When it comes to reading the Bible, it can greatly help me to have a plan. I’ve used the “read the Bible in a year plan” before and I like it, but the negative I really noticed with it was that I was moving fast. You read a good size chunk of Scripture without the time to digest it. I decided at the beginning of 2017 that I wanted to go slower so I found a plan to read the entire Bible in two years. I just wrapped up my reading and I feel as though I’ve walked away with a few observations worth sharing. Here are a few things that jumped out at me after my two year journey.
Two Years Still Feels Fast
I am actually looking forward to this new year because I want to slow down even more. I want to camp out in a book of the Bible for a long time. I want to read the same passage over and over for a week at a time and let the Spirit really pierce my heart with it. I want to memorize some large chunks of Scripture and soak them in so the Word can seep into me.
I couldn’t do this with a two year plan. It still felt fast. There were days where I was still reading multiple chapters. It was good and definitely left me more room to reflect than reading the Bible in a year, but I’m also in a stage of life with a two year old and an infant that can make time scarce. I want to read very small chunks and digest them this next year. I want to take a lot of notes and try and hide God’s Word in my heart.
The Old Testament is Beautiful and Necessary
I spent almost a year and a half solely in the Old Testament. I think it was R.C. Sproul who said that the Old Testament is a book of grace. Many people don’t see it this way, but it is so true. People tend to think that the Old Testament paints a picture of a wrathful, angry God. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Time and time again we see God not giving people what they deserve. Time and time again we encounter the promise of a Savior who is coming to rescue a stubborn people.
In a time where there are some advocating we “unhitch” ourselves from the Old Testament, we would do well to fix our eyes on the beauty of a God who is constantly promising salvation for His enemies. He is constantly foreshadowing the Savior to come. He is a God who makes promises and sees them through, which means we can trust that Jesus will return one day for His bride. We need to treasure the Old Testament.
God Uses His Word in Our Lives
God’s word is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword (Heb. 4:12). Time and time again I find this as I spend time in the Word daily. Yes, there are times where it may seem to fall flat. But in two years just faithfully reading page after page, it is amazing how God uses His word in our lives.
The Spirit is always working on our own hearts as we spend time in Scripture, but there are so many times where the Spirit used me to speak to someone else because of what I was reading. I didn’t have to go searching for answers or just the right verse; God uses our day-to-day discipline of hearing from Him in His Word to mold, use, and transform us.
God still speaks to us today through the Bible. We need to be in it. It’s a necessary part of the Christian walk. If we think that only praying is enough, we are missing out on half of the conversation. It’s like when I try and talk back to a podcast I’m listening to. I can hear them, but they can’t hear me. We talk to God through prayer. God talks to us through Scripture. I hope you’ll commit to being in the Word this year each and every day. Many people want to hear from God, but they don’t open their Bibles. Make 2019 the year you start hearing from God.
“Do you want to hear God speak? Read your Bible out loud.” - John Piper