Ever read the Bible? I mean all the way through?
You may be in a group that meets regularly to study and discuss Scripture. Great.
You may read a daily “devotional.” Great.
But have you read the Bible all the way through? I am amazed at the number of people—including pastors!—who have never done this. That grieves me because reading the whole Bible takes us to a greater and deeper level.
There are several benefits to reading the Bible:
1. See the big picture. By reading the Bible through, we see the overarching scope and message. The Bible is not a collection of books or events isolated from each other. God’s revelation has a central truth of His love, grace, and redemptive plan, and that truth weaves from Genesis to Revelation.
2. Learn the proper context. Familiar passages and verses take on greater significance as we see them in their context. I’ve had several verses I memorized over the years that took on a different (i.e., correct) meaning when I saw them in the context of the verses and chapters around them.
3. Discover God’s heart. The Bible—all of it!—is God’s Word, so doesn’t it make sense that if we want to grow closer to Him, we would read the whole of His Word? As we read, we gain insights into God’s character and His heart. And in the process, we learn something about ourselves.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
So where do you start?
There are a gazillion Bible reading plans available. I’ll just mention two sites:
You likely have a Bible app on your phone. Many apps—such as YouVersion—include a variety of plans.
Another good option is to listen to the Bible. YouVersion, among others, offers audio files of the Bible, so you can listen on the go. I have a version I use on my iPod, and it is a daily part of my drive home.
Which plan is best? The best plan is the one you stick with.
Take the challenge. And enjoy the ride.