Let’s get this out of the way right up front. I am in no way saying following a daily, Bible reading plan is wrong, bad, or crazy.
All I am saying is that they aren’t for me.
I honestly could care less if I ever read the entire Scriptures during my lifetime. That isn’t my goal. I could read verses all day, but if my life doesn’t begin to resemble what I’m reading, what’s the point?
I used to do the plans, though. I tried reading the Bible in 365 days. That lasted a couple months. I tried the topic-centered approach. That lasted maybe the same amount of time. Probably less.
There are a couple reasons these failed me horribly.
First one being I had no relationship with my Father. At that time, I was a confessing Christian. I would go to church. Raise my hands during worship. Say all the right buzz words. Do my daily devotions. Tell everyone I was a Christian.
But my life lived demonstrated otherwise. I was addicted to porn. I didn’t know how to love my wife and daughters. I was walking in utter darkness. I said it was all about Him, but lived like it was all about me. Not very healthy, to say the least.
Second reason was I was reading just to read. I wanted to check off that box each day to prove I had done my religious duty. To show the world I was reading my Bible like a good, Christian person should do. I would read through passages without even knowing or understanding the words.
When God reached down and performed a tree transplant within me (check out Matthew 7 about trees and fruit), my entire approach to reading the Bible changed dramatically. I spent the first few months reading nothing but Colossians 3.
It’s all about setting our minds on things above. Putting to death all kinds of dead branches that don’t produce life. Putting off anger (not getting anger management), blasphemy, and filthy language. Putting on mercy, kindness, and humility. How to love my wife.
There are a ton of practical, life-changing instructions packed into that one chapter. And I read it every day for months. I would read one or two verses and just soak myself in their truth.
I moved on to Philippians 2 after that. More amazing stuff!
For the last 15 months, I’ve probably remained in the same 8-10 chapters of various books. James. Matthew. Romans. 1 John. 1 Peter. And others.
I’ve found that if I camp out in particular passages, they begin to become my truth. I read more deeply than ever before. I look up the Greek meanings to words. I ask Holy Spirit to teach me. It’s no longer a duty to read my Bible. It’s a privilege.
I ask God for wisdom on a daily basis. Why? Because James 1 says if we ask, God will give it to us. Liberally. I don’t know about you, but I can use some God-wisdom every single day of my life.
I have an app on my iPhone called The Word of Promise. It is an amazing audio Bible in the New King James version. It’s recorded with different people doing voices of the various characters (Jim Caviezel does Jesus just like in Passion of the Christ) complete with background sounds and ambient music. It’s awesome.
You can set up playlists with different books, chapters, or verses. I listen to that while I’m working. Always feeding my ear holes with truth. When we were going to the fitness center to work out, I would blast Scripture in my ear buds while pumping iron and barely breathing on the elliptical.
I don’t believe just reading the Bible will change anything.
It’s reading the Bible with the Holy Spirit revealing truth to you that makes all the difference. I know it has for me.
I encourage you to camp out in a passage of Scripture and see what God is trying to tell you. What He wants to show you. Reveal to you.
I promise you it’s more than a book filled with old stories, poems, songs, and rules. With the very breath of Holy Spirit, the pages become alive with truth and instruction. Take the time to ask God for wisdom and understanding.
He won’t let you down.