For several years now I have been in the habit of reading the Bible all the way through. This is not the only Bible reading I do but I believe it is very important. Here are some of the reasons why I think it is so important:
- It forces you to read the whole Bible and not just your favorite passages.
- It forces you to read some every day.
- Become familiar with all parts of the Bible.
- Provides context and background for more well-known passages.
- God calls us to know and meditate on His Word.
- God uses the Bible to speak to us.
There are many ways to read through the Bible. I like to use a Bible that is divided into daily readings with an Old Testament passage, a New Testament passage, a Psalm passage, and a Proverb or two. I have several versions of this type that I have used. I am currently reading The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: New Living Translation-2). I have to say I am enjoying it quite a bit. I have used several different translations for my daily readings because I like to see how different versions compare. I have used the New International Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, and the The New King James Bible for my daily reading Bibles. I have also listened to the Bible all the way through two times. I did this while driving to and from work. Both times it took about 4 months. I was amazed how much I would look forward to listening to it. I truly enjoyed listening to the Bible. Listening to the Bible is also good since it allows us to process it differently. I remember hearing things that I don’t ever remember reading. You should try it and see what you hear.
This year I am also using a daily devotional that corresponds to The One Year BibleI’m using – The One Year Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller. It is very good. I highly recommend it. Each day’s devotional is based on one of the scripture passages you have read for that day. In fact, at the bottom of each page the exact passages for the day are listed in case you didn’t want to buy both.
The first Bible I used to read through the Bible in a year was The Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional Bible: 365 Daily Readings from the Author of My Utmost for His Highest (New King James Version). That was 19 years ago. I barely made it through in the year. I got lazy when I got to some of the Old Testament books that I wasn’t as familiar with like Leviticus and Deuteronomy and get behind a couple of months. I had clearly heard God tell me to begin reading through the Bible. So, when I renewed my commitment to do it I began reading two days worth each day till I caught up. The truth is, I had to do that two times that year. Honestly, that first year I frequently saw it as something to be endured—I was only doing it because I felt God wanted me to. After reading through the Bible a couple of times I began to see the benefit of being familiar with where things were. I had a greater understanding of the background and context of many of the very familiar passages. Eventually, it went being a chore to be endured to something I look forward to every day. It is truly amazing how the Holy Spirit can teach you something exciting in an unexpected place, like a genealogy, for example.