Back at the beginning of January, my pastor challenged us all to read more in our Bibles–to read through the Bible in a year, or even more. At the time, I nodded my head in agreement. I know Bible reading is so very important. I have always wanted to read through the entire Bible in a year, but I never did it. In a weird way, my pride was pricked. I wanted to be able to say that I already knew how important it was, but I knew my life wasn’t reflecting that. I was ashamed that I hadn’t yet put action to that conviction.
The worst part is, I still didn’t!
My pastor asked for a show of hands at that time, of people willing to commit to it, and I didn’t even raise my hand because I so doubted my ability to follow through with it. Sticking to things is something that I have struggled with throughout my life and I knew I didn’t want to make a commitment I couldn’t keep.
I still read my Bible most days–a passage or 2 here, a chapter there. But I didn’t make it the priority that I knew it should be. Then my husband asked me to find him the book that I’d bought him several years ago with a reading plan to read through the Bible in a year. He was doing it.
Finally, on January 11, I could no longer ignore the way the Lord was pricking my heart about this, so I pulled out the John MacArthur daily Bible that I had ordered several months before, but never started.
This Bible makes it so easy to read through the Bible in a year because the entire text of the Bible is laid out in 365 daily readings. It’s set up to be read in 365 days, and is organized in daily readings. So, this Bible is not ordered the same way a typical Bible would be from start to finish through the books. Instead, it is broken up into daily readings, with each day consisting of a passage from the OT, Psalms, Proverbs, and NT. You don’t have to look up where to go each day, you just read from start to finish. Sometimes I read 1 day’s worth, and sometimes I read ahead. I used to be a big believer in reading basically a chapter a day, but I have found that I’m getting so much more out of it by reading bigger chunks. The Lord has really been ministering to me through His word in a new way this year. If you haven’t been convinced about the benefits of reading through the Bible in a year (or less), I strongly recommend that you give it a shot.
I’m a very visual person, so I’m familiar enough with where the books are located, that it’s not really difficult to look up passages, but for some reason it feels tedious to me to have a plan that I have to refer to, and then look up several different passages. The layout of this daily Bible has really made all the difference in allowing me to just pick up this book and read it cover to cover without stressing over how many chapters or pages in each section, etc.
I am so glad that I found this Bible, but even more glad that the Lord has moved upon my heart and given me a renewed desire for His word!
The only caveat is that it makes it more cumbersome in some ways to read ahead since I have to read ahead in every section in order to not mess up the days. So, if I’m especially captivated by an OT story, I have to read ahead in all the sections.
God’s word is LIFE to us! Maybe you are stubborn like I was. Maybe you, too, realize the importance of making God’s word a priority, but you haven’t acted on it. Don’t be stubborn for as long as I was! lol. His word is so precious and life-giving. It is a beacon of peace and hope in the midst of a turbulent world and there is no reason or excuse not to get the most out of the gift He has given us through His word.
He has blessed me through this so much, and He is speaking to my heart and spirit in new and more frequent ways. If you feel that the Lord has been silent in your life–read His word! He will speak to you through His word, and I also believe that as you get more in tuned to Him and His presence by reading His word, He will speak to you in other ways as well…or rather, your spirit will be more opened to His voice again.
I also read a couple of devotional books that have really blessed me– Morning & Evening by Charles Spurgeon, and My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. (Both of these are available for free online, but I like to have a physical copy of the book)
I’m going to start sharing some thoughts/insights on the verses I read, each day on my facebook page, so be sure to follow me there if you’re interested in reading some of the ways the Lord is speaking to me through the passages as I read them. I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights as well!