I get asked all the time about reading the Word. I've read through the entire Bible thirteen times which doesn't make me an expert, however I am a huge proponent of daily reading — and specifically reading the Scriptures in its entirety. My opinion used to be — read through the Bible at least once in your life. What a small and shallow perspective!
Now my conviction is... a follower of Jesus should consider reading the Bible in its entirety as many times as possible. You may be thinking "Why?" My question is, "Why not?"
[Your word is lamp for my feet, and a light for my path.] Psalm 119:105
[All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly
equipped for every good work.] 2 Timothy 3:16-17
[...take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.] Ephesians 6:17
[For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.] Hebrews 12:4
[And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.]
We go through our days and weeks longing to hear God's voice, begging to know His will, and praying to feel His presence. Yet, we spend mere minutes skimming the "verse of the day" or reading a devotional with snippets of Scripture.
I'm talking about really diving in like you would a novel - I'm speaking to all you, Harry Potter, Middle Earth, and Hunger Games fans. The Bible is the most epic story of all time, and it makes more sense when you consume it in the order it was written and in large portions.
Reading the complete narrative of Job or the letter to the Galatians while the book of Acts or John's vision of the Revelation will have more significance in its entirety. Trust me. You will have "ah-ha" moments like never before.
For the record, not everyone can read for an hour a day. However, I bet you can give it more than 5 minutes. Doubt me? Keep a screen time log this week (Netflix, Instagram, or your black mirror drug of choice), or go to your phone settings and look at your screen time activity (some of you are like, "no thanks - ignorance is bliss"). Reading an epistle like Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians should take you no longer than 30 minutes. So you got this, Ladybird!
Here are some suggestions ||
Pick a reading plan on the YouVersion app - my favorite is As It Happened (annual).
Use an actual Bible as well as your phone to read + listen — use ALL the tools.
If you fall behind, give yourself grace and catch up - one day at a time.
Once you finish it, do it again - in a different version, at a different pace. Change it up!
*Challenge: Do a 90-day plan - Every Word is my all-time favorite. It will transform the way you see the Bible. It's also available in the YouVersion app.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. - Psalm 19:7-11
I seriously want to encourage you to try the 90-day plan. At least once. It was something that seemed overwhelming — reading the Bible for 45-60 minutes a day was daunting. But we undertake a lot of challenges that become doable - Whole 30 and P90X, just to name a few.
Several things you will realize ||
you'll get through the tough books (Leviticus and Numbers) quickly
you'll see the bigger picture of accounts and arcs
you'll start recognizing the voice of Jesus more intimately
reading becomes a 4-course meal
You literally feast! It will be hard to go back to nibbling a few verses at a time, after doing this plan.
I'm excited for you, Ladybird, to increase your Scripture consumption. By reading more, God's voice will become clear, comforting, and familiar. It will light your path and lift your expectations. Let me know how it's going as we become women of the Word. #readmore #feast #heyladybird
Thoughtful Resources // Get More from the Bible This Year (article) The Bible is a Lifelong Project (article)
Janelle Nobles is lead creator at Hey Ladybirds! and Team Development Coordinator at Passion City Church in Atlanta where she lives with her husband. All the heart-eyes for her nest — kids, in-loves, & g-babies as well as running and quac. She’s obsessed with reading and memorizing the Word and building the local church. Connect on Instagram or Facebook.