Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Read through the Bible

Tomorrow the page turns and a new year begins. Happy New Year!

I want to invite you to read through the entire bible—from Genesis to Revelation—in 2014! How about that for a hefty challenge?

Someone has observed that there are three stages of Bible reading that many students of the Bible pass through. The first is the “cod-liver” oil stage where they treat the reading of the Bible like taking medicine. Although it tastes terrible, they swallow it anyway because they know it is good for them. The second phase has been called the “shredded-wheat biscuit” stage, dry but nourishing. And the third is the “peaches-and-cream” category, where reading and studying the Bible is eagerly anticipated and sincerely enjoyed.”

Speaking from experience,  I have been through all three stages. I just finished reading through the bible on December 28th and I did experience the “peaches-and-cream” stage.

Why should you read through all of Scripture?  God did not give us a comic book. But precisely because the Bible is so challenging, it's satisfying. God treats us like adults.

Why read through the bible? Let’s face it, there’s much about our culture that leaves us feeling deeply trivialized: our indulgence with video games; mind numbing TV; addictions to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

Instead of engaging in social media, engage Scripture. Scripture gets us reading and thinking and studying and discussing and going deeper than we've ever gone before, deeper than we've ever dreamed of going.

So let me suggest three methods for getting through Scripture in 2014:
1. Use a bible reading guide. Click here for many fine reading guides from Ligonier Ministries.
2. For the last four years I use a reading plan called Youversion. You will need to sign up. But the advantage is you can access your reading plan from your phone or computer.
3. Read the old fashioned way. Simply pick up your bible and read it 20 minutes per day.
Thank God for the Bible. Difficult to read, but not impossible. If you decide to accept the challenge for 2014, let me know.