It’s hard to believe that this year is already halfway over. Whether you made a resolution at the beginning or didn’t, here is a way to finish out the second half of the year with a bang: challenge yourself to read through the Bible in six months.
If you’re like me, your preferred method of Bible reading is to take a passage or even a verse one at a time and meditate on it, sift it, research it, etc. However, there are also benefits to reading through scripture at a more intense rate.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,” says Hebrews 4:12. Within a short amount of time of feasting on so much scripture, you may notice that your outlook has changed and that Bible verses are coming to mind instead of your own fleshly reactions. Likely you’ll pick up on different themes and words that jump out at you, particularly if you’re reading through both Old and New Testament at the same time. This is exciting and has the effect of “connecting the dots” throughout all of the word of God.
Perhaps you will identify with the humanity of the patriarchs and those held up as standards of the faith in Genesis, even as your awe increases for the God of Exodus who struck down the gods of the Egyptians with his ten plagues in order that all might know Him. Seeing what we were saved from under the Levitical law – the very tediousness of it, along with the heaviness of certain aspects of it – will increase your gratitude.
Among other benefits, spending so much concentrated time in the word has the effect of cleansing and healing and empowering. There is also the sheer intimacy of giving so much of your time to the Lord.
If you are looking for a reading plan, there are a number of options; one that I used and liked is this one from Delmar Full Gospel Church that has extra days built into it in case you get behind. With this plan you can read the designated chapters from the Old Testament (four or five), and then the New (one or two). Again, this can be accomplished within six months or less, allowing for the “grace” days.
A handbook such as Ray Stedman’s Adventuring Through the Bible is a wonderful tool for both new and mature believers. This easy-to-follow guidebook gives concise overviews of each book of the Bible, background and historical information, and also gems of insight into various aspects of featured persons and events in the books.
Again, I encourage you to consider taking up this challenge, because internalizing so much scripture WILL bless you in innumerable ways. It requires making some more time in your schedule, but don’t let that intimidate you. God will multiply what you give Him, including your time. I don’t know how He does this, but He does!