May 26, 2010

If you...

...got a letter from a friend. Wouldn't you tear it open and read it right away? And maybe you'd reread it later. And put it in a special spot to read again and again. Perhaps you'd find part of it amusing or particularly interesting and read it to the family at dinner.  Or maybe on a rainy day, when you were feeling down, you'd think of that letter and pull it out and read it one more time for encouragement.

Well, I know I would.  I love to receive letters in the mail.  I have a friend who writes me quite regularly and I can not wait to see the mail truck pull up to my house each morning.  I drop everything to dig through the adds and bills to see what's in there for me.  I read it quickly and then at lunch read that letter aloud to my family.  It sits on my counter top for a few days and I will pick it up yet again.

My whole family loves to hear these letters so much, that if I don't have one to read at lunch, you can bet 7 people are asking me if there was any news from my pen pal.

And yet, our heavenly Father has given us just such a letter.  A personal note to each of His children with a special message for each of us.  To encourage.  To teach.  To discipline.  To instruct.  Last night I was SHOCKED to hear that only four percent  of professing, born again believers have ever read their Bible through even one time!  Can you imagine, ninety-six percent of people claiming to be Christians have never read the entire Bible through???  If I went to so much effort to write a letter so perfect as the one our Saviour left for us, I would be heartbroken to know that so few who claim my salvation could be bothered to read it.

One time, when I was a young Christian, I was listening to someone preach and he said, "Since I am being held accountable for every word in this book, I want to know what it has to say."  Well put.

No wonder, so many Christians struggle in sin and depression and despair and heartache.  They have never read the amazing promises that God has given just to them!  They've never read the instruction manual!

My young boys, who are just new readers, took it upon themselves to read from Genesis to Revelation on their own.  It is slow going for these novices, but every day they go a little further.  Yet, grown people who are to be out sharing the word with the world, have not made it a point to know what the Word has to say!  Pathetic, if you ask me.  Even as a lost person, I made a point of reading my Bible and trying to understand its message.

With our third exam last night, I heaved a big breath, looking forward to the three month summer hiatus.  But at the same time, for the last few weeks, I have been knowing that I would be missing the rigorous study in the Word.  One of the great blessings of these classes is that it forces you to contemplate the Bible in depth word for word. 

Our brother in Christ, was sharing with us a wonderful story of the transformation that being in the Word, really in the Word, can have in the life of a Christian.  Now, I have read my Bible through more times than I can count.  My children have read their Bibles through many times over.  Our family has read the Bible through in a different ways together over the years.  But this plan he shared with us, as he related this testimony was very intriguing.

The idea is to take the number of pages in your Bible and divide it by thirty.  In my Bible that would be 46 pages (how many do you read in a novel at one sitting?)  Read that number of pages each day.  The average reader can do this in 45-90 minutes a day.  (Less than the number of hours the average American, Christian's included, spend watching television or videos each day.) You can do it all in one sitting.  Or over the course of the day.  Whatever works for you.  At the end of a month you've read the entire Bible.

Then you relax.  No!  Then you start again.  Imagine, that?  At the end of the year you have read your entire Bible through 12 times!

With 3 months of vacation looming ahead of us, my family has decided to attempt this.  Today we each began reading our specific number of pages.  By the time we return to classes, at the end of August, we will have been through our Bibles three times.  I know it is unlikely that we will continue at that pace through the fall.  We spend that much time reading our Bible assignments and studying for classes already.  Perhaps we will try to read through in three months once the new semester begins.  Regardless, I've no doubt, there will be a blessing awaiting us.

For those who are not faint of heart.  For those who really want to commune with God in a new way.  For those who want the opportunity to claim the blessings that can only be had by being immersed in His word.  I challenge each of you to try to read through your Bible just one time this summer.  Just divide the number of pages by ninety, grab a cup of coffee and hang on for beach reading like you've never read before.       

3 comments :

  1. I love this idea! How refreshing to complete reading through the Bible in a month, or even three months. I accept your challenge! And, I appreciate you sharing this idea.

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  2. That's a good idea. I've never heard of that way to read through the Bible.

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  3. Kat,

    I love this idea. Puts my book reviews behind this most important tasks as well as committing verses to memory.


    Love and Hugs ~~ Kat

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