Imagine a world where no one watches movies.
Think college guys in dorm rooms quoting lines from their favorite movies and thinking they’re hilarious. Except they never saw the whole movie from beginning to end.
But you, the normal human being you are, go to your friends and say, “What if we sit down and watch the entire movie tonight?”
Everyone looks at you with a face twisted in confusion and says, “Uh… that’s weird. Like, who watches entire movies anymore?”
Before you silently mutter “Weirdos” to yourself and stomp off, isn’t this how you and I often approach our Bibles?
We pick and choose, quoting one-liners and favorite verses. We watch certain clips and read specific passages. But reading the ENTIRE Bible?
Who does that anymore?
There are very few books in your library (except for the dictionary, of course) that you treat like your Bible. How many books do you pick up and read page 100, page 50, and maybe even page 15? Then put the book aside and move on?
Unfortunately, that is exactly how we treat our Bibles. We don’t take the time to read, to dwell over the text in a slow and deep way.
The result is we miss out on patterns, repeated phrases, and the big picture. Most importantly, we miss out on the unified story of Scripture. Every book in the Bible ties into the overarching narrative of God redeeming His people in Christ — for His glory and our joy.
Every book in the Bible ties into the overarching narrative of God redeeming His people in Christ — for His glory and our joy.
Pick and choose what you read in the Bible, and you miss the glorious forest for the trees.
If you want to begin reading the Bible, here are 3 steps you can take today.
1. Start Small
Before you run a marathon, it’s a good idea to start with a 5k first.
Let’s face it: the Bible is intimidating. Tackling the 1,500-plus pages is a scary undertaking. Before you attempt to read the whole thing, start small.
Start with an easier book. The gospel of Mark is a wonderful, fast-paced, action-packed book to begin with. If you’re feeling more ambitious, trying reading all four gospels. Whichever book you choose, pick a book you know you can stay consistent with.
Once you have chosen a book, set aside 5 minutes a day, dive in, and read. If you start small and build yourself up, you could turn Bible reading into a daily, joyful reality.
2. Make It a Habit
We don’t want to be legalistic with Bible reading. This is not a check-the-box religion where we earn God’s favor by how much we read.
At the same time, Bible reading must become a consistent part of our daily lives as Christians. Our spiritual nourishment depends on it.
Bible reading must become a consistent part of our daily lives as Christians. Our spiritual nourishment depends on it.
For the lack of a better word, reading needs to become a habit.
- When are you most alert?
- Where can you focus without distractions?
Once you answer these questions, set aside that special time and place. Create that consistent schedule. Remove as many barriers as possible that stand between you and you reading the Bible.
Once Bible reading is a daily, consistent reality in your life, it’s time to take it to the next level.
Maybe you’re one of those people who doesn’t need motivation, doesn’t get distracted, and stays 100% committed all the time.
God bless you. But for the rest of us, we need help.
If you’re serious about reading the entire Bible, it’s a good idea to have a Bible plan.
And here’s the cool part: you don’t have to wait for January 1st. Come on! How many of us actually keep our New Year Resolutions anyway?
There are so many different plans to choose from. You could read the New Testament in 6 months, read from 4 books each day for a year, or read the entire Bible in 2 years. And this is just scratching the surface.
You can even download plans for your smartphone. Here are my favorite two apps I use:
ESV — The ESV Bible app has over 10 different reading plans to choose from. Plus, you can even listen to the Bible. My dad bought the audio ESV CD set back when CDs were still cool. Now, thanks to technology, it’s free for everyone.
ReadScripture — Put out by TheBibleProject team, this is the reading plan I’m currently using. And I love it! By the end of the year, you will have read the book of Psalms twice and the entire Bible once.
Don’t wait for January 1st.
Don’t wait for next week.
Don’t wait for tomorrow.
Start reading the Bible today.