One of our granddaughters once drew a selfie which included us. “I gave us glasses,” she explained to me, “but not Grandpa because he can never find his anyway!” She knows him well. The absent-minded professor in person, constantly misplacing his keys, glasses, and other things!
But he has an amazing memory for the Bible. Not only remembering passages, but also where to find them.
I always figured (a bit enviously) that it was God’s special gift to him. Until he explained that it’s just a regular intake of large amounts of Scriptures (10-15 chapters) daily.
Spiritual growth, like most things, doesn’t just happen. Becoming an accomplished musician requires practice. Getting in shape takes working out. And in order to grow spiritually we must feed our soul.
Shortly after that conversation, I came upon Professor Grant Horner’s plan for reading 10 chapters daily. So with Hubby’s words ringing in my ears I decided to try it and found he was right. I had been expecting to remember Scripture without truly imprinting them on my mind.
3 things it can help us do:
1. See the whole picture
We need a clear idea of Scripture’s bigger picture. It follows a clear historical timeline, all plainly leading up to and culminating in God’s redemption of humanity. To get the full picture takes reading the whole story, from start to finish.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
2. Understand what God is saying
Having the mind of Christ and hearing what he is truly saying are not simple endeavors. Our understanding is only partial and often filled with misconceptions.
By taking in the whole Bible, there is less risk of making the text what we want it to say. And we become increasingly proficient at seeing what the passage truly teaches.
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
3. Move on to spiritual meat
Twice in the Scriptures, Paul had to reprove the believers for their lack of spiritual maturity. We can’t understand the deeper things of Scripture, unless we first get the whole picture.” God’s Word builds Scripture upon Scripture.
And when we take in the whole counsel of God day-by-day, we are laying a solid foundation for understanding it and become more adept at digging further in to more fully understand God’s life-changing teachings.
So where to start?
There are several places which offer free downloads of various types of Bible reading plans.
- Professor Grant Horner’s 10 Chapters per day (which is what I use)
- Into Thy Word
- M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plans
- Table Talk’s Bible Reading Plans
Or if you prefer reading online, Bible Study Tools offers a wide variety of plans to choose from.
And then what?
Reading through the Bible yearly is not a magic formula, but it is a good start. It’s not meant to replace other valuable and necessary spiritual disciplines like Bible study, Scripture meditation, Scripture memorization, prayer, fasting, worship, service, and so on.
Bible reading, like any of the other spiritual disciplines is all about becoming, and not just something to check off our to-do list. It’s about becoming disciples able to handle the word of truth. And most of all, about becoming more and more like our Lord and Savior.
Bible reading is a help to knowing and pleasing the One we love so much. So read the whole Bible during this next year. I’m sure you’ll be glad you did!
Images: Reading plan by Tim Wildsmith | Puzzle by congerdesign.
6 thoughts on “The Importance of Yearly Bible Reading”
Excellent post Sheila. In the last couple of years I have radically increased my Scripture reading and there is a direct correlation with growth that cannot be denied. I especially like your observation of coming to see and understand the “big picture” better. And the growth happens in every area including prayer. We need to feed on God’s Word daily, we need to commune with God daily, we need to have Him in our minds and hearts daily. We are indeed spiritual creatures with a physical body and we need to feed our spiritual side just as much if not more so than our physical bodies. Blessings!
I know what you mean Bruce. I too have experienced much more growth, peace, and joy since reading so much more. Which makes perfect sense when we remember that we are spiritual creatures with physical bodies. Thanks for making that valuable point!
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Amen!!! After completing a full read through in the summer of this year, I wasn’t ready to go back to Genesis. But, I scroll through the Old Testament and randomly pick a book and a chapter. I’ve found this to be really helpful, especially with harder Old Testament books. I completely agree though, we need to understand the Old Testament especially in order like you said because there is a particular timeline going on. 🙂
Yes, there definitely is TR. And it all leads up to the most important event in history!!
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I totally agree when we spend time in the word we grow mature we have to feed our spirit man.
It’s the only way!