The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3:16, Common English Bible).
I haven’t always been very good about reading my Bible. In fact, I know that for man years, if I wasn’t going to church (having grown up in the Baptist Church, carrying your Bible was an expectation), my Bible lived on the shelf and didn’t see the light of day in between trips to church.
What that meant was, for much of the time I was in the Navy my Bible never saw the light of day. It isn’t that I never went to church in those days, but it was rare. Except when I was home on leave, I think it would be a pretty safe statement to say, I didn’t go to church for my last two years in the Navy, if not longer.
Several years after I left the Navy I got active in church again (this time as a United Methodist). One year I bought a One Year Bible and entered into that particular exercise. On the “One Year Plan” you read an Old Testament lesson, a New Testament lesson, a Psalm and one or two verses from Proverbs each day (If this is something you would like to do, I highly recommend the One Year Bible). Over the course of a year I read the entire Bible.
I remember the day I read the verse from Colossians above. Paul really spoke to me. If the word of Christ must live in me richly, that would mean I need first to know the word of Christ, the Word of God. In order to know that would mean reading and studying. And, if the Bible is “The Living Word of God” as we say it is, to have the Word of Christ live in me richly then studying the Bible must be an ongoing process and not something I do and when I have read it cover to cover I put it down, never to pick it up again.
To be honest, it really doesn’t matter to me if you read the Bible in a month or a year or you take three years or longer to read it. What matters is that you actually take the time to read it. I am going to lead my congregation in a 40-Day reading plan for Lent. If that would be of interest to you, you can find the plan here: http://margaretfeinberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/UPDATED-LentReadingGuide2013smallpdf.com_.pdf.
If reading the Bible more is among your New Year’s Resolutions, get started. It won’t happen until you do. Second, make it a habit by working to read at the same time every day. Third, when life happens, and it will, don’t be hard on yourself and absolutely don’t think, well I missed a day, I’m done. You are only done if you want it that way. Work to catch up again. In the 40 day plan we are going to use during Lent, we will read six days a week. If you miss a day, you can use the off day to catch up again. If you are using some other plan either take a day and read two days worth of material or read a little extra every day until you catch up again. The point here is, don’t stop. Make it a habit and keep on reading!
Perhaps it might help to if you were to pray each morning when you get up, “God above, help me make time for you today. Give me the time to read your word.”
The truth is, the only one who keeps me from reading the Bible is me and the only one who keeps you from reading the Bible is you. If we are each committed to find a way to read Scripture, whether a verse or much more, we will find a way to get it done. I also believe God will bless us for it.
Have a blessed day in the Lord,
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved