It is hard for me to believe that 2010 is in its final month. Where did the time go? The year has passed so quickly but that is not to say that went by so fast that I don’t remember things or that it wasn’t significant. In many ways, 2010 has been one of the best years of my life. This year I grew (matured) so much in my spiritual life. After years of being sidelined and “put on a shelf” by God, I have had wonderful opportunities to grow in my faith. Probably the best thing about my spiritual growth 2010, has been the time I am able to spend in God’s Word. I have been a student of God’s Word since I was 10. That’s 40 years of opportunity to read this amazing book. Unfortunately, there have been periods, even years where I did not even crack the book open. 2010 changed that and it has changed my life in so many ways I can’t even begin to tell you all the wonderful changes it has made.
One disturbing fact I have recently noticed in today’s society is that most Christians are not reading the Bible. Ever. I am not sure of the reasons. Maybe it is the way we conduct our church services. With our songs and even the verses of Scripture are posted on an overhead screen, maybe there is a belief that one no longer has to carry their Bible to church services? However, I personally believe that it is a little more sinister than that. I have met more people who can give me the plan of Salvation better than I can, that have absolutely no problem in saying that the Bible is not inerrant (without error). I have met some people who claim to be believers , who do not believe that Jesus is the only way. They don’t believe that there is a literal hell, and many other truths clearly described in the Bible. I have found these people in all of the surrounding area churches. A few of these people even attend the same church as I do. I try not to judge and I will leave it to God to determine as to whether these people are true believer’s or not.
I guess the bottom line is that if a person doesn’t believe it’s God’s Word then why would they feel the need to read it any more than any other book? What we find is a Christian culture in possession of God’s word and they never read it.
But some do believe it’s the Word of God. For those that want to study it, read it and know God the problem is, “Where do I start?” If you start at the beginning and try to read to the end, as if it were a novel, you will quickly abandon your journey out of frustration and boredom. Let me suggest a Bible study method I have developed over the years that has really helped me. It keeps God’s word fresh, exciting and can be done in a few minutes a day. In fact I usually spend about 30 minutes a day in the Word and can read through the entire Bible in a year or less. One thing for sure…it’s not boring!
I have divided the Bible into 6 basic sections: Psalms, Proverbs, History, Prophets, Gospels and Letters. That’s it. Six (6) sections to read each day. Reading in this way will keep you involved and excited about God’s word.
Here’s what I do and why:
The first thing I do in the morning is check the calendar…what day is it? Whatever the date I read that chapter in Proverbs. There are 31 chapters so I read through Proverbs once a month…that’s 12 times a year. Proverbs is Solomon’s book. He was the wisest man in history. It’s often called wisdom literature. So, Proverbs for my head.
Then I head for Psalms. A couple of chapters in Psalms is easy (depending on the length of the chapters…be flexible). David was a man after God’s own heart. So, Proverbs for the head and Psalms for the heart.
Then I go to the History section. Genesis to Job is the whole history of the Old Testament, 17 books. I read one chapter in this section each day. I love the history of the Old Testament. It’s the foundation for the rest of the Bible.
Then to the Prophets- Isaiah to Malachi. These 17 books overlap the history books and will complement those books. Read one chapter in this section. You will be surprised how quickly you move through this section and even when you get to a difficult chapter you know you will be in another section in a few minutes.
Then I move to the Gospels. Matthew to John are the four gospels. I read a chapter here each day and once I’ve gone through the gospels I start over and do it again. I always want to hang around the gospels and spend time with Jesus. When I read the gospels I get to know God. Jesus shows me what He is like. Often, as I read through the gospels I will “get into the story” and watch Jesus from inside the story. It helps me know God better.
Then, finally, off to the Letters- Romans to Revelation. These books are the major theology books of the New Testament and will help you grow in your Christian faith. A chapter here each day.
There is an important thing you need to do as you begin this odyssey- get a journal. Write the date and record what you have read. It will help you keep track of what you are reading. Use the journal to record anything you learn from your reading as well as write down any and all prayer requests…your prayer life will come alive. Your faith will grow and your journey with God will come alive. You will not be bored and the Bible will become an exciting book to you.
Peter wrote, 2 Peter 1:3
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
If this verse is true then the most important thing you can do for your faith is read God’s Word.
Join me in 2011 on this amazing adventure.
It’s a journey that will change your life.