Silent Monks Singing Halleluia
I have been asked by numerous individuals as to how I manage to get through the Bible in one years time. It is a task I attempt to undertake every year, and I must admit that often times I find myself bunching up a few books around the end of the year to accomplish my task. There are many schedules put out every January by various Christian Churches and organizations that will guide you in accomplishing such an endeavor. I am sure those who attend church regularly will find that their Church offers a schedule every December. Unfortunately, what I have learned through the years is that these lists and schedules are usually put together by someone whose hours and lifestyle doesn't always fit for others. So for today's Sunday message, I have decided to offer a few ideas for those who have yet to read the Bible through in a year and desire to do so. I will attempt to show how I have been able to get into the rhythm of reading the Lords gift to us, His Word, from cover to cover.
The best way to begin is to share my own experience. One of the most difficult obstacles is to be disciplined about picking the Bible up everyday and reading it. Now I do not mean to say that I did not have the desire to read the Word, I did. My problem was that when I finished with all the exciting passages, I was faced with the task of reading the books I felt did not pertain to my life. So for many years I just kept rereading the same books over and over again. Well, you can imagine, my walk with the Lord was not as full and rewarding as it could have been. I was missing a major part of Him, my Father who created me. Then one day I was told by Pastor Bud Chauvin that besides reading through the Bible once a year, he also read the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs 12 times a year. After hearing this, I decided to follow suit, and began reading the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs through in one month.
I must admit that after 12 months of this I did not get through the whole bible. However, I did read the books of Psalms and Proverbs 12 times each, and instead of feeling like a failure as a Christian, I felt invigorated even more. I then determined in my heart that I would read the Bible from cover to cover in one year for the first time in my life. It was a big task, and I will say that there were times I thought I would fail, but I finally reached the last chapter of the last book and accomplished my mission. Never in my life have I ever felt so at peace and complete as a Christian as I did that day.
Well, it has been some time since that day, and since then I have felt the same joy of accomplishment a number of times but to be honest, I still fail some years to accomplish the task. But I know I have done it, and I will do it again, just as I have succeeded and failed in my mission to read the book of Psalms or Proverbs through in one month's time. It is not the idea that you must read the Bible through every time, but that you need to set the goal or you will never try. Succeed or fail the time spent will be well worth it.
Now, on to my reading suggestions. To begin with, you should pick a time of day that you can sit alone and be undisturbed for at least an hour. I have found that early morning works best for me, but what ever time you chose, it must be a time when the world will leave you alone. I would also advise you to begin your reading with baby steps, so that you can first learn to make it a daily habit. That is why I suggest you begin by reading one proverb a day, soon you will see that you have read the book of Proverbs. Next add five Psalms and an 8 verse stanza of Psalm 119, this being because psalm 119 has 176 verses. One day I plan on presenting an overview of the book of Psalms and at that time I will offer my commentary on this beautiful acrostic Psalm.
After reading the book of Proverbs and Psalms in this way you will find that your heart will begin to yearn for more. It is at this time that I suggest reading a few verses from the New Testament and a few from the Old. Now I do not expect you to get through the Bible in the first year, but if you begin with these baby steps, in time you will see how it is not such a daunting task as you may have imagined. The important thing to remember is that it takes a minimum of 30 days to build a habit, so you need to start with the first month and build upon the habit of reading at the same time everyday.
I don't want anyone to think that reading the Bible through in one year is by any means a replacement for ones study of the Scriptures. I read the Bible for study at a separate session. The time you spend reading the Bible for study should be more of an in depth study that involves deep research and investigative work. Your one year Bible reading time will be more like reading a novel then study; you will learn but it will be more passive than the learning you get from your study time.
Finally, I suggest you get yourself a notebook or some sort of journal to track your progress and write your thoughts as you spend your quiet time collecting Mana from our Father. What to write in this journal is between you and God, because it will reflect your time alone with Him. Some day in the future you may find yourself going back and seeing the footsteps in the sands of your life and realize that He was truly there when you needed Him the most. For those who now journal and go through the Bible in one years time, you know the benefit of doing so. For those of you attempting to begin for the first time, I pray that my suggestions will help you in your mission. Either way, I pray for your continued walk with our Lord Jesus Christ and His blessings to be showered upon you and yours.