I recently talked about finishing reading through the Bible in a year. I mused on that post about what I would do this year, in 2012.
The answer is that I’m going to do it again, but not in the same way.
Like many people I suspect the amount of reading required to complete the whole of the Bible in a year meant that on many days I felt like I was racing through with the only aim being to finish. More specifically, I was dashing through the New Testament reading as I felt the pressure of the day.
While I was pondering what to do about this year I was just about to conclude on only reading through the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs, and then to read through the Old Testament next year.
Then my son was given as a Christmas present the whole of the Bible on MP3 DVD. That got me thinking.
So this is what I’ve decided to do.
I’m going to read the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and I’m going to listen to the Old Testament.
I’ve tried it for a few days now and it seems to work great.
Have you decided on what you are going to read in 2012?
With those words my Bible in a Year journey for 2011 reaches 100%. It feels good to have been able to read through the whole of the Bible, it’s an achievement.
Congratulations to you too if today has also been the marking of a goal achieved.
But this isn’t the end of the journey. As I look back there were so many bit where I was conscious that I was reading, but not really understanding. There were parts where I’m sure that I didn’t understand the significance of what was being said. I’m also reasonably sure that there will be parts that I misunderstood. So it has been an achievement to read the Bible in a year, but it’s only been a part of the longer journey of faith, hope and love.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do next year (tomorrow), but I am sure that I’m going to take another step towards understanding our saviour as he reveals himself through the words of the Bible.
It was back in January when I first started reflecting upon a journey I had started, a journey to read the whole of the Bible in a year. At that point I had barely started having completed a small 3.3% of the distance.
I set out a number of things that I intended to do and as we pass the 90% mark I’d just like to reflect on how that has gone:
Personally I’m using a new One Year Bible that was very kindly given to me as a Christmas gift. There’s something very tactile about a new book.
My new Bible has become a wonderful part of my daily reading time. I’ve loved knowing that I’ve worked through every page as I’ve progressed.
“I’m trying to set aside the same time every day so that it becomes something of a ritual”
Although I work in an office, I don’t work 9-to-5 but I have, for the most part, managed to carve out a regular consistent time. Much like many others, I attend meetings in different places and at different times, but there are also holidays and other times when I’m not getting up at my normal time it’s not always been possible to hold to a regular time. I’ve tried to hold these differences in the programme lightly and to be as consistent as I can.
So I’m also tracking my reading through YouVersion.com which has exactly the same reading plan online.
As well as using a physical Bible I’ve also been using an online reading plan. Seeing the progress online has been a great help but also writing these blog posts has meant that I’ve felt like I’ve had an accountability framework around me. When we are trying to build new habits or to strengthen existing ones it’s important that we have a framework that supports the change that we want to make. It’s a lesson I’ve learnt through Celebrate Recovery.
While I’m here, you may think that Celebrate Recovery is there for people with big problems and issues to resolve, it is, but that’s not all it’s there for. The purpose of Celebrate Recovery is to deepen our relationship with Jesus. As I’ve read through the Bible this year, time and time again, I’ve seen how God has been there for people through life’s journey.
As we pass this 90% mark let’s be thankful for the journey we’ve come on, but also let’s start looking forward to the wonderful journey that Jesus has for us ahead.
The final quarter of any sport is always the most important and today we’ve entered the final quarter of our read through the bible in a year.
In the schedule I’ve been following the Proverb for today says: “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” It’s quite apt for where we are up to. It would be easy to consider that 75% is good enough, but it would be much better for us to consider how close to the end we are and how good it would be for us to press on to the end and complete the task.
Personally, I’ve been giving some consideration to what to do next year. My pondering had been around whether to rewind and start at the beginning again or whether to do something different. It seems a shame to let the established patterns simply slip away at the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be exactly the same. Theodore Roosevelt once said: “A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education.” and a “thorough understanding” takes a lifetime to gain. But the main reason for reading isn’t to give us head knowledge, it’s to inspire us and change us. Dwight L. Moody once said: “Where one man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me.”
It’s time to press on to finish this year, but also to make plans for the next.
Yesterday was two thirds day for those of us reading through the Bible in a year.
Having been in the holiday season it doesn’t seem two minutes since we passed half way, but the end of the year is now in sight and will come all too quickly.
In the reading plan that I am following we are also in the middle of 2 Corinthians at the moment. Today’s reading from 2 Corinthians concludes with a challenging statement:
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.