At the beginning of this year, with some encouragement from a friend, Mike Silliman, I made an ambitious goal for myself – to read through the Bible in a year.
Beyond the notion that it was something I ‘should’ do, I was inspired to do it because I wanted to go on a bit of a spiritual journey. I wanted to go somewhere spiritually I had never gone before and I knew that to get there I’d have to do something I’ve never done and that it woudn’t necessarily come easy. However, I also new I needed strategic approach to make it possible.
The answer: A chronologically arranged Bible in an easy to read translation. As I have reached the half-way point and spent the past 6 months in the Old Testiment, having the events arranaged sequentially has dramatically helped me not only get through some of the most confusing books of the Bible, but even allowed me to appreciate the story of God’s love for His people even more.
It is has been amazing to me to see how OT events have come to life more vividly and significantly when I read them chronologically. It just seems to make so much more sense. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t still confusing chapters and passages, but that is where having a modern English translation such as the NLT has also helped.
Personally, I like to journal, and this year the Digerati Team from LifeChurch.tv have also made some major enhancements to the popular online Bible – YouVersion.com. For some of those more difficult passages, YouVersion has a very handy feature where you can put multiple translations side by side for comparison. There is also contributions from others to help give you insight and most importantly for me, the ability to create a personal and private journal linked to key scripture. This is has been very useful in allowing the Holy Spirit to stretch me and time for God’s Word to really start to sink in. Before this year, I could have never imagined being able to journal so much about Old Testament passages.
If you have never tried reading through the Bible in a year before or maybe tried and failed after only a few short weeks, I encourage you to try again – but try it with the a chronlogically arranged Bible. There are several different ones available and in different translations. Find one that is easy for you to read. Also don’t worry that this almost July and not January. You can start any time – not just for a New Year’s resolution!