23 May 2021
Why is it helpful to read the whole Bible in the course of a year?
John 15: 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
While the remains of a tree can be made into a range of items from paper products to furniture, a detached vine crumbles to dust with the slightest touch. It has no use except kindle for the fire. Was this the reason that Jesus chose to use the image of a vine when He commanded us to abide in Him, warning that apart from Him, we can do nothing ? Our best efforts will crumble to dust without the soul-strengthening power of time spent abiding in the word and prayer. One way to have that “ time spent abiding in the word “ would be to have the habit of reading the Bible in the course of a year. We shall look at , without going in to details or depth, some of the specific benefits, which I read from from a TGC ( The Global Coalition ) article, that we can receive as we delve into the entire text of the Bible, seeking to answer the question: Why is it helpful to read the whole Bible in the course of a year?
Reading devotions , especially if the reading is such that the focus is not on the Scripture but what the devotion writer has written , is not a replacement for reading the verses and passages from the inspired Scripture. I used to at times read what the devotion writer had written without paying any attention to the scriptural text.
Reading the Bible through in a year helps you:
1)Go Places You Normally Wouldn’t Go
2)See the Big Picture of Redemptive History
3)Learn New and Unexpected Things About God
4)Avoid Reading the Bible as a Self-Help Manual
5)Come Down From Your Theological Hobby Horse.
6)Enjoy the Surprising Ways God Meets You.
7)Create A Healthy Habit of Daily Bible Reading
All the above points may need further elaboration though they should be self explanatory .
My purpose today is to encourage those who are not already doing it to develop a habit of reading the whole Bible in the course of a year. One of the best things about reading the Bible through in a year is that it builds a regular habit of daily Bible reading. Having a certain amount apportioned for the day makes it easier to pick it up and read. Following a yearly plan also acts as a built in accountability marker. Many of us overestimate our faithfulness to read the word daily. Having a daily reading plan helps to make it a habit of our life. My question for you today: What is keeping you from committing to a Bible plan to complete the Bible in a year?
Prayer : Heavenly Father , in Psalm 119:18 the Psalmist recorded “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” This is the same Psalmist who later said, “How sweet are your words to my taste” (Psalm 119:103). Give me the desire to read Your word regularly and may the Holy Spirit illuminate my understanding of your word. May I continue to abide with You my Lord by time spent in the word and prayer. Amen.
1我是真葡萄树，我父是栽培的人。 2 凡属我不结果子的枝子，他就剪去；凡结果子的，他就修理干净，使枝子结果子更多。 3 现在你们因我讲给你们的道，已经干净了。 4 你们要常在我里面，我也常在你们里面。枝子若不常在葡萄树上，自己就不能结果子；你们若不常在我里面，也是这样。 5 我是葡萄树，你们是枝子。常在我里面的，我也常在他里面，这人就多结果子；因为离了我，你们就不能做什么。 6 人若不常在我里面，就像枝子丢在外面枯干，人拾起来扔在火里烧了。
祷告：天父，诗篇119：18记载：“ 求你开我的眼睛，使我看出你律法中的奇妙。”这位诗人后来说：“ 你的言语在我上膛何等甘美，在我口中比蜜更甜！”（诗篇119：103）。求主助我渴望规律地读你的话，愿圣灵照亮我对你话语的理解。我愿借着在读经和祷告继续与我主相连。阿们。