I am a regular reader of the Bible. I say “regular” because I miss a day here or there. I often try to get ahead in my Bible reading, but sometimes I’m playing catch up, but it tends to work out. This year I am on track for reading through the Bible with a second time through the New Testament and Psalms. (By the way, this is not the plan I would suggest people start with.)
The habit has grown over the years. At first, I simply tried to read regularly without regard to how much in any given period of time. By setting a simple reading goal I made it through the New Testament and then finally the Old Testament. My only guide on those occasions was a bookmark. As the years have gone by, I’ve become more systematic in my reading. I have read through the Bible time after time after time for decades now.
Why do I mention my habit? I would like you to form the same habit, and the reasons are very simple. This one habit has transformed my life in many ways.
Scripture teaches, reproves, corrects, and trains. Unless you harden your heart against the message, the regular reading of the Bible should transform. It provides a constant reminder of what God desires. It provides a constant witness to God’s provisions and presence. This habit helps you to mature.
How do I know my way around Grand Rapids? It is by driving to various places on a regular basis. How do I know my way around the collection of books that make up the Bible? My habit of reading the Bible keeps me familiar with the Bible. I know where many things are not because I set out to memorize locations, but because I’ve made “the trip” frequently enough, I just know where it is. When I need a particular subject, I have a pretty good idea of where to begin looking. This habit means the spiritual resources of scripture are open and easily accessible to me.
Would you spot a counterfeit twenty dollar bill? If you are very familiar with the genuine, you will easily spot the counterfeit. The same is true for the teachings of the Bible. The regular reading of God’s word means that you become familiar with the genuine. When reading a human author, I will find myself saying what about this passage or that passage. This habit prevents you from being deceived.
This habit doesn’t need the change of the calendar to start, but it makes a good occasion to remind you. Join me. Make it a habit.