Five years ago the church we were attending spent the year reading through the Bible together.
Sunday sermons and small groups focused on the passages for that specific week. Journals with prompts and questions were printed in mass and available quarterly.
This wasn’t my first attempt at reading through the Bible in a year.
So I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
I was so thankful for the Sunday sermons and small group discussions that took us deeper. Had I been reading through the Bible on my own I would have missed so much!
HOWEVER, TO STAY ON (OR CLOSE) TO THE SCHEDULE, I HAD TO SPEED WALK THROUGH THE BIBLE.
I found myself skimming the surface and frustrated that there wasn’t more time to stop and savor God’s Word.
While there were many benefits in getting an overall, birds-eye view of the Bible in its entirety, I kept wishing we could slow down and perhaps take two or three years to really read the scriptures and dig into them.
Many weeks I would struggle to recall what I’d read earlier in the week.
Not much stuck.
I don’t think I’m alone in my experience or my frustration in trying to read through the Bible in a year.
I’ve thought a lot about the pros and cons of reading through the Bible in a year. (There are definitely both!)
I’M CONCERNED THAT WHEN WE READ THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR:
- We miss cultural and historical context which can change the way a scripture should be interpreted.
- Our daily reading becomes something we check off a list, rather than time tuned into the Holy Spirit discovering what God reveals about Himself through His Word.
- It’s often completed in isolation — without accountability, discussion, and reflection with other believers.
- We move so quickly that we minimize the knowledge and wisdom that could be gained at a slower pace.
- The pace is not sustainable for many. Falling behind leads to giving up or at least frustration with our time in God’s Word.
- We hit a wall when we come to Exodus and Leviticus because it’s “boring” and more difficult to read. Rather than pushing through, many give up reading the Bible regularly before the middle of February.
- The answer to Biblical illiteracy is not to read more faster, but comprehension which requires a slower pace.
- It’s not a biblical mandate that some have elevated the practice to. Yes, we are to read God’s Word (see scriptures below), but God does not specify the pace.
I can’t help but wonder how much more of God’s Word we’d grasp if we slowed down and allowed ourselves time to marinate in His Word.
WHAT WOULD GOD’S BEST READING PLAN BE FOR US?
What pace would He set?
How does He want us to approach the scriptures?
IN HIS OWN WORDS, GOD ENCOURAGES US TO MEDITATE ON, DESIRE, AND CRAVE HIS WORD.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:2-3
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8