Happy New Year one and all! If you have resolved to read through the Bible this year as I have, then I have three points of encouragement for you to begin this year in the Word. (1) Read the Bible! (2) Read all of the Bible! and (2) Read the Bible better than you ever have before. I will be taking these two points and applying them to my life in 2014. I want to read through the entire Bible in 2014, but even more than that, I want to read the Bible better than I did in 2013. Although we see in a mirror dimly, I pray that by God’s grace I would see the unsearchable riches of his Word more clearly this year. To do this I know I must read and read well.
1. Read, Read, Read
I know this sounds overly simple, but it cannot be overstated. If you have resolved to read the Bible in 2014, then actually take time to read the Bible. Demonstrate your submission to the Word of God by reading it when you want to and reading it when your desire is lacking or misplaced. If you have a desire to read through the entire Bible this year, then you have a holy ambition–to know God more in his Word.
It is a magnificent grace that God chose to reveal himself through the written word. To neglect the Bible is to neglect God himself. May this thought be one of many truths that motivate you to seek God in his Word on a daily basis. Knowing God, loving God, and enjoying God come in great part by reading and meditating on his Holy Word.
Reading the Bible this year will be a journey deep down into the soil of God’s own self-revelation that will nurture your soul and strengthen your faith greatly. Your satisfaction in God will only surpass your satisfaction in other worldly passions if you saturate yourself in the soul-quenching eternal truth and sanctifying power of Scripture. Read the Bible in 2014. Take it seriously. If you are a big reader, consider resolving to read the entire Bible before you read another book.
2. Read All of the Bible
But don’t just read bits and pieces of the Bible. Don’t just read 30 days of Mark here and 15 days of Romans there. Discipline yourself and truly resolve to read the whole counsel of God in 2014. Read Genesis and Exodus and Leviticus. Read 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, and 1 & 2 Peter. Read Hosea and Malachi and Micah and Joel. Read Matthew and, yes, even read Revelation. Christian, you need God and you need his Word. Rely on the fullness of God’s Word. Read all of the Bible in 2014.
3. Read the Bible Well
But not only that. Take it a step further. Don’t settle for merely reading through the Bible. Read the Bible better than you ever have in 2014. If you struggle understanding imprecatory psalms, make it your aim to better interpret them. If you simply cannot see how the entire Bible fits together, such as the connection between the testaments, strive to open your eyes wider to see the big picture of the meta-narrative of Scripture. Or maybe you just do not understand what the biblical author meant when he wrote whatever you happen to be reading on a given day.
Marvel at the complexity of God, but do not settle for constant misunderstanding where understanding is possible. Pray for grace and work toward the end of knowing God more in his Word. Read the Bible for all its worth this year. And read the Bible to increase your joy in Christ this year. Read the Bible well in 2014.