Reading More of God's Word

Christmas has passed.  The wrapping paper is picked up and the tree is down.  Many of us start shifting our thinking to the up coming new year.  We may set goals or even proclaim our resolutions for the next 365 days (which most of us forget by February).

This year can be different.  I'd like to encourage you, or maybe even challenge you to be in your Bible more.  Feast on more of God's Word in the coming year than you did in last and allow God, the Author to speak to you.  Be filled!  Be transformed by what God has for you this year.  Whether you decide to read the same book over and over every month, or the New Testament or Old Testament, or the entire Bible, or the parts you've read the least, or your favorite sections of Scripture you love, be reading and reflecting on the message of the Bible.  Be reading often, even if it's only a single verse each day.

Despite what some people may argue, you don't have to read your entire Bible in a year, every year.  You can read your entire Bible many more times in a year, or you can focus on only a section.  The key is that your are reading.  

One thought might be to get in touch with your pastor and find how what will be preached and taught in the coming year.  Start reading those books of the Bible a couple times before they are preached on.  Another idea might be to go back through past sermon series you've enjoyed and read those books again.  You might even be able to find an archive of those sermons to listen to as a supplement to your reading. 

And by all means, be reading an age appropriate Bible to your children! Here are some suggestions.

There are lots of reading plans out there.  Some cover the the New and Old Testaments as well as the Psalms each day, some are chronological, some start at the front and end at the back.   Some go through the entire Bible in a year; others don't.  It's not that important as long as you are in the Word.

I have found that having a plan and using a list of some sort really helps me.  It may help you too!

But please remember, the idea is not to read to be able to smugly say, "I read the entire Bible this year;" the reason for reading to connect with God, grow in your knowledge of Him so you love Him more, and be transformed by allowing God to speak in to your life.  It's not enough to mentally know the Bible, you've got to ingest it and allow it to fuel your soul.

YouVersion is a free Bible app for phones, tablets, and computers that has lots of reading lists and study tools.  You may find that your Bible or study Bible has a reading plan in an appendix.  If your church is using The City, check out the  "Bible" feature in the left menu and explore your Bible more.  You can also visit ESV Reading Plans or Read the Bible in a Year for many downloadable or print plan options.

Here are some useful tools as well:
Scriptures to Know
Chronological Bible Reading List

The Bible in 180 Chapters
Bible Reading Checklist
New Testament Reading Checklist

It's my prayer that God's people are reading his Word, the Bible, more this year and are greatly transformed by what He has to teach us! Or if you've never read the Bible, it's my hope you start.

*Photo by Imagens Evangelicas is registered under a creative commons license and is used with permission.