Monday, 24 October 2011

Have you ever read the Whole Bible?

My own personal conviction is that the Bible is unique, it is God's only word to humanity that is infallible, authoritative and without error. The Bible is my greatest personal possession and yet as a young Christian I remember wanting to read the whole Bible and yet not knowing how to do it. Have you ever tried to read the whole Bible and given up frustrated?

First of all I tried to read the whole Bible in a year, by using one of those daily reading plans and I could not wait for the 1st January, 1991 to arrive. At the time I had a very pressured and busy career and unfortunately by the middle of January I was so far behind that the backlog to catch up was almost impossible. I found myself speed-reading out loud but I was taking nothing in and I gave up. I also tried to read the Bible by beginning at Genesis and again I think I got as far as Leviticus and then I gave up. Here I was a Christian, one who was convinced that the Bible contained the greatest spiritual treasure, but somehow it remained like a 'locked treasure box' to me. What was the answer?

Following a time of 'racking my brains', I came up with a plan, one that has helped me for years and I hope that this may help some of you. I decided that reading with a strict plan did not work for me. This was because some days I had more time to read than others. My plan needed to be flexible, interesting and driven by my hunger. I found the contents list of Bible books and I asked myself, 'which book of the Bible would I like to read first?'. I think that it may have been Haggai, and it is only two chapters long so I raced through it and I could not wait to get to the next book. I read it and ticked off the book on the contents list. I was single at the time and I was determined to read the whole Bible, when I had the time at least. Working my way through, I ended up reading the whole Bible in about 8-9 months and I can honestly say that by doing so I was never again the same person. Why? God's word is life-changing! I have followed this plan many times and sometimes It has taken me two years to read the whole Bible and I do not read the whole Bible all the time. This pattern has worked for me and I submit this to you as an option.

May we all demonstrate an unwavering commitment to God's word, to read it, to memorise it, to meditate on it and to believe it!
Here are some precious truths from Psalm 119.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word (119:9).

I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word (119:16).

Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens (119:89).

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