Read the Word

In the coming year of God's grace there is scarcely any practice I can recommend to you that is more important than being daily in the Word of God. But Bible reading that is not planned is likely to be sketchy at best. To read God's Word is the best and most important help to growing as a Christain. To read it every day is essential to your faith and to its exercises in prayer and obedience. It feeds your conscience and heals your heart of sin and of the hurts that others may cause you. People may be cruel and providence may send other hurts your way through sickness and loss. But if your ear is attuned to the voice of your Father in heaven, your heart sensitive to the gentle and instructive voice of your Saviour, and your mind focused on the voice of the Holy Spirit then you have all you need to pray and live a life that glorifies God and enjoys him forever.Therefore there is no more important daily habit you can employ than to read, carefully and thoughtfully, the Word of God each and every day.

But how to begin? How to do it? The Bible is a big book and varied in its literature and in its literature. It may seem daunting to consider reading throught the Bible each day of the year. But it helps to plan. It is sort of llike the answer to the question, How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One mouthful at a time. How do you read the Bible? One passage at a time. And you can, anyone can do it with proper planing and a commitment to give it time each day. You start by asking the Holy Spirit to teach you and to keep you committed to reading each day's appointed passage and then, once you begin and have been at it but a couple of weeks you will find that your day is not complete without it.

Then too, find out what time of day works best for you. Some find the beginning of the day best, giving your most fresh thoughts to listening to God's voice being the best way to start their day. Others may well prefer to do it at night before bed, preferring to allow the Lord's voice to clear their thoughts so they can sleep in peace. Others may find the middle of the day is best. But choose a time and allow at least half an hour to read and to think over what you read and respond in prayer.

I do recommend beginning with prayer and having a notebook or journal to record what you learn. But someone is bound to say, Do I have to start at Genesis 1:1 and go straight through? Answer, not necessarily! Choose a book of the Bible you have not read before or not read in a long time and begin there. The key thing is that you not just allow the words to pass before your eyes but that they pass through your mind and then your heart. I recommend you take notes. What does the passage you have read say? What is the author's main point? What teaching is the passage presenting for your consideration?  Then, what does that passage instruct you to believe, do, repent of, or pray about? In fact, before you read ask the Lord to teach you and then when you are done ask him to firmly fix the lessons in your heart and mind. Maybe choose a verse from the passage to memorize, or to ask your elders or pastor question about. Do ask your pastor about things you do not understand. And if you read something that you believe might help someone else, then tell that person! Not for nothing does Paul speak in Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. It may be that what you learn may be of help to another brother or sister in Christ! That is an exciting and encouraging thought, is it not?

Here is a link that gives you a set of different plans to read through the Bible in a year or even over a longer period of time:  OR you could simply start at Genesis and read each day till you get through the end of Revelation., Or choose a book of the Bible you have never read before and plan to read it over and over again during the coming year until you know it as well as you know your own life story--and you just might find that the very book you are focusing on will become your life story! (Another place to look for a Bible Reading plan is at the Ligonier website:

And don't think you need to go through the whole Bible in a year! I mentioned in another note my plan to read through the ESV Reader's Bible (and there is one for the New King James Version) and take notes for as long as it takes. Now, this might well end up becoming a three year total journey for me, and O! What a wonderful journey, full of wonder and praise for God's wisdom and goodness it has become! (See

But I close with a careful warning. Do not allow this habit to become a routine that is just a routine. Ask the Lord to make it the best part of each day for you. Give it time to develop the habit. But do take the advice of a company that produces sportswear, and Just Do It.