If you’re like many Christians, you’ll have entered 2017 with a plan to read the whole Bible this year. Perhaps from Genesis to Revelation, perhaps a chronological plan, or perhaps another reading plan such as the one we suggested recently here: http://www.bibleclassmaterial.com/
It’s a regrettable truth, though, that many well-meaning Christians will not keep up their commitment. I wonder if this has happened to you? I know it’s true for me. Why is this? I think it’s simple: we focus on the task and overlook the heart. We lose sight of the purpose of reading the Bible: to hear from its Author. Thus, as soon as the task becomes challenging (usually around the time we hit Leviticus…) our enthusiasm soon wanes.
Take a moment now to reflect: whenever you open your Bible (or open your Bible app!) you come face-to-face with the very words of God. The Bible itself says, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Is this forefront in your mind as you read? Are you conscious of the fact that God Himself – the very Creator and Sustainer of the Universe – “breathed out” those words for you? Or are you merely anxious to “tick the box” so you can get on to your real priorities? Be honest here!
Look at the purposefulness in Paul’s language. Paul lists four things that God’s Word is “profitable” for: it can teach you what is true, it can show you where you’re going wrong, it can show you how to get it right, and it can show you how to keep things right. Thus, you can be “complete”, meaning “fully capable and able to meet all demands.”
I don’t mean to ask whether you agree with Paul’s statement concerning the Bible; I take that for granted. I am asking whether this is your reality. I urge you to come to God’s Word purposefully and prayerfully each time you read it. It’s good to get through the Bible, but it’s better to let the Bible get through you. Having prayed, read it with expectancy – “what do You want to show me today, Lord?” Ask Him – expect Him – to give you something to take away and chew over that day, or perhaps to mull before you go to sleep.
God wants to speak to you. I pray that, through the reading of His Word, that would be a regular occurrence for you.