Must Believers Read Through The Bible Every Year?
by Annagail Lynes
Why haven't you read through the Bible? When I am asked this question, I make a joke that I have tried, but I always get stuck in the wilderness. I finish Genesis and Exodus, but I become bored when Moses listed all the sacrifices. I have read through the New Testament and the book of Proverbs many times though. Many people, especially popular television preachers, convince you that you must read through the Bible every year in one of those read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plans. For me, I find it takes all the fun out of reading the Bible. I read the chapters in order to check them off my to-do list. I don't read them to understand them. I write a lot of blogs and articles, and I am constantly in the Word. For me, discovering new truths, new gems, from the Word, is exciting. I love looking up words in the Greek and Hebrew to gain better understanding. It is not about the amount of Scripture that you read. It is about the amount you digest. Let's say you eat a whole table full of food--cakes, meat, potatoes, pie, zucchini, broccoli--but none of it stays down. It's the amount that you digested that gives you the nutrients, not the amount you actually consumed. The same is true when you eat spiritually. You can read through the Bible in a year, devour books on the Bible, listen to preachers, but it is the amount that you actually digest that gives you the maximum benefit. There are many reasons why you will not digest the Word. One, your spirit doesn't witness with what is being preached. Your spirit--your Born-again self--call tell whether someone is preaching the true Gospel. For instance, last year I began listening to a preacher who introduced me to the transforming power of grace. I had been taught about grace, but I didn't understand grace or its function. His preaching is contrary to most preaching I hear on television today, but I know, in my spirit, that this man is preaching the Gospel of grace as Paul did. I know that what this man teaches is from Almighty God. As if to confirm it, God gave me a dream that showed God using this pastor Over the last year, since I have listened to the gospel of pure grace, I have seen my hunger for the Word and God increase. Your spirit knows the truth of God's Word when it hears it. Your spirit is yearning for that type of nourishment. Most churches teach gospel of grace mixed with law. When people hear it, it sounds right. However Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law for us. We are no longer to live under the law because the law kills. Instead God wants us to live by grace. God's undeserved, unmerited favor. God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves. So many of the Christian teachers today have put the bulk of the responsibility for our blessings, our healing and our salvation on us. They forget to look to the Cross and to fully digest what Jesus already did for us. He already saved us, healed us, delivered us and even blessed us with all of the blessings of Abraham. Two, another reason you don't digest the Word is because you don't understand it. You use a translation you don't understand because you are told that the King James Version is the only version. You have been told that any other translation is demonic. I use many versions of the Bible--the Amplified, the New Living Translation, the New International Version--because they help me understand what the Holy Spirit is saying in that particular passage. I also look words up in Greek and Hebrew to get a clearer picture, but I also ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. He is the best Teacher in the world because He explains it over and over, in many different ways, until I get it. He is extremely patient. Three, you let the cares and concerns of this world choke out the Word you do read and hear. When you are worried and stressed, you tend to focus on your problems, dwelling on them, trying to figure out how you are going to solve them. You read through your allotted Bible reading, muddle through preaching and all the while your mind is focused on your problems at work, home, with the kids. You don't understand anything the preacher taught or what you read in the Bible. Your problems become bigger the more you give attention to them. Instead you need to move your focus onto what Christ did for you. Focus on how big your God, not on how big your problems are. Four, most of the time, though, it's a lack of quality instruction concerning the Word that has caused the Body of Christ not to digest the Word Of God properly. If you don't understand, the Word, you will never become excited about it. When you do receive quality instruction, you will become excited about the Word of God. You will see its plethora of wisdom. How can you get quality instruction? You can start by finding a preacher teaching the grace Gospel rather than a grace mixed with law gospel. In the meantime, if you have been Born-again, you have access to the Best Teacher in the galaxy, the Holy Spirit. He teaches you all things. Ask Him to instruct you concerning the Bible and to lead you into all truth regarding it. If you are patient, you find Him doing just that. Also meditate on the Word of God. Take a Scripture a week and meditate on it in your free moments at stop lights, in the restroom, while cooking or mowing the lawn. To meditate means to mutter it over and over under your breath. Do it slowly and be open to God's promptings concerning the Scripture. One day, while I washed my hair, I meditated on III John 2. As I did, the Holy Spirit stopped me. He shared with me His meaning of prosperity and how His people have been taught that He wants them to live in lack and sickness. He told me how it breaks His heart to see His children living like that. I found it humbling to see a glimpse into what was on the heart of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you concerning the things of God. Meditate on the Word of God and, by all means, find a preacher who teaches the pure grace message. Locate a translation of the Bible you understand. Then you will begin to see the Bible in a whole new light and dig through it to find all the nuggets of wisdom and truth in it.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications. To learn more about her, go to facebook.com/coachannagail
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