I know that this week and next tend to be the ones where people make resolutions and goals for the year—and a typical New Years’ resolutions for Christians is to read their Bible in its entirety within the year. This is a good goal and if you’ve never read your Bible in its entirety, you absolutely need to at least once.
I read through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation back in 2009, reading a few chapters a day until I was done. It was a tremendous experience—it helped me get a really good sense of the big story of Scripture, to see how every book fits together. I tried to do it again last year, but stalled out about halfway through the Psalms (although I still ended up reading about two-thirds of the Scriptures through the year regardless).
Sooooo if it was so great an experience the first time, why did it fall flat the next? What happened?
For me, the problem was that I wasn’t spending enough time soaking in the Word. With a strict schedule of 4+ chapters a day, I found there was very little time to stop and savor. Much of the time was spent consuming. This is not the way that I prefer to read my Bible. That’s one of the reasons that I loved the Partnering to Remember challenge that Tim Brister put together last year. Memorizing Philippians (most of which I’ve still got a solid hold on) was one of the few times in 2011 where I felt like I felt like I was really enjoying the Word in the way that I’m talking about.
So this year, I’ve decided to spend the bulk of my personal reading just enjoying a few books—mastering them and being mastered by them, as it were. What that means is I’m not going to be keeping track of how many chapters I’m reading or how many books of the Bible I get through this year. I want to do my best to really understand what I’m reading and to enjoy it. I might even try to to memorize some more.
The first book on my list? Ecclesiastes.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?