When I was in High School, I had to read the Bible through as part of a discipleship and leadership program I was a part of and then when I was first a youth pastor in Wyoming when I was in my 20’s I read through it again. This year I made a commitment in January to read through the Bible and let its words and principles guide and absorb into my life. Little did I know the massive life-changing direction my life would take with the passing of my Father In Law a few days after I made this commitment.
I started my Bible reading plan on January 1st and my Father In Law passed on January 12th.
My wife was elected the President of Christian Television Network on January 14th and a few short days after that, I became the Vice President in charge of leading all 18 of our station managers in 13 states around the country and also in charge of Creative Content Development for the entire network. Needless to say, 2022 was a very busy year for me. I only spent a total of 97 days in our home state of Colorado from flying and traveling with Yolanda to stations and driving our 28’ travel trailer around the country to connect with and encourage all our stations. It has been a wonderful time of travel with my wife and seeing our managers be encouraged by our hard work and step up in each their own ways in our ministry of broadcasting the Gospel of Jesus. We know there was hard work that went into the initial building of CTN from those who have gone before us and we are dedicated to that same work ethic to continue to build for the glory of JESUS ALONE. And we know that prayer and a focus on the Bible is an integral part of what we will do.
The fact that I felt led to read the whole Bible in a year was kind of random. I already have a devotional time I do but to take on reading the entire Bible was another level. But God knew that was EXACTLY what I was going to need this past year as I am a firm believer that if you want to be used by God in a greater way then you need to do greater things. This is not comparing yourself with anyone else, but to evaluate your life and then make changes if you want to see a different result.
The reason why I am sharing all of this is to encourage YOU to read the Bible through in a year. It was not an easy task. I had gotten about 10 days behind in my reading and took a weekend to get caught back up. And this happened a few times! The good thing is that the plan I use is only based on 25 days a month so you always have time to catch back up if you need to or you can read ahead and get further along.
There were times of reading the Old Testament where I read pages and pages of what seemed like boring information about what generation was connected to another generation. When I read those sections this time, I was gently reminded about how much God loves the family and that generational blessings are important. Things like that are lost in our culture and the Bible was a great reminder to me about it and spurred me to pray for our culture that is losing the concept of family. Then you have the New Testament reading an important truth like Acts 8:3 with an illustration of what Saul was doing to destroy the church going house to house and putting men and women in prison. Reading that verse, I wrote a note to myself that, “Saul (who became Paul) knew the depth of persecution of the church before HE became the one to help build it.” I can now look back through what I highlighted and verses I added notes to and be encouraged for this coming year. I am excited to dig back into the Bible and start over this new year and see what else God wants to speak to me through the Word of God!
A few thoughts for you about the importance of the Bible and putting the Word into your life.
1 – If you think you are too busy to read the Bible this coming year then…you are.
We make time for the things we want to do. So it really comes down to us spending time on things that we value. You need to make the decision for yourself, but you will not regret spending time in the Word.
2 – There is an epidemic of people taking verses out of context and/or using a single kernel of truth and then building humanistic lies around it.
If you consider yourself a follower of Christ it is so important that you know the Bible. To have the context of scripture for yourself so it is not even what your pastor preaches on a Sunday morning but for YOU to know the Word. There are also so many great Bible study tools that are free or low cost on the internet that you can use. I did a segment on my program Man360 that you can watch to read about Blue Letter Bible and Bible Hub website and how to use them. You can click on the Youtube link here to watch that segment – https://youtu.be/2mMT9NAJKMU?t=1298
3 – We always need to be doing things that stretch us
For me, reading has always been a stretch. I read because I know I must and not because I necessarily want to and reading the Bible in a year was something that I knew was going to stretch me. The way we grow in life is to not just stay in the same place doing the same things with the same level of push. On top of the stretching personally, my life changing with becoming the VP of CTN upped the stakes even higher! BUT, it was all something that God knew I needed and was one of the most satisfying years of my life. Busy, but satisfying.
4 – The Bible is not for the people who don’t know Christ, it is for the follower of Christ!
The verse in 2 Timothy 3:16 that talks about the value of the Bible being for “teaching, correcting, and rebuking for training in righteousness. That is NOT talking about non-believers it is for the CHURCH! When those principles are enacted then WE go out into the world and LIVE those Biblical principles to make people hungry for something they don’t have.
The problem is that it’s VERY hard for us to live the principles of the Bible if we are not READING the Bible and allowing it to do surgery on us each day first! Our culture has shifted to a “feeling -based” theology and not a BIBLE based theology. The Bible is replete with verses that talk about how our senses will deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9 & Proverbs 28:26) and not to trust them! It is ok to have feelings and emotions but when left unchecked by the Word of God we run the risk of leading ourselves AND others we encounter away from God and not towards Him!
The Bible should be the beginning and the end of our lives. We need to read it to challenge us, to protect us, to guide us, and give us the encouragement we need each day. The Bible is the BEST way to rehearse the victories of God and what He did back in the day and what He can do for you TODAY!
Take the Bible reading challenge for this year! I dare you!
Click below for a link to a PDF that you can download and get started reading the Bible for yourself!