January seems to always be the time that Bible reading plans make their appearance. There are numerous downloads, email sign ups and apps that are promoted to get God’s people into His word. Most are the read the Bible in a year programs. Forgive me all you one year Bible readers, but I was becoming bored with those plans. Then I came upon a blog post at The Gospel Coalition entitled “How to Change Your Mind” by Joe Carter.
His Bible reading program is easy to remember:
- Choose a book of the Bible.
- Read it in its entirety.
- Repeat step #2 twenty times.
- Repeat this process for all books of the Bible.
Yes, that’s right, one reads a book of the Bible twenty times before moving on to another. He suggests you start with short books and move on to bigger ones later. I began the year with the Book of James because that is the women’s Bible study text that I am a part of. I can visualize my notes on the pages of James but more than that the Holy Spirit quickly brings James’ words to my mind when I am setting a forest on fire by my tongue.
Now I am in the book of Ezra. This is the currently the book my Pastor is preaching through. Before I continue let me be honest and say I tend to rush quickly through chapter two with all of its names. The reading of it was becoming routine. I was wondering if I would make twenty times or not. Then came the ninth reading of chapter nine. The holy race (Israel) had mixed itself with the peoples of the land. Ezra is appalled. He mourns, prays and weeps. Suddenly I feel his anguish at Israel’s faithlessness and I am weeping with him over my faithlessness and that of our country. I am there in the heavy rain with the people who are trembling because of God and their sin.
“The benefits of following this process should therefore be obvious. By fully immersing yourself into the text you’ll come to truly know the text. You’ll deepen your understanding of each book and knowledge of the Bible as a whole.”
I figure it will take me three years to complete the Bible by reading this way but the fruit from it will hopefully last a lifetime.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. –Hebrews 4:12