I’ve got to get something off my chest. I know this is risky. I’m sure I’ll be misunderstood. There may even be some backlash. But I’ve got to say it. Especially since it’s January.
I don’t like the “read the Bible in a year” plans.
I think it’s a terrible idea. I know it goes against Christian culture. I know there are dozens of plans available. I know many Bibles include it. I know lots of people, pastors and ministries support it. But really – it’s a bad idea.
Because it values quantity over quality. Because it makes reading the Bible seem like a project on your to-do list. Because it forces you to rush through chapters in order to stay on schedule. Because if you fall behind, you’ll never catch up and will more than likely give up. Because you probably won’t remember very much of what you’ve read at the end of the year.
And what’s the purpose? Just to say you’ve read the entire Bible in a year’s time?
I’m not so sure this is how it’s supposed to work.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in reading the Bible. I believe we should read it every day. I believe we should read all of it – every book, every chapter, every verse. But I don’t think it’s something to be rushed. And I don’t think it should be an item to be checked off your to-do list.
Think about this: Colossians 2:3 says In Him [Jesus] lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And John 1:14 says the Word became human and made His home among us. In Jesus, Who is the Word, are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Bible is full of treasures. That’s just not something you hurry through. That’s going to take time to mine and excavate.
Reading the Bible is like reading a love letter. You have to take the time to savor every word. Drink in its meaning and absorb the intent. You need to read and re-read passages and let Truth wash over you. You must soak it in, allowing it to water your dry and thirsty soul. Time is needed for meditation and rumination. Linger in His Presence and allow Holy Spirit to speak to you. Wait on Him to bring revelation and understanding.
And when you’ve absorbed His Word deeply, you’re in a much better position to be impacted and experience change. You’re now in a position to actually do something with what you’ve read. You are positioned to encounter God and experience the supernatural. You’re positioned for intimacy with Him.
But none of that will happen if the clock is ticking and you’re desperate to meet a deadline. You’ll miss the beauty and intimacy if you’re racing through.
And how do I know this? Because I’ve done this.
So I encourage you toss out that plan for cramming reading in a year. Instead, choose a starting place and begin to read, asking Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding as you read. Read every day. Take your time. Stop and ponder. Cross reference for better understanding. Meditate. Write down your thoughts. Write down what you hear Him saying to you. Ruminate. The number of verses/chapters is irrelevant. Just read and let Him speak.
Then return to that same place tomorrow, picking up where you left off. And read through that book again and again until you’ve exhausted it, drawing all you possibly can from it. You may read that same book for 4 months – that’s OK! You could spend a lifetime in that one book and never find all the hidden treasure there. Take your time. There’s no rush!
And if it takes you three years – five years – to make it through the entire Bible, so be it.
That is a good word Kim! How will we ever know who we are in Him, our true identity, without knowing Him, and last time I checked knowing someone is a two way conversation. He gave us the Holy Spirit to speak to us, as we speak to Him. I thought it was very good in your message when you asked everyone to stop and listen, and ask the Holy Spirit to tell you what each person was supposed to do. It is so important to be led by the Spirit.
Thanks Rodney for reading and for sharing your thoughts!
Feel the same way, Kim. It feel more like a “to do” list or an obligation than a joy when structured in that way. Very well said, my cousin, enjoyed the article very much!
Thanks for stopping by to read! And you are right – it should be a joy and pleasure!
Amen to that sister! As you know, I have first hand experience with racing through which I totally regret. God has spoke to me using you as a vessel. Today read His Word, sat in his presence, put pencil to paper as I listened to what I thought Holy Spirit was prompting me to write. As I went through my day, those Scriptures came to mind…..It was beautiful. 🙂
That’s awesome! And the way I believed He wants it to be 🙂
I agree! Our pastor says all the time “you don’t just read the Bible, you think it” . I’m with you… Savor every word… Wait on Him to speak through it… Beautiful.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts Steph 🙂
I have never enjoyed trying to read the Bible through in a year. There’s so much pressure…and guilt that can come with that. And, i don’t believe that God desires for us to feel that way when we read His Word. Some people may love it, and that’s okay! But as for me, i’m with you Kim, I love the crockpot method – let it marinate!!
The “Crockpot Plan”. I like it!
I tried reading the Bible in a year twice. As I was “doing” it there was no meaning. The words were not sticking I compared it to reading the dictionary, just words flying by. Thanks Kim for this
Great analogy – like reading the dictionary. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂
Very good word Kim. Reading the Bible is so much more enjoyable, especially when we take time to listen to Him and fully understand what we are reading. Sometimes I just read over and over and so many new things pop out at me.
Glad you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by to read 🙂
I have never read the Bible with those one year plans. However. I have read every word many times over. This is my thinking on this: I do not care how much you get in the Word, I am more interested in how much of the Word gets in you.
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It’s that time of year when we all start to make plans, promises and resolutions to read our Bible through in a year. We’re shopping around for a Bible reading plan that we think we can easily manage and follow.
But before you go any further – can I encourage you to read (or re-read) this post from this January ‘15? And then ask Holy Spirit what He would like you to do. He’s got the perfect plan mapped out for you!
And feel free to share your thoughts with us below!
Blessings for exponential spiritual growth in 2016!
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