In thinking about 2019, I have a hope for you, my beloved reader. I hope you read the whole Bible in 2019.
Before you let feelings of guilt and anxiety arise, know this this isn’t a whip crack to duty, but an invitation to delight. Reading the whole Bible is not burden, but blessing. Here are six reasons why.
1) It Will Make You Read More Often
Having a Bible reading plan of some kind (see here for loads of plans) 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. I am far more motivated when I know what I am to read that day than if I just intend to flip around randomly until something catches my eye. 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.
2) It Will Introduce You to Undiscovered Sections of Scripture
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’re unexamined treasures! They’re unheard words with unheard 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 let 2019 be another year where major sections of God’s life-giving Word are still left locked away between unopened, crinkly pages.
3) It Will Surprise You
I don’t care if you have read the Bible a hundred 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 held loosely. Regardless if it is new truths found or old truths reapplied, reading through the Bible will bring surprise after surprise to the Godward heart.
4) It Will Change You
The Apostle Paul once exhorted the Colossian 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 supposed to live looking down, but up. Our spiritual necks are designed to be cranked upward. 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 and having our reality 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. God’s Word alone gets our eyes looking up. A Bible reading plan will help you live 2019 like a citizen of the heaven and not of the earth.
5) It Will Nourish You
Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In commenting on this passage, Steve Fuller illustrates,
“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.”
God’s Word is your spiritual refrigerator filled with endless, soul nourishing food. Open, take, and feast.
6) It Just Makes Sense
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.
I hope you will seriously consider engaging a Bible reading plan for 2019. Only joy awaits.