Are You Reading the Bible?

I really enjoy reading the Word of God.

I know that can be an easy thing to say and not so easy to do but reading the Bible has become a vital part of who I am and in helping me become all that God needs me to be. How about you? How is your reading going? I was amazed the other day that in her class assembly while everyone else is talking about all kinds of other books my 8 year old is telling everyone how her favourite thing to read is the Bible ‘it’s God’s diary’.

Stuck on how to read the Bible. Here are some things that have helped me & might help you…

1. Get a version that is easy to read. NIV, Message, NLT, NCV. This year I am reading through the Message version.
2. Have it with you all the time. I use youversion on my phone which means I can read wherever, whenever.
3. Bookmark anything that speaks to you, makes you think, challenges or you want to study further. Use a notebook, underline or save on your phone.
4. Have a plan. No excuses these days as there are all sorts of reading plans available that can help you. This is my plan 180 Bible Plan. I miss days but I do my very best to stick to this for the first 6 months of the year.
5. Keep going. Let’s be honest, some parts of the Bible are just plain hard work (or is that just me) but just keep reading, ask God to help you.
6. Read a good chunk at time. I know some who just read a verse a day but for me, it’s important to read a good chunk so I get a better feel for what’s happening, to see things in a bigger context. With reading the Bible you have to remember there is only one golden rule…that you actually read it on a regular basis!!

A while I go I commented on something that J I Packer had said, that every Christian worth their salt should read the Bible through. It got quite a reaction. How can we say that? Isn’t that religion? Well maybe, but personally I think it’s more a case of why don’t you want to read all the Bible? I know it doesn’t make a you Christian or even a better one but from what I have seen in my own walk…when I’m in the Word on a regular basis life just seems to be better. When I’m not in the Word…it just seems easier to drift.

So the question to you as a Christian is…are you reading your Word?
Create some space to accomplish this one thing which I guarantee will enhance your walk with God!!

Reading the Bible

I have just finished reading through the Bible in 6 months, something which I have done for the last 5 or 6 years. It was a discipline I put in place because I wasn’t reading my Bible enough, if at all, although I was devouring other books easily.

Now I look forward to the start of the New Year and commencing to read through again. I have been asked if I have a plan – not particularly. I just start in Genesis and read through, aiming to complete around 7 Chapters each day. Some days I read more, other days I read less and do you know what – some years it’s taken until September to complete the read through, it’s not a ‘must-do’ thing but a desire.

Why read the Bible through?
Not to prove my worth.
Not to tick a box either.

I read it to get to know more about my God. The closer I get to Him, the more I want to read. The more I read, the closer I get to Him, the more I learn about how God views life, the more I learn about how God wants me to live my life.

I do study. I like to dig into the scripture too. I ‘bookmark’ verses (especially easy with the Bible on my phone now) and during the 2nd half of the year I will journey through some of them and dig a little deeper into them. I may even preach out of some of them. I definitely want to learn more, discover more, get some revelation.

It’s great to read how other Pastors view this too. Mark Batterson is reading the Bible through the year. Here are some thoughts he recently shared. What are your thoughts? I commented that some may view this as ‘religious’, especially the J I Packer quote which I put on my twitter – his reply is great and makes the point so much better than I can…

If it comes across as legalistic I think it can be a turn-off. So I totally understand the reaction. But it might be because it’s convicting too…

I definitely subscribe to something Oswald Chambers said: “Let God be as original with others as he was with you.” So I don’t like prescribing things like “you have to read through the entire Bible” in a year. But the truth is this: will that lead to growth. Absolutely. So the more you want to grow the more you’ll read. I don’t think you can get around that.

Mark