I often hear these excuses when I ask someone if they have been reading God’s word: “I’m too busy to read the Bible,” “I already believe in Jesus, why do I need to read more about Him,” “What good will that do?”
Scripture does a great job answering those questions:
- John 8:31-32 “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
- Acts 20:32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up”
- Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
- Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.”
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
- John 14:23-24 “Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. […] The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. […]”
- Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Aside from all of that, Christians say that they are followers of the Book, that we get all our truth for living life from it, and that it is the manual for life. While I’m not super excited about cliches, in this case, they are true.
If we say that the Bible is the Christian handbook, yet we have never read it, how can we say that we follow it? This was a penetrating question for me in my own personal spiritual development.
Prior to 2007, I had read the entire Bible through exactly once, both Old and New Testaments. I had also, during my college years, read the entire New Testament exactly 3 times. It might be worthy to note that at that time, in 2006, I had been a Christian for 14 years! So, in my 14 years as someone who said that they followed the Bible for the way they lived their life I had only read the whole thing once, and the New Testament a few times. All of this changed in 2007.
In 2007 I decided to take more responsibility for my own personal spiritual growth. After all, no one is responsible for my own spiritual growth and development besides me!
During this realization period in my life, I decided that I needed to take my Bible reading to the next level. I was looking at the shelves in a Christian Book Store and a Bible reading book caught my eye. It intrigued me as I looked at it. I thought to myself, “This is different than any plan I have ever seen…It just might work.”
Previously I had tried to do the Bible in a year without success. It was too long and the passages I read each day were too spread out. This new book told me that I could read the Bible, cover to cover, in 90 days. That sounded like it would be impossible.
“The whole Bible in 90 days,” I thought. I decided to give it a try. I began in January of 2007 and finished at the end of March–90 days later.
It was such a life changing experience. I had trained at college to be a pastor. I had gone through courses about the Old and New Testament. I had learned about the authors. I knew how to interpret the passages. However, I had never experienced the power of the word of God like this before. Reading the Bible in that short of a time period allowed me to see the story fit together. I was reading about characters in one book and a little later on in another book there they were again. But this time I remembered who they were and what they had previously done. It brought the whole message of the word of God together into large strokes. I was hooked.
I decided that since I had had such a great experience with it that others might like it too. So, I publicized that I would be doing a class called ‘The Bible in 90 Days.’ Our first class had 10 people. Since that time we have had over 100 people in the class with about a 70% completion rate. Also since that time, nearly 10 years have passed and I personally have re-read the Bible cover to cover 12 more times.
Reading the Bible all the way through in 90 days started something in me that I have not stopped. In fact because of it I not only read the Bible through every year but this year I am switching it up by reading the it through twice. I also plan to read the New Testament through an additional two times.
One of the students who has gone through the program told me about a time that they had tried to share the faith with a friend at school. They began by sharing Bible verses with their friend. The friend asked them if they believed that the Bible was true and if they believed everything the Bible said. The student responded, ‘yes and yes.’ Their friend then asked them if they had read the whole Bible, to which the student responded, ‘no.’ Their friend said, ‘well, how can you say that you believe it if you haven’t even read the whole thing.’ This stuck in the student’s mind until they had heard about Bible in 90 Days course and signed up.
After it was over they were talking about the same things again and the friend asked the student the same questions, trying to lead to the same conclusion. When the student responded that they had read the Bible, all of it, over the summer the friend was floored. They then began to have a deep spiritual conversation. That student could feel confident that they knew what the Bible said, and that they believed it!
So what about you? What is your Bible reading plan? Are you consuming the word of God regularly? If not you should! Start today!!!