I was challenged as 2018 approached, to read the Bible in a year. It’s a plan I had never pursued and felt like it was a good time. Reading has become a bit of a chore for me, as much as I don’t want to admit that, so I was thinking of alternate ways to try it.
Podcasts and audio books have become a popular way to digest more info, and one I have enjoyed over the last several years. The Bible is accessible this way too, and I have a commute to work that is long enough to listen to a few chapters a day.
The friend who challenged me had it all put together with a schedule and a plan. I love when things fall into place, and when there is built in accountability ready for me.
There was excitement as the journey began. So many times before I had begun at Genesis, only to give up by Leviticus. Or I would get behind and find myself “too far behind” to catch up. But, that was my expectation, not anyone else’s.
This schedule had rest days and built in grace/catch up days. It was the perfect way to pursue God’s Word without setting impossible expectations for myself. The purpose, after all, was to listen to Him. The purpose was to deepen the relationship and learn more about Jesus.
I was diligent in my listening, and when I missed a day, I was able to catch up. It soon became a habit, Even months in, when I missed, I didn’t panic. I kept going.
The Old Testament was both rich and a little rough at times. The heroes of faith with their messy journeys through life. It’s also dense with laws and numbers, genealogies and hard to pronounce names. The way that God responds to the Israelites disobedience was sometimes hard to swallow. Taking in all of Scripture is not an easy task.
But another part of the challenge, which I loved, was to choose one verse to meditate on from each book. So as I listened I heard things in new ways. God revealed verses that I had not read before. As I shared the verses through social media, I connected with others in their own faith journeys.
I found the verses that resonated often connected to what was happening in my life and the world around me. God’s Word is as applicable today as it was when it was written. The miracle of Scripture is that through the authors, God presented timeless truths about love because of Jesus.
I couldn’t believe it when I made it to the New Testament, meaning I was more than halfway through the Bible. The rhythm of listening was unmatched by the changing seasons. It was a steady part of my routine, even in uncertain times.
And as the books got shorter, I found myself longing for the Old Testament, deep with stories and history.
God revealed to me so many more books that point to Jesus, which I had never seen before. He helped me to listen, and in turn, deepen my relationship with him.
Different than the count of regular books I read in 2018, the Bible will be one I will come back to. I have no idea how I will approach it in 2019, but just the act of listening and reading has helped me to crave it even more. God’s Word is on my heart in a new way and I can’t wait to learn more, again and again.
Thanks to Bekah for having the idea and putting together al the resources to make it possible. God is working through these opportunities. I hope you will see ways for deepen your relationship with God, too.