon on the Mount is important, necessary, and beneficial for God’s people to read!
3) As my pastor reads a portion of scripture on the Lord’s day he will often say something like, “now, this should immediately remind you of …. (insert other portion of scripture here)” When we read through all that God has given us in his word, we become familiar with the entire narrative. For example, when we read of Jesus’ baptism in the New Testament and his subsequent desert temptations we are reminded of the baptism of the people of Israel through the red sea and their subsequent desert temptations. By reading the entire story of redemption we make better connections between narratives, people, places, and events, and we begin to know the plot line intimately.
4) The plan of redemption spans the entirety of the scripture, and by reading at a 30,000 foot view we allow ourselves to see the plan and path of redemption from Genesis through Revelation. By reading through the scripture in a daily and quicker fashion we are able to remember events that happen at the beginning of Genesis by the time we get to the end of Genesis, or even the end of Deuteronomy. This is helpful, because we are enabled to see God’s plan a little more clearly. We are able to see God’s movements a little easier and observe his hand among his people a little more clearly. As we read we are enabled to see God reveal more and more of himself to his people, culminating in the person of Jesus Christ!
The Most Important Thing
This year, take up the word and commune with your God everyday. If you fall behind in your reading plan, do not fret, find some extra time and catch up, or slow your reading plan down and read a little less everyday. The most important thing is that everyday you are getting your eyes, heart, and mind on the word of God and allowing the Spirit of God to teach you what he has written for your benefit and God’s glory.
Nick Muyres is a USN veteran and now lives in Pittsburgh PA with his wife and 3 children. He owns and operates a handyman business and is a graduate of Liberty University with a Bachelors Degree in Christian Counseling. He is currently pursuing a certification in biblical counseling through RPTS with the ACBC.