Judging by the huge number of bible reading plans that are on offer these days via the internet, many Christians are wanting to read through the whole bible, in an organised way.
So, is it important for us to read the whole bible?
As we saw, in our recent series of sermons, Paul, the apostle, wrote, in his second letter to Timothy:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
If there are some parts of the bible that we never read, will we be missing out on some of the things that God wants to teach us and reveal to
us? We may not be as well-equipped as we could be, for everything that he is calling us to do and to be. What Paul wrote in his letter to Timothy certainly suggests so.
Do we believe that each part of the bible contains some important part of what God has chosen to show us about himself, his deeds, his thoughts and his intentions for us? If so, it is really important that we understand one part of the bible in the light of all of the rest of it. God does not contradict himself, and he never changes. The more we know of his word, the better-equipped we will be to understand it correctly.
It is also good and exciting to get the big picture of the history of God’s dealings with his creation, and particularly with humanity. It can teach us so much about his amazing character and inspire us with fresh faith in his purposes for us, as we see the wonderful way in which he accomplishes his plans.
Yes, there are some parts of the bible that we find hard to read, understand, or reconcile to the rest of it, but Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into the truth. I’m sure we can all agree that it is good for each of us to read as much of the bible as we can. God has given us his word because he loves us. He wants us to know him more intimately and to become everything that he has called us to be.
For those who want to read through the whole bible in an organised way, I would suggest that a varied “diet” might help. Yes, the most obvious way in which to read the whole bible is simply from cover to cover, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. Some will find it helpful to approach it like this, but it will involve some days in a row just reading through some less inspiring, but equally important, sections.
Others may find it more helpful to use a reading plan which enables them to read from more than one section at a time, but still to accomplish the aim of reading the whole bible. There are many examples of these on-line, which can be downloaded free of charge. There is a link below to one example, from the Biblica (International Bible Society) website:
As we read, we should expect God to speak to us, and inspire us with a deeper insight into his character, and his loving purpose for us, and for everyone who will receive and obey his word. Reading the whole bible and getting the big picture can be an exciting adventure.