Jan 03

Reading the Bible in 2023

Resource by Brandt Van Roekel

Hey Christ City, 

It’s that time of the year where we begin a Bible reading plan together as a church. If you have never read through the Bible before, why not commit to reading through this year with us? And if you’ve already read through the Bible, read it again. And again. And again. 

Christians for centuries past have made it a spiritual discipline to read through the Bible—not just once—but regularly. The word of God is incredibly rich food for the Christian. It’s where we learn about God, his goodness, glory, and the blessing of obedience to him. It’s where we find trustworthy instruction about how to live our lives in a world when everyone has an opinion, but so many opinions lead to sorrow. It’s where we see the beauty and glory of God’s goodness and salvation for us through Jesus Christ.  

For good reason, the Psalmist writes about God’s word in Psalm 19:7 – 11

      The law of the LORD is perfect, 

      reviving the soul; 

                  the testimony of the LORD is sure, 

      making wise the simple; 

            8       the precepts of the LORD are right, 

      rejoicing the heart; 

                  the commandment of the LORD is pure, 

      enlightening the eyes; 

            9       the fear of the LORD is clean, 

      enduring forever; 

                  the rules of the LORD are true, 

      and righteous altogether. 

            10       More to be desired are they than gold, 

      even much fine gold; 

                  sweeter also than honey 

      and drippings of the honeycomb. 

            11       Moreover, by them is your servant warned;

      in keeping them there is great reward. 

The Bible is gloriously good, and worthy studying and reading! And it’s also worth planning out how you will read it. One plan that we have used in the past, and which I would recommending again, is called the five-day reading plan. It’s a five day a week plan. The benefit of a 5-day vs. a 7-day plan is that if you get bogged down and fall behind, you have a little margin to catch up more easily each week. 

If you would like to join us, you can download a free PDF for the plan here. I encourage you to keep it on a file on your phone or print it and put it in your physical Bible.

A plan is good. But don’t feel obligated to your plan! It’s wonderful to do this, but the most important thing is just to read it. Some of you may not need a plan to read through the Bible. Instead, you might just need a plan to read the Bible every day, slowly, and quietly, and prayerfully. All Bible reading is good Bible reading. 

For those of you who just need a plan to read, period, you can reach out to someone in the church, or community group, to become reading partners who encourage one another in your reading throughout the year. One person I talked to, plans to read two chapters a day and share some reflections with a friend as they read. 

Lastly, the Bible is an old book. Its newest parts are nearly 2000 years old. And its most ancient portions are closer to 3400 years old. It’s also not from our culture. Because of this, some of it strikes us as very strange. Some of it may even seem offensive to us. For these reasons, it can often be daunting to begin to read the Bible through for the first time. However, one of the best ways of persevering through it is to have some help understanding what we are reading. Praise God, there are some helpful resources out there. The Bible Project YouTube page, found here, is one of the best free and engaging resources available. They do excellent overviews of each book of the Bible. I commend them to you, as you read. 

Christ City, you will never regret reading Scripture more. It’s through Scripture, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we come to know more and more who this God is who has loved us and saved us. It’s through Scripture that we learn to follow Jesus and live life that is truly life. It’s through Scripture that we are changed, as we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

Devour the word. 

Brandt Van Roekel