Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Read the Entire Word

The Dare challenge no. 2:
Over the next year I will read the entire Word.

Centuries ago, it was difficult to hear the Word of God. Villages were blessed to have a copy of the Bible at all, and people had to gather in community to hear it read. They placed such a high value on hearing from God, that they would plan their lives around it.

Now, the Bible is more accessible than ever, in more forms and formats than ever. It’s on telephones, computers, iPods, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, audios, videos. We have new versions, easy-to-read versions, coming out every year, it seems. These can be found online, downloaded, searched and compared. There are One-Year Bibles, women’s Bible, men’s Bibles, kids’ Bibles. Reading the Bible has never been easier.

Now we just need to make it a priority. We need to commit ourselves to read the scripture. So, if you are going to read the Bible in 52 weeks, how can you do it?

1. Decide to do it.

Make a commitment. Ask God to help you follow through. Admit it—you will never read the Bible unless you decide to do it. Believe that you really can. God wants you to, and he’ll help you!

It really only takes about 20 minutes a day. Maybe you could give up a TV show, or decide not to turn on your computer until you read your scripture. Try sipping a cup of coffee as you read.

2. Choose a reading plan.

This can be simple or elaborate, depending what suits you. Maybe the simplest system is using a One-Year Bible. This format gives you readings for every day, usually some from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament. Check out for the online version or find the book at Amazon here:

You could use your normal Bible, and divide the number of pages by 365. For my Bible, I would have to read 3.1 pages per day. That’s not much.

Then there are reading plans.

This reading plan gives you 52 weeks’ worth of readings, done thematically so that every week you read from the epistles, the Law, history, Psalms, poetry, prophecy and the Gospels. You can print it out and check off each reading as you complete it.

There are plenty of reading plans at Some plans will get you through the Bible in 90 days! You can choose your Bible version, too.

Go to to have the daily readings sent to you by email.

3. Make time to do it.

Put it on your calendar or your to-do list. Pick a time and place, early in the day. I know that when I promise to do my Bible reading later, I rarely get to it. Ask God to give you insight and energy as you read.

4. Get a partner.

Find someone who will follow the same reading plan with you. You can encourage each other and talk about what God is revealing to you.

And share your insights with your family, co-workers and friends. We learn much better when we know we will be sharing it with someone.

5. Don’t give up!

You will miss a few days here and there. Just double up your reading until you get caught up. If you can’t catch up, read a day’s selection anyway, so you don’t get farther behind. Don’t beat yourself up. The devil wants you discouraged. The Lord wants you encouraged.

6. Expect to hear from God!

God is speaking through his Word. He wants you to hear his voice. Listen to what he says, and put it into practice. His Spirit will begin changing your life, from the inside out!
The Dare begins April 1, 2012.