I wanted to share with you about my reading of the Bible that I have been doing this past year. You know how each January everyone shares Bible reading schedules in order to read the entire Bible in a year? Well, I have struggled with the many reading plans and trying to keep up and then beating myself up when I’m not successful. I love reading God’s Word and studying what God wants me to know about Him and how to live a victorious life. I’ve always had a certain reading pattern that I feel comfortable with, but this past year I loosened up a little bit. Instead of making sure I get my chapters in and then trying to catch up and then eventually scraping the entire plan and moving on to a different way because I got behind or I wasn’t spending a couple hours a day reading, I came to a peace that I was reading the Bible for me and me alone. I’m not doing a Bible study to fill in the blanks and I’m not checking off a box of the chapters that I read for the day; I am peacefully sitting down and reading what God has for me each day. Before I go any further, let me say this. Yes, there are days that I don’t get to my Bible reading. Some days are like that, but, God still loves me and I still love Him. I’m not going to be punished for not reading my Bible. Gone are my legalistic thoughts of sitting down with my Bible at a certain time each day for a certain amount of time or I was going to be punished. Not sure where those type of thoughts came from, but they are being taught by some.
My plan is to read my Bible in the mornings before my day gets started. When my schedule doesn’t work that way, I will do my reading in the afternoon or even before I go to bed that evening.
The first thing I do is go to my favorite reading chair in my bedroom and I begin by asking God to speak to me through His Word and to help me understand what I read. I have a journal that I keep with my Bible and a pen. As I’m reading and soaking it in, a verse may resonate heavily with me and I will stop and write it in my journal and what I feel the Lord is wanting me to gain from that verse.
My reading pattern is, I read a chapter in the Old Testament in order. As I begin in Genesis 1:1 and then each day I pick up where I left off on the next chapter. No, I don’t challenge myself to read 2, 3 or 4 chapters or more a day. I slowly read the chapter with pen in hand and I make marks and notes of anything that comes to mind or that speak to me. If I’m really engrossed and can’t stop, of course, I will go on the the next chapter or the next. I then move to the Book of Psalms. I read a Psalm a day. Then I go to the Book of Proverbs and I read the chapter that corresponds with the day, as in if today is the 20th, I read Proverbs 20. Then I go to the Gospels. I begin in Matthew and continue reading daily through Mark, Luke and John. When I get to the end of John, I start over and go back to the beginning of Matthew. This way, I am always reading in one of the four gospels. Next is starting in the book of Acts and continue daily reading until I’m at the end of the New Testament. This year, I added a chapter in the Book of Revelations along with my other readings.
Now that I’ve already read through the Book of Revelation, I will be doing a self study on that book as I’m very intrigued with what I see going on in our world today and how it corresponds with the Book of Revelation.
So, to sum it up, here is my schedule:
1 chapter of the Old Testament, in order each day
1 chapter of Psalms
1 chapter of Proverbs
1 chapter in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
1 chapter of the New Testament, in order each day
My goal is not to read the entire Bible in a certain amount of time. My goal is to soak up everything I can that God is speaking to me during my Bible reading, memorize scripture and to know who God is. How can we know who God is if we don’t read His Word and study it? I’m not pressured and I’m not trying to beat a schedule and check off a box; I’m gleaning all that I can in a peaceful way. I have a feeling God isn’t impressed with how many times we’ve read the Bible through at a certain amount of time. I think He is pleased that we are spending our time getting as close to Him as possible and have a changed heart each time we close our Bible for the day.
If you have been reading my blog for long, you know that I became a Believer in Jesus Christ as the age of 14. I had never seen or held a bible before that time. Matter of fact, I gave my life to Christ in February of 1974 and I never had my own Bible until that next December of ’74 when my mom gave me a Bible for Christmas. Money was very tight for my mom in those days and a Bible was very expensive. My mother was given a beautiful Scofieled Bible when she became a Christian that same month. I remember her reading her Bible and turning those delicate pages as she would share things each evening of what she had read or learned for the day.
I was so excited when I got my own Bible. I carried it with me every time we went to church. It was part of me. I remember in high school, there was a day called “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” I took my Bible and had it with me all day. It must have made an impression on me as I still remember that day and feeling a bit awkward, but I did it anyway.
I used this same Bible even after I married and I eventually got another Bible, but I enjoyed carrying this one as it was small and easy to handle. When we had our first little one, she got a hold of it when she was about 3 and drew on the blank pages. I love looking at those little drawings to this day.
We bought little new Testaments for each of our kiddos when they were babies. I have pictures of each of them carrying their little Bibles when they were barely walking. I even put them in their diaper bags when they would go in the church nursery.
Today, I have a Bible in each room of our house just because I can. If it’s not sitting on a counter or table, it is tucked away in a place that is easy to get at a moments notice. Sometimes, I just leave them open to a favorite place such as John 3:16 which is my favorite as it is the verse that Billy Graham preached on the day I first heard anything about God. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
It will be 50 years this coming February since I gave my life to Christ. I will be sharing soon the things that I’ve learned and what God has done in my life over the past 50 years.
I so hope that you are at a place of peace in reading God’s Word and making it a habit in your life. I also hope that it isn’t a struggle or something on a list to check off. May it be a chance to get to know your Savior and see just how amazing it is that we are here at this time right now and that He loves us and has great plans for our lives.
I’ve learned that we aren’t born with Faith. Faith is a choice that we make. We have the freedom to believe in anything we want to and to not believe in anything at all. I made my choice and for the past “almost” 50 years, it has been to have a strong Faith in Jesus Christ and to make Him Lord of my life. If you are struggling in your Faith, get busy reading His story and take it slow and steady and ask Him to speak to you through His Word. Tell Him what you are struggling with. God is a very patient God and wants you to know His amazing love for YOU! He doesn’t force Himself on you. Jesus died for YOU, it’s up to you to decide to accept it and walk in His amazing love and forgiveness.
Yes, I know what some of you are thinking. You are thinking about the “Christians” who have failed you. They didn’t live up to what they claim to be. I have a secret….I’ve been very disappointed and hurt by those that call themselves Christians, but, I have never ever given up or blamed my Heavenly Father, ever! We all have choices. Some make bad ones. If you are like me, you don’t want to be the one that causes another one to stumble in their faith. What better way to live a victorious life and to be godly example for others is to….guess what? To get into the Word of God and learn from the Master.
May you be encouraged today, to just spend time getting to know the one who loves and died for YOU! No pressure, just spend time with Him and you will begin to look at things differently.
You might be reading this and you are thinking, “this makes no sense to me at all.” It might be because you have never been introduced to Jesus. Here is a link to share how you can know Him like I know Him. Click here.
Until next time,