Bible Reading This Year
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1Timothy 4:13)
The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy to pay attention to his Bible reading. Paul was one of the smartest, most educated, the most seasoned and most experienced Christian leaders in the Bible. Some Bible scholars say he knew at least 11 languages. One might think Paul would have advised Timothy to master the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages so he could stand tall among other highly educated leaders of his day. But he didn’t.
Before Paul told Timothy to read his Bible, he told him this: Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1Timothy 4:12)
After he told him to read his Bible, he told him to do this: Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1Ti mothy 4:14-15)
TIMOTHY, LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BEFORE OTHERS AND GOD. Concentrate on reading, urging those around you to embrace Christ and eternal life. Make sure you have your teaching right. Living the Christian life is not for tender-footed and half-hearted souls. Living the Christian life can only be done by those who are committed to Christ in their hearts. We are saved by grace through faith and Jesus paid it all. But after we are saved and we begin living the Christian life, commitment is at the heart of the endeavor.
THE BIBLE TELLS US TO: hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on the Scriptures. I learned that at age 19 when I began studying with the Navigators. They were all war veterans from World War II and the Korean War. These were men in the student body of Tenn. Temple Schools where I was enrolled. They met once a week. This was not part of the school’s program, but was favored by the school.
WE ARE ALSO TO OBEY THE WORD AND UNDERSTAND THE WORD. But, those two things are included in the first five. I suppose that Dawson Trotman, who founded the Navigators, was looking for simplicity in using the fingers of the hand to teach soldiers and sailors going to war. (Dawson Trotman spoke in chapel one day at Temple and it happened to be the day I was scheduled so sing in chapel. Years later, Mr. Trotman died at a camp, trying to rescue a young lady who had fallen out of a boat.)
IN OLD TESTAMENT DAYS, the only Scripture the Jews had to read was the brief bits the people copied from the teachers in Jerusalem and the Scriptures they copied from neighbors. They also had what they had memorized. None of them had a complete Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament written by Moses. In Jesus’ day, some attended a local synagogue. Some of the synagogues had a copy of the Torah if they had the money to buy one. Some knew portions of the Psalms. Apparently, Timothy had access to a Torah and Paul told him to read.
THE KING JAMES BIBLE has 1,189 chapters, 31,173 verses. If we read four chapters a day, we can read it through in a year. I have read it through several times, I don’t know how many. Recently, I heard Pat Boone say he had read the Bible through every year for the last 30 years. Not me. I haven’t read it that much.
I THINK IT IS A GOOD PLAN TO READ THE BIBLE THROUGH EVERY YEAR and mark the verses of special meaning to you. We use Bible Gateway and plug it into our MORNING MINUTE program. You can use your eyes and your ears if you choose. I also have a YouVersion app on my iPhone. I like it very much. I found some ear phones at Amazon that work off Bluetooth in the iPhone. It’s handy to use when I go for a walk or waiting in the doctor’s office, etc. We can get a lot of Bible reading and praying done if we use the scrap pieces of time that will be otherwise wasted. I don’t try to listen to the Bible when I’m driving.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT READING THE BIBLE THROUGH, those who have never done so, may try it and encounter some things they had not expected. All the Bible is the Word of God. All Bible is useful and important. But all the Bible is not equally interesting and equally useful to most people. There are long lists of names and “begats” and names of places we never heard of. Most of the names of kingdoms and kings in the Bible, have no meaning to us.
THIS A BIG REASON I LIKE TO HAVE THE BIBLE READ TO ME. Some parts of the Bible, like the Psalms, the books of history, the prophets, or the Gospels or Epistles, these are all more meaningful to us. Nevertheless, we need to read all the Bible, even if we have all or some of it read to us.
AS WE READ THE EVENTS AND CHARACTERS AND COVENANTS in the Bible, we realize that we need to do more than read it. We need to study it. When we begin to study the Bible we are like the Ethiopian Eunuch: Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:29-31)
I CAN APPRECIATE THE PLIGHT OF THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH. How can I understand except some man should guide me? Reading without studying will bring us a great deal of knowledge as we continue to read day after day, year after year. We are helped even more if we study and consult those who have studied before us.
I need at least 2-3 study Bibles and a collection of commentaries. We have the King James Study Bible, the Defender’s Study Bible by Henry Morris, the MacArthur Study Bible, and the Bible Knowledge Commentary by the faculty of Dallas Seminary.
ON THE COMPUTER, I HAVE ACCESS TO A DOZEN OR SO WRITERS on e-Sword.net (free) and even more on SwordSearcher7. I don’t use them all on every chapter. But, if I have a difficult question, it’s helpful to have a roomful of good teachers to ask what they think about it. Sometimes I have to say, “hmmmmm, they don’t know either. They didn’t answer the question.”
ONE OF MY MOST-RESPECTED BIBLE PROFESSORS was Dr. Mark Cambron. He was Dean of the Bible School and I took some night courses under him. He was known for his endless reading of the Scriptures. That was his major tool. He just read and read and read. Sometimes he would burst out: “I’ve got it! I think I have a thread hanging out here! He would keep on reading until he would remember other passages that fit in with his reading. That’s the value of much reading of Scripture. Bits and pieces of it begin to stick. New insights begin to come to you.
WHEN YOU READING THROUGH THE BIBLE THE FIRST TIME, read every word. After a while, you will get through the lists of names and places and you will begin to get interested in the characters you are reading about. You will see what God told them and how they reacted to it. You will learn a lot about God by reading through the whole Bible.
This is a good time to begin reading with the intention of reading the Bible through this year. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JANUARY 9, 2018 – TUESDAY
A.M. Genesis 23-24 P.M. Matthew 8
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse To Memorize:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Song for Today:
The Old Rugged Cross (Hovie Lister - Gaither)
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