At First Baptist Conroe, our theme for 2019 is All In. We want to challenge our members to pursue Christ like never before. I’ve already written about the All In theme itself (click here to read that post). But now I want to give you some encouragement and tips to help you complete the first challenge: Read the entire Bible this year.
Most Christians I talk to have a strong reverence for the Bible as God’s inspired Word. They also admit they don’t know it as well as they should. Many feel guilty about this. They’ve tried reading it straight through, but got bogged down and quit somewhere in the middle of Leviticus. Some think they’re not smart enough or spiritual enough to understand the Bible. They content themselves with the bits of Scripture they pick up from sermons and devotional books. So why should you commit to such an awesome task?
- It’s how we know God. (See Jeremiah 9:23-34, Philippians 3:8) The Bible is a letter from God to us, telling us the history of His dealings with humanity; letting us know who He is and how we can live with Him. If there was a newfound letter from a loved one you hadn’t seen in years, would you want someone to tell you the highlights? Or would you want to read it for yourself? Reading the whole Bible assures that you learn all about God, not just the truths that we tend to find more comforting or easy to grasp.
- It’s how we know ourselves. (See Hebrews 4:12) We tend to be lousy at seeing ourselves realistically. We need someone from the outside, someone who knows everything about us and loves us totally, to tell us truth about our lives. That’s what God’s Word does.
- It’s how we know how to live. (See Joshua 1:7-8, Psalm 119:105) The Bible is not a rule book or an instruction manual for life. But it does show us how to make decisions that keep us in step with God and His plan for our lives.
- Don’t read the Bible so God will love you. He already does! That’s true whether you read His word or not.
- Reading the whole Bible is difficult, especially the first time. We’ll all be doing this together. Stick with it! You’ll be glad you did!
- The Bible raises some difficult questions. God’s ways are different than ours, so reading His Word will shake you up at times. Don’t hesitate to ask your Life Group or one of our ministers about things that confuse or trouble you.
- Prepare: It only takes, on average, fifteen minutes a day to read the entire Bible in a year. Decide now what time of day and where you’ll do your reading.
- Pick up a copy of our reading plan. (or download it here) We chose this plan because it allows you to read a little bit from four different parts of the Bible each day. It also has only 25 readings per month, so if you miss a day, you can easily catch up.
- You can also read on your smartphone through the Youversion app. It’s free! Once you have the app, go to the “plans” tab at the bottom of your screen. Then press “find plans.” Search for “Discipleship Journal Reading Plan” (not “Discipleship Journal 5x5x5” or “Discipleship Journal Book-at-a-time”).
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would help you understand His Word, and that He would help you stick with this new discipline in your life.
- Keep a record of the things you learn. Each day, write down one thing that stood out from your reading. Pray and ask God to help you apply that truth to your life. Go back periodically and see what God has been teaching you.
- Talk about what you’ve learned. This is a great way of reinforcing God’s truth, and sharing it with people around you!
I’m so excited about 2019! I can’t wait to see what God will do in our lives as we go All In on seeking Him through His Word!