As a young believer I would encounter people who would say, “My preacher says….” Now, I’ve been a preacher for a few decades. Preachers who study the Bible can give great insight and explain passages that we find in holy writ. However, preachers, like everyone else, are fallible. We can be wrong.
Acts 17:11 speaks of the believers at Berea by saying, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”
With that in mind, I encourage you to actually read the Bible for yourself. Now, it you’re a pastor or Bible teacher, you may spend most of your time in scripture preparing a sermon or teaching. But be sure to spend some time reading the Bible for your own benefit.
I remember as a young believer in my teens, the first time I read the Bible through. I was going to graduate from high school that June. I decided I should read through the Bible in its entirety before I graduated. I started in January and finished in May. Some parts I found difficult. Reading the lists of genealogies, I admittedly skimmed in a speed-reading style. But it was a blessing to read the Bible firsthand, rather than relying upon others to tell me what the scriptures say.
Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is breathed out by God.” While each book has a human author, what they wrote down was what was intended by God. So, Christians should read this book.
For most of my life, I’ve read through the entirety of the Bible each year. I only missed my goal once. And usually, I read through some books of the Bibel multiple times in a year. Proverbs presents very practical wisdom. Romans gives a great overview of salvation and sanctification. Each gospel gives us a picture of Christ and his earthly ministry.
But it’s not that hard to read through the Bible in a year. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible, 260 are in the New Testament. Reading for about 10 minutes a day, you can make it through the Bible in a year.
There are various methods to read through the Bible. You can purchase a Bible that is broken down so that you can read a mixed portion each day. You can even find sites that will email you a section to read each day. Some Bibles even have a plan listed, usually in the back.
I like to mix it up by reading from a book at a time. I start with Genesis, and then read Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. But any way you do it, about 35 chapters a week will put you through the Bible’s entirety. You could read three chapters a day Monday through Saturday and read five chapters each Sunday. I usually read four to five chapters each day so I can re-read some books of the Bible a second or third time.
Regardless of your method, get started. You will be blessed. You may want to underline and make notes related to applications you can make in your own personal life. Start each Bible reading with a prayer for understanding, and pray about what God is saying to you through his word.
Just get started.
Ashton C. “AC” Smith