|Volume 19 Number 4 April 2017||
Gary C. Hampton
The question that serves as a title for this article is, admittedly, an unusual one. I cannot remember anyone ever asking me. It is, however, a good question. The answer might help each of us stay on track to read our Bibles through in a year.
My Bible has 1,096 pages, with 843 in the Old Testament, 248 in the New Testament, 3 blank pages and 2 title pages. Reading it from “civer to civer,” as the old woman said, requires me to read three pages per day, not counting the blank and cover pages. It is really simple to complete the task. I can usually read three pages while I eat a leisurely breakfast. I use the Bible app on my phone to keep track of my progress.
Reading the Bible from the app on my phone also means that I almost always have my Bible with me. Waiting in lines or at doctors’ offices is much less frustrating when I can delve a little further into the Word of God.
My annual trek through God’s Word has caused me to have a deeper appreciation of some passages. It has helped me to see the correlation between Old Testament shadows and New Testament substance. God’s patience and His unfolding plan are clearer because of my growing knowledge of the entirety of truth.
How many pages are in your Bible? Will you join me in reading it all the way through in each year? I guarantee it will help make you a more appreciative child of God.
What Do You Think about the Bible?
These days, almost everything one purchases comes with a set of instructions on how to assemble it, operate it, repair it or anything else that applies to its use. Most people, typically men, only resort to the instructions if they have to, after trying everything they can on their own, trying to undo some problems that arise by not knowing what to do. How often could it be said, “Did you read the instruction manual?”
Statistical research shows that less than 10% of “professing Christians” have read the entire Bible. I don’t know how many “New Testament Christians” spend time every day in God’s Word, but it should be all of us. Why? This is the way God communicates with us, revealing His will to us and providing to us answers for life. Without input from Scripture, we’re receiving input from the world around us, which may not be and many times is not valid. Our information will originate from desires, the opinions of others, and prevailing attitudes in the world. This will not lead to godliness or a divine rationale for making choices on how to live.
We handicap ourselves and create more problems to resolve when we don’t let God speak to us by reading His Word. Paul reminded Timothy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV). As one person commented, “Reading the Bible cover to cover will change your life. You will see things that you never thought were in the Bible. You will see God’s warnings and promises to help you through tough times. Most of all, you will start to understand how God thinks. How can you please God if you don’t understand how He thinks? He knows you are not a mind reader. That is one reason He gave you the Bible, so you could begin to understand what God expects from your life.”
How long does it take to read the Bible through? On average, it takes 90 hours to read the entire Bible. That is one hour a day for three months, one half hour a day for six months or 15 minutes a day for 12 months. How much time do we spend in other endeavors each day? The Bible is not a dry, outdated book! With the right attitude of heart, it’s fresh, relevant and offers answers to life’s problems. The psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). He also wrote, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (119:11). The Bible is God’s Word of life to us. It’s our choice whether we take advantage of it or not, but why do so many choose not to avail themselves of it? The Bible is available in several formats, yet so many people ignore it. It only causes problems doing so and can keep us out of heaven.
You can start anytime at any point in Scripture and find blessings for life beyond imagination. One verse a day can offer God’s blessings, and the more you read, the more you will grow; the more you understand and apply, the better life you will have. Think of all the activities you have engaged and wound up saying, “Well, that was a waste of time!” That will never be true of time spent with God’s Word. It’s not just a book about life; it’s the book for life. Be sure of your life and relationship with God; read His Word, daily. It is His instructions to us for living. “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life” (Psalm 119:92-92).