It seems customary toward the end of a year for a call to “read through the Bible in a year,” starting in the New Year. Reading the Bible is important, of course, but not simply for reading it and checking it off the list. As I contemplate the conversations I hear and read online about this topic, I’ve developed some thoughts on reading the Bible in a year I’d like to share with you for consideration.
Listen to Thoughts on Reading the Bible Through a YearTake a Listen here. . .
Important Thoughts to Consider About Reading the Bible Through a Year
Instead of simply reading the Bible through a year, I’d like to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ to:
-Be Teachable. People can read the Word without a teachable spirit. That heart attitude hinders growth.
-Desire Change. A sincere desire to have the inner man changed—renewed by God’s Word (Romans 12:2) and being **in** Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)— is what will make the difference.
-Pray and Read. Pray before reading the Bible and ask Holy Spirit to teach you. (1 John 2:27)
-Don’t Rush. People can be rushed to read through the Bible in a year, but that doesn’t necessarily produce understanding and renewal.
-Do a Survey. If you’ve never done an Old Testament and New Testament survey, it’s a good idea to help you get the bigger picture and key details of the Bible as a whole and individual inspired authors and books of the Bible.
-Primary Sources. The Bible is THE primary source, yes. However, there are primary historical documents that help us better understand the context of the cultures.
-Cause to Effect. All throughout Scripture is cause to effect. Look for it and seek to comprehend it so that you may learn from it.
-Sin and Righteousness. Brush up on what God says sin is and what He says is righteous living. Do a T-Chart graphic organizer if it will help you.
-Confess. Part of the growth as Christians is to confess our sins one to another. (James 5:16).
-Grow. Along with renewing the mind is the important role of discipleship. The American Church is SORELY lacking in the discipleship of new and immature-in-the-faith Christians. *It doesn’t matter how long ago it was that someone converted to Christ–that length of time doesn’t equate maturity in the faith.
-Use Reliable Commentaries. Commentaries can help us understand historical Christianity and give us much to think about as we seek to comprehend the teachings in God’s Word.
-Word Studies. My friends know that I advocate using Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and a reliable concordance for defining words. Taking time to define words according to their God-given definitions truly does help with comprehension. (Here’s the online version if you can’t swing a hardbound copy of it at this time.)
-Theology Matters. I wish there was more emphasis within churches on the importance of individuals personally studying theology.
-Embrace Principles. As you study God’s Word, take time to internalize His principles as they have everything to do with righteous thinking, reasoning, and living.
-Last but NOT least, guard your relationship with God. That’s the vertical line of the Cross (illustratively speaking). Your relationship with God will directly impact your relationship with others (the horizontal line on the Cross—your spouse, your children, and others).
May God bless each one of you in the coming year and may you grow ever closer to Him!
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