Before you let feelings of guilt and anxiety arise, let me help you see that this is not a whip crack to duty, but an invitation to delight. This is not burden. This is blessing. Here are a few reasons I think the idea of reading the whole Bible in 2015 should excite you.
A Bible Plan Will Most Likely Mean Reading God’s Word More Frequently and Consistently. Having a Bible reading plan of some kind (I will offer a wide variety of plans to choose from tomorrow) will help you read the Bible more regularly than you would if you didn’t have a plan. I have seen it with students and I have seen it in myself. When I have a reading plan, I find myself more motivated to come to God’s Word than if I don’t. Reading the day’s section of scripture is much more exciting than playing another round of Bible roulette. Having some kind of plan should excite you because it most likely will mean more frequent and consistent receiving God’s Word.
A Bible Reading Plan Will Finally Have You Cover Sections of Scripture You Have Yet to Get Around To. For many Christians, there are still major sections of the Bible they haven’t yet been introduced to. In a sense, these sections of Scripture are unopened letters from their King. They are unexamined treasures that are yours in Christ! They are unheard words with un-listened to messages. These unread passages should excite you like unexplored terrain would an adventurer. Make a plan to read all the words of Your King. Don’t allow 2015 to be another year where major sections of God’s life-giving word are still left locked away between unopened pages.
A Bible Reading Plan Will Surprise You. I don’t care if you have read the Bible ten times through already, it always surprises. Each time I begin reading through the Bible I find myself frequently taken back by freshly realizing some truth I had yet to uncover in God’s Word or, as more often happens, I am freshly convicted or comforted by some truth I had already known, but become loose-gripped with. Oftentimes reading the Bible serves as a means whereby God takes truths that we are already familiar with and fastens all the more tightly in our hearts . Regardless if it is new truths found or old truths reapplied, reading through the Bible will bring surprise after surprise to the Godward heart.
A Bible Reading Plan Will Help You Live According to Reality. The Apostle Paul once exhorted a church, “Since…you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1-2). You see, we Christians are not to be a people who live with our eyes and hearts on the things of the world, but we are to be heavenly minded. For the Christian, the most significant realities are not the ones we see, but the ones we don’t (see 2 Cor. 4:18). However, this is near impossible if we are not coming to God’s Word regularly and having our realities informed by Him. If we are never in God’s Word then we are never exposed to the unseen realities of the gospel. If we are never pouring through the thin, tissue-like pages of our Bibles then we will not have our hearts or eyes in heaven. The only way our hearts and minds can be set on the things above is if God’s Word is set before our eyes. A Bible reading plan will help you live 2015 like a citizen of the Kingdom and not one of the world.
A Bible Reading Plan Will Greatly Help to Grow Your Faith. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In commenting on this passage, Steve Fuller helpfully explains, “Many mornings I’m tempted not to seek God because my faith feels weak. But that’s like not going to the doctor because my body feels sick. Just like doctors heal sick bodies, so God strengthens weak faith, as we hear his word. Weak faith is like a weak battery. But God’s word is a battery charger. So when your faith is weak, open his word, and plug in your weak faith. God promises that as you do that, he will recharge you.” A Bible reading plan will lead to stronger and healthier faith.
A Bible Reading Plan is a Proper Response to the Value of God’s Word. God has spoken to us fully and finally through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3) and has recorded all His beautiful revelation in the Bible through the Spirit’s ministry (2 Timothy 3:16) so that His people would be fully prepared to do all His holy will in all their holy lives (2 Timothy 3:17). God has spoken through Jesus and has, through the Holy Spirit, written it all down for us to receive, live by, and entrust ourselves to. A Bible reading plan is simply a proper response to such a wonderful gift.
As I said, tomorrow I will provide a variety of plans to choose from. As for now, I hope you will seriously consider engaging a Bible reading plan for 2015. Joy awaits.