BECOMING A BIBLE READER
Paul writes in his letter to the Roman church, “For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate… For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Paul is addressing sin here, but I think we can also apply this principle to spiritual practices. As Christians, I firmly believe we have the DESIRE to do the things we believe we are called to as people of faith: prayer, Bible study, good works, tithing, meditation on the Word. But the actual execution of these things in a regular and diligent manner is actually much harder.
Authenticity is the degree to which a person’s actions are congruent with his or her beliefs and desires. I WANTED to be an authentic dig-into-the-Word-daily Christian, but for most of my Christian walk, Bible reading and study just didn’t happen regularly. Not to mention, I felt like the biggest hypocrite! I love the Lord! Why couldn’t I get into this very necessary habit??!!
Until one day near the end of 2019, a friend of mine posted on Instagram about a daily Bible study/podcast that she was completing, talking about the great growth that had happened in her life over the last year, her failures of not always getting it done daily, but her determination that got her caught up and back on schedule to finish the study by the end of the year on time. Looking at her life, we have much in common—married, three kids, doing the mom thing while being a work-outside-the-home parent. She had no excuses and I decided it was time for me to hang up mine as well. I wanted my desire to be a lover of God’s Word to line up with my actions.
So January 1, 2020 I began a year long journey of reading through the entire Bible, word by word, line by line, following a reading plan inside the YouVersion app called “The Bible Recap”. It was tough at first. I hadn’t made room in my schedule to fit it in every day. Something had to change! It was stressing me out to find time in the day to get this thing done without interruption from the kids and noise and TVs and conversations. So I began to wake up earlier. And earlier. And earlier. 6am became 5:30am became 5…5:30… 4:30am. Yes, you read that right! 4:30am! It became my new wake up time to spend the time I need to properly digest God’s Word slowly, meditate, complete the daily readings, and listen to a short podcast that accompanies it to help me gain understanding. It was so hard at first!!! I have never in my life been a morning person, but over time it became my new normal.
So what changed along the way?
- I don’t stay up late. I can’t. I’m too tired. I go to bed and get a good night’s rest (minus kids getting up at night!)
- I gave up TV all together. Except for an occasional look at the news, I don’t have time for it anymore and find nothing edifying from it.
- If I sleep in and don’t make time for reading the Bible, I am grumpy all day. Time in the Word sets my day off to a great and peaceful start.
- My heart. Scripture has come alive—even the ‘boring’ sections of genealogies or Levitical law. The accompanying podcast that goes with this particular Bible study has really helped me understand what I just read and make me look forward to the next day.
Can I challenge you to join me Jan. 1, 2021 for my next journey through the entire Bible? It requires change. You can’t just squeeze it into your schedule. Some other things have to go. It’s going to cost you something… time, sleep, activities. But it is so worth it to make an action match the desire.
- Download the App – The YouVersion Bible App
- Join the study in the App – The Bible Recap Bible Study
- Or print off the plan and use your own Bible –The printable chronological reading plan
Director of Worship & Media