This year I will attempt to keep a streak going alive that started in 2003. I am going to read my Bible in a year.
Every odd year I have read through the Bible in a year. My father reads the entire Bible through every year. He has done so since around the time he graduated from Michigan State University.
Freudian psychologists would attribute my reading plan to wanting to please my father, and to be like him. As flattering as that may be to my dear old dad, it misses the point.
Both of us read our Bible in its entirety because we believe that God gave us the Scriptures in order to know Him better. These sacred writings have been preserved over the millenia because they are invaluable.
One of the ways that they are invaluable is that they confront us. The Scriptures confront our view on the world and on life. The Bible constantly makes me re-evaluate my thoughts and actions.
Want some examples?
Genesis confronts my view of God. So often I want to put myself in the driver’s seat of life, with God being some sort of cosmic karma genie who blesses me if I am “good.” But the narrative of Genesis shows God as a mighty, creative, and sovereign God who artistically weaves and crafts history- despite the sins of humanity. He is the One who uses broken and unworthy figures and creates nations out of them.
The accounts of the kings (1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles) confronts my view of leadership. What makes someone a good ruler versus a king like the rest of the nations have?
Inside the minor prophets we have this magnificent call to repentance. And the more we look at what we are called to repent from, it is being unjust, un-compassionate, and selfish. God desires for his people to care more about justice and righteousness than sounding and looking good.
I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
Your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you brought me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
Righteousness like a never ending stream!
In the Gospels I am confronted with a loving and compassionate God who cares so much that He walks this earth in human flesh. God becomes man that He might save mankind. If ever was there an example to confront our views of God, it is there! God is close! God cares! He is not far removed, but deeply invested in his creation.
The book of Acts shows me that there is no method or skill that will “convert all” or “grow the church exponentially.” What there is is this: truth. God mightily calls people to Him. For some, it is through direct confrontation like Saul on the Damascus Road. Others, it is through apologetics- like the Athenians. Some, it is through compassion- like when Paul told the jailer not to take his own life. And some will harden their hearts rather than accept God’s love and repent.
Revelation shows me that there is a cosmic battle being played out. There is the kingdom of God versus the kingdom of darkness. And God wins!
I could go on about so many more books of the Bible, but this blog is already growing too long for most. Leave a comment below with how God’s Word confronts you.
I will close with this. Do not grow discouraged if you start reading the Bible in a year then fall behind. Keep pressing forward. It is worth it. You are never too young or too old to do this. If you ever have questions about what you read, then ask a local pastor or comment on my blog.
Have a blessed day