I have gone to church all my life, and have been familiar with the Bible.
I have attended, participated, worked, and served at church. I graduated from a private Christian University while attending chapel services 3 times each week, and on Sundays, I served at church in the morning and in the evening, and went on several missions trips.
I have listened to countless sermons, attended multiple Bible studies, and have sung in many choirs. And yet, last summer, at the age of 39, I had NEVER read all the way through the Bible, cover to cover.
Oh, don’t get me wrong! I had known a lot about the Bible. I had memorized many verses, and was very familiar with all the stories. I knew about the life of Jesus, and His message. But I still couldn’t say I’d really read it ALL.
As a result I was a “concordance-cripple”, Always knowing the “gist” of a verse, Thinking I remembered it was “in there somewhere”, Lacking clarity on the over-all “flow” of the unified story, And as a result often feeling inadequate and ignorant.
And I’m pretty sure I was not the only one.
But last June, all that changed, as I was met with a challenge:
To read through the entire Bible, reading and journaling EVERY. SINGLE.DAY.
- To come with intentionality
- Setting aside time to read an already laid-out reading plan
- To journal and pray about what I was reading
- And to do so every single daySow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. ~Samuel Smiles
And it all started with the thought of that challenge.
Could I really do it this time? Could I follow through when I had failed so many times before?
Ultimately it was a decision of action…the decision made in the moments of each and every day. One day’s decision, following the next day’s decision, following the next… building a new habit over time.
And what a challenge each day’s decision was! What a change to decide to intentionally make the time to read and journal and pray…EVERY DAY. And I won’t lie. So many days it was inconvenient, and tiring, and flat out hard. But with support of a few, I pressed on.
And this June, I finished. I did it!
And today is my 396th day in a row reading my Bible, journaling and praying. And what joy has come in surrendering my time and heart to God’s Word. This BIBLE, God’s love letter written from His heart to mine! And I completely underestimated how I would forever be changed.
- I have less worry and more peace
- I have less stress and more joy
- I am more loving and less irritated
- I am more giving and less selfish
- I am more quick to listen and slower to speak
- I am more full of gratitude and thanks
And certainly not because of me alone, but because I am tapped into a life source…A daily relationship with my Creator…Daily abiding with my Savior, who paid it ALL for me…a Savior worth surrendering to.
And as I continue in my daily habit, today, I’m beginning a new challenge, one made known to me by my friend Joy, and Amy over at momstoolbox:
- To read it like a novel
- To take it all in over a 90-day span
- To really see the flow of the unified message
- And to grasp that message in a new way
And I must say I am very excited! I have never read at this pace before, and to be honest I AM a bit nervous, but I can’t wait to see what more I am going to identify and learn, and how it will change me even more from the inside out.
Do you spend time reading the Bible?
…whether a five year-plan, one-year plan, or 90-day plan? …won’t you open and read? …won’t you read the daily words Your Savior wants you to hear?