I’m reading through the Bible again this year, only this time I’m doing it a bit differently. For years I used the Chronological Bible, and it helped me so much in seeing the whole picture of the Bible. I had never read the Bible from cover to cover until 2005. Now, I’d read parts of the Bible, but never took a whole year to read it from cover to cover.
In December of 2004, I was teaching abstinence in a small country school, and the teacher told me 2005 would begin her tenth year to read through the Bible. Then she challenged me to try it. I promised her I would, and she suggested using the Chronological Bible. A friend had given me one three years earlier, but I’d never opened it. January 1, 2005, that changed. And it changed my life.
Reading it daily in chronological order was like reading a story. Some of the characters were bigger than life—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon…then in the New Testament, I got to know Jesus better and the apostles, and Dr. Luke. Some days I was so excited, I read more than the daily goal.
I was really sad to leave David—he had such an interesting life. A man after God’s own heart, yet he sinned greatly. There was hope for me! It was even sadder to see the Israelites move away from God. But even that was a lesson—they sinned, God forgave, they sinned again….I learned God is so patient and loving and ready to forgive when we confess (turn from our sin)—and yes, Christians sin. Every day.
But it’s more than a story. I have such a deeper relationship with Jesus and God since I started reading through the Bible each year. You might wonder if it ever gets old…no, because each day I see something in the Scripture in a way I’ve never seen before. It truly is a living, breathing book.
I’m in my eighteenth year of reading through the Bible and have worn out three chronological Bibles with daily readings. A couple of years ago, I started reading Seasons of Reflection, 365 Daily Readings. This year I take the daily readings and read them along with a commentary. It’s always interesting to see what men like Spurgeon and Chambers have to say.
And now, I want to challenge you—if you’ve never read the Bible from cover to cover, try it. And I’d like to suggest you read it chronologically–there are many chronological Bibles set up to be read daily.
I know, I can hear you now—I don’t have time! And in this fast-paced world, it is difficult to find time to spend alone with God. It will take discipline, but it will make a difference in your life. I promise, you won’t regret it.