“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living. The scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God and fit him fully for all branches of his work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (Phillips)
When I first became a Christian over six years ago, I read the Bible straight through from Genesis to Revelation in a period of about six months. Every year since, I’ve followed some kind of reading plan where I’ve more or less read the Bible through in a year’s time. This has been a great blessing to me and a real anchor in my life. I can really sense the day getting away from me if I haven’t read through some bit of God’s Word and reflected on it.
I do have to admit though there are days when it feels like my reading is just checking off a box and moving on to more “urgent” priorities. I was listening to a message from James Merritt once, and he mentioned how many of us can treat reading the Bible the way we read a newspaper if we’re not careful. I’ve been wondering lately if this isn’t starting to happen with me, and more importantly, what to do about it.
My Twitter friend Renee has been going through the Gospel of John methodically for a while. She had mentioned that she just finished about three months of study in John 18 (!). I’m thinking that this type of approach might be a good one to take for a season, to avoid the danger of falling into the check box approach and camping out in a book for a while to soak up its meaning. I’ll probably finish out the plan I’m currently in for this year, but I’m wondering if I should do something similar to what Renee has done in the coming year, or maybe even now. We of course have no law to guide us into how to read our Bibles. The goal is to become more Christ-like, not to cross something off our to-do list.
I’d be interested in hearing how others go through this and avoid those dry periods. Maybe something works better for you. Do you see value in one approach or the other? What do you think?