In 2013, my church encouraged us to read the entire Bible as a congregation. I’m pleased to report that not only did I complete that goal, but I also finished yesterday, a few days early. I celebrate my accomplishment and all that I learned about God in the process, but I also revel in putting the task behind me.
Reading three or four chapters a day is simply a faster pace than I presently enjoy. Not that this was always the case. I was a teenager the first time I read the entire Bible. By spending an hour a day, I read straight through from Genesis to Revelation in two and a half months, while on summer break. This did much to help me see the Bible as a whole and not in disparate parts. I also saw the story arc from Adam to John, or more correctly, from creation in Genesis 1 and 2 to re-creation in Revelation 21 and 22.
For many years since that time, I set an annual goal to read the entire Bible (which takes about fifteen minutes a day). A few times, my annual plan was to read just the Old Testament (about twelve minutes a day). Most years, however, I read through the New Testament (about three minutes a day – unless you want to take time to study and ponder the text).
Lately, my plan for the year has been to read through the Psalms on Sundays and focus on specific books or genres during the week. Yes, I take a break on Saturdays. This is a rhythm that works best for me, and I’m excited to reclaim it for 2014.
The point in sharing this is to encourage you to set a Bible reading goal for 2014. The quantity isn’t the point but habitually directing our attention to God is.