Cold one today! As it should be. After all, it’s almost Christmas! That should be a good reminder for us all to start thinking about a bible reading plan for the new year. We’ve conducted challenges in the past that were fun. Maybe we should do that again. I’ll pick a plan that I’m going to follow. You can join me or use another plan of your choice. I’ll likely pick something from YouVersion. I like this app because it offers an easy method to keep track of daily progress. It also has tools to publish verses for Facebook, etc. It’s really cool. Of course, I do my actual reading on my paper bible. In my opinion, there is no material possession that I own more valuable than my go-to bible. It’s full of highlights and underlining, notes and comments. It has become my trusted friend. I can think of a passage and almost always find it simply by remembering it was probably in Isaiah on the right-hand side of the right page. Sure enough, I find it there! You do as you choose, but I recommend having a primary bible that you can have at your disposal for everything.
So, are you in? If not, get in and invite your friends. Wouldn’t it be cool if a ton of people started reading their bibles just because a few of us started to invite others? Think about that! Most Christians have never read the bible cover to cover. Sadly, the same can be said for pastors. So, let’s start something. Listen, there is good reason we should. Let’s take a look at one or two of God’s promises regarding this:
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Psalm 19:7—11 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Proverbs 8:32-36 “And now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”
We see evidence of this wisdom put into action within the pages of our bibles. This example comes to mind:
Acts 17:10-12 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
We also see how important scripture was to Paul, at least we can assume that is what he referred to in this passage to follow. Remember, Paul was in the Roman prison when he wrote this:
2 Timothy 4:9-13 Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments.
It wouldn’t be much of a list if I left this one out:
Revelation 1:1-3 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Folks, we really don’t want to miss out on all the good stuff that God has for us for simply reading the bible. Yes, the old testament has some long genealogies that can be difficult. Picture yourself sitting next to your grandparents as they pull out the old, old family album and start telling you stories about relatives who have long since passed away. While the people may not mean much, the time with your grandparents does. Think of all the lists and genealogies as sitting next to Jesus as he tells you about things he wants to share with you. Then these times will seem priceless. Simply priceless!
Father, stir the hearts of your people to embark on a new bible reading plan for the new year. Encourage them to invite others. Have them challenge one another to hold each accountable to this pledge. Show them just how much fun reading the bible can be. Then, bless the socks off them! Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers