Monday, July 11, 2016
Reading Through the Bible
If you've been around here for awhile, you know we've spent the last year and a half reading through the Bible with our adult Sunday School class. We aren't finished yet, but we've come all the way through the Old Testament, and we're well into the New Testament. We began reading a book or half of a book of the Bible through the whole Old Testament. When we began the New Testament at the beginning of the year, we slowed down a bit and read just 4 chapters a week. After the Gospels, we felt the urge to go back to covering a book a week as we were eager to get into some of Paul's letters.
If you are seeking a new study for a class or community group, I encourage you to put away some of the popular and wonderful DVD and book studies for awhile. There are some great ones out there, and we've enjoyed many of them. However, I believe just reading and studying God's word has huge significance. In any group, you are likely to have people who read through the Bible frequently, some that dabble along in it, and some who have never read it in its entirety. Reading and discussing God's word together is a great way to fellowship and strengthen relationships.
We've been so pleased with our weekly discussions with our class. I feel like every person has drawn closer to the Lord even if they weren't able to keep up with the reading each week. I hope we've all made our Bible time a habit that will continue for the rest of our lives.
Recently we read Romans. It occured to me that many churches and pastors recommend the book of John to new Christians. It is a great starting point for someone who needs to understand Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection. After reading Romans, I'd say it is the next book from the Bible that a Christian needs to read. Paul covers so many areas of faith and life that are pertinent today. As Christians, we must know God's will and much of it is covered in the Bible. Reading it from cover to cover gives us a clear view of God's plan and His story for us.
It seems especially in these times, we need to cling to the words God has given us and look away from social media and the news. We can't learn God's will from other people. We can't abandon God's word for someone else's interpretation. We must read His word. We must pray regularly. We live by faith, not by our works but how can our faith be just if we aren't in communion with Him who we believe in?
I don't have a 5 step plan for you or a directive for what time of day is best. In fact, the only advice I can give you is to set a goal and stick with it. Whether it's reading 1 chapter a day or 1 book a week or the whole Bible in a year, set a goal and share that goal with others. Working in a group as we have will keep you accountable. If you miss a day or a week or even a month, just pick up and start again. God's word is always available for us and that is a huge BLESSING!