I recently finished Revelation 22, the final chapter of the Bible. Several months ago I started in Genesis 1, and begin plowing straight through. I was a freshman in college the first time I read through the entire Bible in a year, and it is a goal I have tried to accomplish many times since. To be honest, I’ve lost steam in the prophets the last couple of years, never even making it to the New Testament. I’ll read or memorize texts in the NT pretty regularly, but I think it’s been at least three years since I made it all the way through. I’m glad I did it again this year. I’m definitely going to shoot for this goal in 2016. Here are six reasons why I’d challenge you to join me:
1) It’s a goal that takes time out of every day of the year.
Depending on the print size of your Bible, reading through it in a year usually means reading about two and half pages (three to four chapters) a day. For most people, this will be between ten to fifteen minutes of Bible reading a day. There is a big difference between 10-15 minutes and 30 minutes. There is a huge difference between 15 minutes and 45 minutes. You learn very quickly that staying on rhythm with this takes daily discipline, and that’s a good thing.
2) It guarantees you will see the “Big Picture.”
Individual Bible verses are like gold nuggets of truth, promises that you can fit in your pocket. Reading through the entire book in a year is gaining access to the gold mine.
3) It will help you handle the Bible responsibly.
Every text has context. Without context, you can’t understand the true meaning of a text. An individual Bible verse may look like a gold nugget, but it could easily be fool’s gold. It may not actually mean what you think it means. Context changes everything. When you read through entire books of the Bible, groups of books, OT/NT, and eventually the whole thing—you grow in your understanding of the parts as you see the whole.
4) It will force you to grow in spiritual discipline.
5) It will help you discover things you had no idea were there.
I’ve read through the Bible in a year over a dozen times, and each time I find something new. It’s not an exaggeration to say that each week, if not each day, I find something I didn’t notice before.
6) It will position you to hear from the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.
I can’t tell you how many times my daily Bible reading has unearthed a word from God (literally) that directly correlates with something I am going through or about which I am praying. Reading through the Bible in a year, which forces me into every single day, regularly opens my ears to the Holy Spirit.
These are six of the many reasons to read through the Bible in 2016. I think I’m going for it again. What do you think?