Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to grow stronger in your faith. It’s also one of the hardest habits to form.
I recently shared my Reading the Bible in a Year Plan with tips on how to be successful with it. Having a solid idea why it’s so important — why reading the Bible in a year is a good idea — will help you stick with it when you want to give up. Here are a few of the reasons why this is a big deal.
The Bible tells us to study the Scriptures.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
This is not a suggestion, it’s an exhortation to work hard.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says “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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
These two verses contain so many great reasons to know the Word of God.
The New Testament Christians set a good example for us.
The men and women in the Bible set a good example for us in knowing the Scriptures. Paul, Stephen, and Peter all demonstrated a depth of knowledge that could not be possible without the consistent study of God’s word.
In the first post-resurrection sermon recorded in the Bible, found in Acts Chapter 2, Peter quoted the Old Testament and showed how Jesus fulfilled prophecy.
In Acts Chapter 7, Stephen gives an overview of the history of the Jewish people with direct quotes of Scripture specific to the situation of his trial.
You need a solid knowledge of God’s word and the help of the Holy Spirit (both) to respond under pressure with details and a well-thought argument as Stephen did.
Throughout his letters, Paul quotes the Torah 45 times, the prophets 53 times and the Psalms 23 times, plus ten other Old Testament books are cited as well.
Can you imagine knowing God’s word well enough to recall this much detail? It’s not likely he had instant access to read it whenever he wanted it. He had to have God’s word memorized.
Memorization happens when you read God’s word over and over. If you started this year, and read the Bible through every year from now until you stand before Him in heaven, how much will you have memorized?
Of course, none of us knows how long we will live, but you understand my point.
Hiding God’s Word in your heart begins with reading it.
God’s Word Changes Lives.
When we look at the many examples in the Bible where men read the Scriptures and it changed lives, we realize how important it is in our own life.
Here are just a few of the stories you can examine more carefully on your own.
In Nehemiah 8:7-9 we learn that the people wept when God’s word was read and explained in their presence after exile.
In Jeremiah 36, we learn that the King read and then burned up the scroll on which the words of Jeremiah were written and suffered grave consequences.
In Joshua 8, we read that Joshua read all of the words of the Law to the people.
In 2 Kings Chapter 22-23, we read how Josiah heard the word of God for the first time and repented. He in turn read the law to all the elders, priests, prophets, and people — even the little ones. The people repented and made a covenant with God.
God communicates with us through His Word.
If you want to know the will of God, it is revealed to us in His word. You can’t know His will without knowing His word! This is how we get to know God more and learn to be more like Him – by reading the words He has given to us.
Reading the Bible in a Year is a Manageable Pace.
It takes just about fifteen minutes a day to read the Bible through in one year. That’s not too much. You spend at least that much time getting dressed each day.
Reading the Bible should be as foundational to our day as putting clothes on. In fact, the Bible has a similar corollary with an exhortation.
“Put on the Whole Armor of God” in Ephesians 6:11-24, which ends with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” You can do this!
Reading the Bible in a Year is Habit-Forming.
By making a commitment to read the Bible each and every day for an entire year, you are forming a solid habit that will last a lifetime. Commit to it!
Set a specific time, and stick with it even when you don’t want to. We know that forming a habit is hard, but we also know a little bit about the science behind it.
If you can repeat a positive action for 21 days it becomes a habit. The average person makes 773, 618 decisions in a lifetime. Forming good habits are the foundation for a lifetime of good choices.
Reading the Bible in a Year Sets an Example for Our Kids.
Yes, they have the example of the men and women in the Bible, as do you. However, an example they can witness in real life is much more powerful.
A person they can talk to who is immersed in God’s word is tangible. A life they watch as it is transformed through God’s word will deeply impact their faith and their own personal commitment to Bible study.
Reading the Bible in a year helps us to follow the example of the early Christians, listen to God’s communication with us, change lives, make good decisions, and set a good example for our kids.