Reading the Bible in a Month: My Wife’s Experience
Every believer knows the value of Bible reading. The most popular approach is to read through the Scriptures in a year. It seems reasonable that our eyes should read every verse in God’s Word annually. But if that is valuable, what about reading the whole Bible in a month?
In December my wife, Kim, and I were discussing our Bible reading plans for 2012. I had (and have) ambitions to read it through twice this year. I must admit that I felt pretty good about that plan. But imagine my response when Kim said, “I think I want to try to read the Bible through in January.”
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical, but encouraged her to go for it.
Well, she did it.
As we talked about the things she learned, I thought those lessons to be too valuable to keep to myself. So I asked her to write her thoughts out so I could post them. She was reluctant to do so for fear of drawing attention to herself. However, at my urging, she did put together her response to reading the Bible in a month. Here it is…
It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?” But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it (Dt. 30:12-14).
I’m not really sure what made me want to read the entire Bible in the month of January. I think some of it may have been guilt because it had been a while since I read all of God’s Word. I was also convicted that I am not as familiar with this precious book as I need and want to be. Whatever the reasons, I am so glad I did. It both confirmed my ignorance and whetted my appetite to dive deeper into its riches.
The following are some observations that the Lord showed me as I read:
1. The unchanging character of God is always in the foreground (His holiness, compassion, faithfulness and grace) and shines against the backdrop of man’s continual failures. His focus on the heart stood out this time as well, especially in the Old Testament amidst all the detailed instructions on conduct.
2. God’s message, plan, and sovereign orchestration of all events to accomplish this plan are consistent on every page. I am convinced that anyone who says the Bible is inconsistent has not spent much time in it.
3. My reading included about 8 chapters in each of 5 sections daily (Law, History, Poetry, Prophecy and New Testament). I love seeing the Bible’s commentary on itself as well as themes and events being enhanced in different passages. For example, in Acts Peter is called to evangelize Gentiles and in Psalm 67 we see, “Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You… God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” In the same day I would read of the faithlessness of the kings and people of Israel, of God’s faithfulness to Israel in the Psalms, and from the prophets who were speaking truth into their lives. On another day I read about David’s desire for God to have a dwelling place in Psalm 132 and Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple in 2 Chronicles 9.
4. It wasn’t that hard! Yes it took discipline and a good amount of time each day (1 ½ – 2 hrs), but it was very doable. From this point on, reading through God’s Word 3 or 4 times a year does not seem a bit daunting.
5. I found myself growing in familiarity – the sense in which I am well acquainted with portions of Scripture because I just read them a few days ago. Several times they came to mind readily when dealing with issues in my own heart or in giving counsel to others. Some of these passages were close friends at one time and I’ve missed them. Others were mere acquaintances, but are pulling at me to get to know them better.
6. After being so immersed in the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan and His repeated warnings and patience with mankind, the final chapters in Revelation carried new meaning. I was overcome with worship for my Sovereign King and Lamb as well as deep sorrow for those who are perishing.
God has lovingly and graciously made it possible for me to know Him through the sacrifice of His Son and the revelation of Himself in His Word. It is not in heaven or across the sea, but it is right beside me on my nightstand. And I pray that it would be ever nearer in my heart and in my mouth.