From Kevin Glick: For years I struggled to consistently read my Bible…often starting the year off with great intentions only to fail again with busyness of life, lack of desire or just forgetfulness. Even when my reading was consistent most of the time I was randomly reading books of the Bible with little direction. I often found my time reading was hit or miss and I wasn’t even enjoying reading the Word. It became tiresome and felt like a chore. This was my experience for years and I would often turn to Christian books to take the place of the Bible. All of that changed last year.
Before going further I think it is important to note that the positive change in my time spent in the Word is a complete work of God. I would never give credit to a program or system for the change that came about by the grace of God. Left to ourselves we will have very little desire to read his Word and need our hearts to be changed by him. With that said I do think God used a very practical item in my life to fundamentally change my heart and approach to his Word on a daily basis.
Joe Calabello introduced the church to a reading plan at the beginning of 2014. It is a one-sheet plan that splits the Bible into 7 different sections. Each section consists of different books that you read through on a specific day. For example Saturday you will always be reading through the Gospels, Tuesday is History and Friday is Prophecy. If consistent you will read through the entire Bible in a year.
I would love to tell you that I read the Bible in exactly one year but that is not the case. With that said though, amazingly I was able to read the entire bible in about 15 months. After so many failed attempts this was a huge accomplishment of God’s grace in my life. For the first time I was waking up excited about reading God’ Word. Through the plan I had specific direction as to where I would read that morning and could have faith that it was exactly what God wanted to speak to me about. I knew exactly where and what to read each day and that structure gave me the discipline I needed to read almost every day. It also gave me a specific goal to strive for knowing that if I read each section daily it would result in my having read the entire Bible.
But reading the Bible in a year is not the point. The point is as a Christian for the last 16 years I had never read all that God had revealed through his Word. I was the classic dad trying to put the piece of furniture together without reading all of the instructions. Why was I trying to walk out the Christian life without ever having read all of God’s directions and truth? I was reading passages of scripture for the first time that I heard other people preach and write books on but now God was speaking to me directly through his Word. Morning after morning I was reading passages I had never even heard before let alone read on my own and God was using them in my life. Truths and doctrines that I had always been taught growing up were now showing themselves self-evident in scripture. Learning these truths directly from Scripture lead to a firmer conviction in what I believed and a better understanding of God himself. There are so many gifted men and women who can teach the Word but to be taught directly by the Holy Spirit from the Word of God was very powerful.
I think prayer for a changed heart is most important, but I do believe that God used the reading plan in a very real way to change how I approach reading the Bible. I am happy to say that I am now reading the Bible all the way through again and can’t believe how much I missed the first time around.