Are you thinking about reading through the Bible this year? Words of Hope’s reading plan, Read the Bible in a Year, is a daily devotional that will take you through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Order your copy through Amazon, sign up for our free daily email, or download the Words of Hope app on the App Store or Google Play.
Every year, I read through the Bible. It’s a practice that has helped me grow in my faith, and developed my relationship with God.
The heart of Christianity is not a set of religious rules, rituals or beliefs. Christianity is, at heart, a relationship with the real and living God. The primary way God initiates this relationship and introduces himself is words on the page—the pages of the Bible.
That’s why, every year, I read through the Bible. Whenever I encourage a fellow Christian to adopt a daily reading plan, I get the same basic objections. Here they are, along with my counter-objections:
Objection: I don’t have time to read the Bible every day.
Response: Reading through the Bible requires a commitment of about fifteen minutes each day. Stop and think about where else you devote fifteen minutes on a daily basis. I wonder if any of those activities have greater potential to change your life?
Objection: The Bible doesn’t make sense to me.
Response: That’s why you have fellow Christians—both laypeople with lifetimes’ worth of experience with the Bible and professionals who are in the business of interpreting and applying the Bible. We live in a time of unprecedented, immediate access to the wisest, most insightful biblical instruction produced over the 2,000-year history of the church. You are literally surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who want nothing more than to help the Bible make sense to you.
Objection: I tried reading the Bible for a week and it didn’t make a difference.
Response: Bible reading is just like eating healthy and exercising. You don’t notice a difference after one meal or one workout. The Bible isn’t a quick-fix or instruction manual. Best understood, it’s a conversation. It is interaction with the real and living God. Don’t think of Bible reading as education. Think of it as a transformative conversation with a God who knows us intimately and invites us to know Him intimately.
Just Get Started
This is one way to think about it. The average American spends more than 7 hours each day consuming digital media. Whether we admit it or not, you and I are the product of whatever images and voices are coming to us through our smartphones and television screens. We have the power to change that.
As one year comes to a close and a new year begins, ask yourself whether you want to become a new person (2 Cor. 5:17). If so, introduce a new habit and a new daily influence. For fifteen minutes a day: stop, slow down, get silent, listen. Try it for one year. The worst possible outcome is that you will have wasted five thousand minutes reading the Bible. Guess what? You would have wasted those minutes on YouTube anyway. But the far more likely result is that by the end of 2024, you will know God more intimately. And you will be a different person because of it.