Here's some food for thought: Most people's view of God is not completely accurate because they have only listened to other people's opinions about God. What people hear about Him may come from family, philosophy, books, T.V., radio, movies, etc., and often they have drawn conclusions about God based on inaccurate information and the traditions of men instead of the Word of God. The problem is they have not given God a chance to speak for Himself. People may have read bits and pieces from the Bible, but to accurately hear God speak they must have the "whole counsel of God." For example, in Matthew 4:6 when Satan misquotes scripture, Jesus responds with scripture and says, "The scriptures ALSO say...." i.e., the WHOLE counsel of God.
And remember, this is no ordinary Book! This Book is "the Word of God" written to you, "up close and personal", penned through over 40 men, by the inspiration of God's Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Many of the writers never knew each other, yet all the books of the Bible fit together perfectly... don't take my word for it, check it out! Did you know this book has sold more copies than any other book in the world? Did you know that more people have died for this book than any other book! It has also been burned more than any other book in the world! Just what is it about this Book that people would be willing to die for it, and for others to be threatened by it enough to want to burn it? You're on a journey to find out just that!
Common sense has it that none of us would not want to spend time with someone if we have heard less than desirable things about that person. Unfortunately many people have the wrong view of God, and so they don’t want to spend time with Him in His Word. When they finally go to the Word, the God they are about to meet, may not at all be the same God they expected! So…let me introduce you now to the True God and His awesome character…let’s let Him speak for Himself .
So, what’s next?
Have you ever read a novel or known anyone who has? Would you say that the Bible is the same size, if not smaller than most novels? Well, then couldn’t we agree that it is a possibility to read through the New Testament? O.K., now that we have that settled, let’s get started!
Now, Begin reading the book of JOHN.
We all like to accomplish a goal so make note of your progress; for example, when you finish reading chapter one of John, put a “check mark” beside that chapter. Do the same for the rest of the chapters in John. Then, when you complete the entire book of John, turn to the table of contents in the front of your Bible. There are 27 books listed there. Put a check mark beside “John”. NOW, how many books do you have left to go? That’s right! 26! And hey, this book is not very thick!
So now read daily & from now on pick up where you left off the day before. (Perhaps some days reading a whole chapter; while on other days you may delight in meditating and studying simply a verse or two). ASK God, He WILL show you! It’s best, if you can, to spend time with God first thing in the morning. And then, in the evening, read one Psalm and one Proverb. We all need our minds “washed” at the beginning and end of the day with the Truth! “For you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) And who doesn’t want to be free?
A Few Words of Encouragement
Remember, do not just “read the Bible”, but “read relationally”…after all, is there any other book that you can literally converse and interact with the author while you are reading? Also pray for a desire to “listen to God speak to you” as you read His Word. Be sure to ask Him to do just that, He’s just waiting for you to ask and He loves that you want to! How will you know God is speaking to you? Will a bush catch on fire? Will a thundering voice peal through the heavens? No, it’s not that mysterious. It can simply be a verse that seems to “jump out” at you while you are reading, or a verse that seems to “speak” right to an issue or situation in your life. It’s truly that easy! This is the beginning of a personal relationship with God, not a course in Bible knowledge alone.
Before you begin reading each day do as the scriptures say in Psalm 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.” Then pray through these scriptures: Luke 24:45 “Lord please open my mind to understand the scriptures.” (instead of you trying to open up your own mind to understand on your own.) Also ask Him to “teach and explain His word to you so that your heart may burn within you while He is speaking.” Luke 24:32
Be sure to underline anything you sense the Lord speaking to you about as you are reading. Remember, this is no ordinary Book! This Book is “the Word of God” written to you, “up close and personal.”
Let me also encourage you during your FIRST TIME reading through the Bible, to make it a point to find out what God is like and to discover His character for yourself. If you will do this daily (read the Bible and search for God’s character), you will come to know Him intimately, in a deeper way! That is a promise! And an exciting one at that! You will see! This will give you a balanced view of what He is really like, and you will find Him irresistible, kind, patient, loyal, a “Man of His Word”, forgiving, long-suffering, and serious about what He says to you!
You will learn that our Lord can have righteous anger and that in EVERYTHING He says, He is always motivated by love. EVERY WORD He speaks from the Bible is for our protection. We are His children and He longs to protect us. He even has a sense of humor! And the list of His characteristics could go on and on….But you can add to the list yourself! You will find that after reflecting on these few things it is so much easier to think about Trusting in Him, instead of yourself. This is the most important step, and critical in developing your relationship with God. Why? Because most likely, you are not going to trust someone you do not know. Walking with God is all about trusting Him. Again I encourage you, work through the Bible daily! Take notes and think about what He is really like from whichever passages or chapters you are reading each day.
What in the world are you going to do now that you have finished reading the entire New Testament?
That’s right! We recommend you read the Old Testament when you finish the New Testament.
Begin in Genesis 1!
Read and check off the same way you did in the New Testament! It is most assuredly the “Book without bottom!!!” You will never tire hearing His voice!
One Final Note:
(This “food for thought” bears repeating)! The Bible was penned by over forty men, through the inspiration of God’s Spirit ( 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 ). Many of these men never knew each other, yet all the books of the Bible fit together perfectly! This Book has been burned more than any other book in the world and more people have died for this Book than any other book! Just what is it about this Book that people would die for it or feel threatened enough by it to burn it? You are on a journey to find out just that! So won’t you start today and begin your own personal journey that will lead you into an intimate relationship with the Author of this wonderful BOOK, called the Bible! Oh won’t you prayerfully consider putting aside any other reading material until you get through the entire Bible the first time? You will be so glad you did, you will see!
MAY YOU BE RICHLY BLESSED AND CHANGED AS YOU MEET WITH HIM EACH DAY! HANG ON FOR THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE!
HE IS ANYTHING BUT BORING! AS A MATTER OF FACT, HE IS IRRESISTIBLE … YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!