Read it! Psalm 119
I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.
Think it through
It took me an embarrassingly long time to read every word of the Bible. I started in elementary school with Genesis 1:1, gung-ho and ready to go, only to lose it in Numbers. In middle school, I started again and was out by Judges; in High School, by II Chronicles. In college I started a “Read the Bible in One Year” plan and fell hopelessly behind by the end of March.
Of course, I read all of the Gospels, many times. I read many random Psalms and Proverbs (Certainly I must have read them all, I’d think). I read Acts and all of Paul’s letters and most of the other letters (Lord, I think I hit them all, right?). But it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I buckled down and read the whole Bible: the whole the NIV study Bible, including all of the text notes to help me along the way. And I learned so much!
There are lots and lots and lots of “I will’s” in the Psalms about studying and loving the law. In Psalm 119, things like this are repeated over and over:
- I will speak of your statutes before kings
- I will not forget your law
- I will mediate on your precepts
- I will never forget your precepts
- I will ponder your statutes
- I will always have regard for your decrees
We’re supposed to love the law and be excited about studying it!
I was recently talking with a wonderfully faithful person about how hard it is, in all honestly, to enjoy reading some of the parts of the Bible, like the “begats” and the lists of more culturally specific laws. I was right there with him until he said this: “Yeh, I’m comfortable going to The Throne and saying, ‘Sorry, I never read Deuteronomy.’”
I laughed like he was joking. I hope he was joking. Because when David said that we’re to mediate on God’s word, Deuteronomy was definitely included. In fact, when David said over and over how much he loved the law, and Deuteronomy was a rather large percentage of the Word of God he had!
It’s easy to think things like, I’ve read most of it, or, That part doesn’t really apply to me, but those things are lies of our enemy. He’s throwing that spiritual clutter in our way, tripping us up before we reach the amazing power of God’s written word for us. Let’s not get to The Throne without having read Deuteronomy… or any of God’s Word! In fact, let’s embrace it with love… and a big I Will.
Live it like you mean it
Bible reading plans have come a long way since I was in third grade. No more do we have to shrug and start with “In the beginning” and push straight through (although, if you can do it without the shrug, that’s awesome). There are many, many Bible reading plans out there in internet land that can shake things up, leading you from Old Testament to the New Testament and back again.
And, no longer do you have to push through in a year (although, again, if you can, fantastic!). I’ve seen plans for one year, two years, three years, and even five years. I have to give a shout-out to my Dad who has, for the last few years, followed a plan that helped him read the Old Testament plus the New Testament twice in one year. What! So, there is a plan for everyone.
The challenge this week is to find yours.
Yup, find your plan (here’s a list of ideas) and say I will read the whole Bible. Even if you’ve already read every word, God has something new for you. Perhaps you’ll want to try a new version. Perhaps you’ll want to invest in a journaling or note-taking Bible. I’m combining those ideas: I got a HCSB version (which I’ve never read) meant for note taking (actually writing in a Bible is a big step for me) and I’ll be following a chronologically-organized reading plan (never done that either). I can’t wait to get started!
What would be an exciting step for you? How can you get organized and get intentional about loving the law?
Find the joy, claim the love, and get reading.
Lift it up
Lord, I love Your Word, and I want to love it even more. I want Your words to be the first I read every morning. I want to mediate on them through my day. And today I’m saying to You that I will. Please give me joy and energy and patience for the Spirit-filled experience ahead. Amen.
Tell Me About It
What’s your Bible-reading plan? I’d love to hear your ideas!
If you’ll need a help to get you reading, check out the time management ideas in Organizing You and the routine-building ideas in Building Your House. I’d just love to help get off to the right start!
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