Last week I wrote about the God of second chances. So maybe you ought to be into Luke in your daily Bible reading, and you’re still lagging in Matthew. That doesn’t mean God has given up on you for the year 2008. It doesn’t mean your resolve to get into the Scriptures this year is a lost cause. As God came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Arise and go to Nineveh”, so He offers you continuing mercy. Maybe these last two articles are God’s way of coming to you a second time and saying, ‘Arise and go back to your Bible reading plan.’
So maybe you haven’t gotten nearly as far as you should. But did you know that, if you began today, you could still:
1. Read the entire Old Testament this year? Yes, it is still possible. Just read a couple of chapters a day, and maybe throw in an extra one on Sundays, and you should be able to do it.
2. Read the entire New Testament this year? Here you don’t even need make-ups. Just read a chapter a day and you’ll finish well before Dec. 31. And, since it’s just a chapter…read it slowly, drink deeply.
3. Read the entire Bible in a year? Yes, it will require a little extra reading…but isn’t that what Sunday afternoons are for? Keep reading your three chapters a day, and then work through ten on a Sunday afternoon.
Now, let’s say you never got started…you never had a plan to begin with…you aimed at nothing and hit the bull’s eye. Let me suggest a non-intimidating, but very fruitful idea to you:
Meditate in Hebrews with me. I am working my way slowly through the book of Hebrews, a chapter or so a day. This, I hope, is filling my heart more and more as I work through the book in our Sunday sermons. It would do the same for you…making Sunday morning’s even richer and more rewarding. And it would provide a pace that, if you haven’t been in the habit of daily reading, would be manageable…and slow enough to really think about what you’re reading. So, will you join me? Half-a-chapter a day in Hebrews and you will have read it through 4-5 times before we finish the sermon series.
Finally, two words of caution. First, allow yourself enough time to really benefit from what you read. This is not a race. And second, don’t do you’re reading as though it were a service to God. When a hungry man walks into the soup kitchen, he doesn’t act as if he were doing the kitchen volunteers a favor. And neither does a hungry sinner who comes to God’s word looking for bread. We don’t read the Bible because we have to; because we think it will make God happy; because we think that is what real Christians ought to do; because we want to do our religious duty. We read the Bible because we are hungry. And a hungry man takes no pride in receiving a free meal…only thanks.