Week 5 of Read the Bible in 2011 begins today. I’m writing down some of my thoughts and reflections as I read through the Bible to encourage you in your own Bible reading. I am giving a small amount of background material, but I’m trying to keep my focus on broad topics and applications of the passages, rather than exhaustive explanations.
I’m using a Bible reading plan developed by Michael Coley that mixes readings from different sections of the Bible. There’s information about it and M’Cheyne’s reading plan at Read the Bible in 2011 in the banner at the top, as well as links to my previous daily posts. If you’ve never taken the time to read several chapters of the Bible in one sitting, I encourage you to try it. And if you didn’t start on January 1, don’t worry—I didn’t start on January 1, either! You can begin today.
Some of the daily reading assignments go rapidly through a book, while other books are taken just two chapters at a time. You’ll find this reflected in the size and scope of my posts. Do not be discouraged by what you don’t know or what you don’t understand. Come with a humble and hungry heart, and ask God to teach you and enable you to learn what you need to know right now for faith and obedience. John Owen wrote:
“…The Holy Spirit hath so disposed of the Scripture that the mind of God in all things concerning our faith and obedience…is clearly revealed therein.
“…In those very fords and appearing shallows of this river of God where the lamb may wade, the elephant may swim. Every thing in the Scripture is so plain that the meanest believer may understand all that belongs unto his duty or is necessary unto his happiness; yet is nothing so plain but that the wisest of them all have reason to adore the depths and stores of divine wisdom in it….
“It is supposed, when we assert the clearness and perspicuity of the Scripture, that there
is unto the understanding of it use made of that aid and assistance of the Spirit of God concerning which we do discourse. Without
this the clearest revelations of divine super- natural things will appear as wrapped up in darkness and obscurity: not for want of light
in them, but for want of light in us. Wherefore, by asserting the necessity of supernatural illumination for the right understanding of divine revelation, we no way impeach the perspicuity of the Scripture. All things wherein our faith and obedience are concerned are clearly declared there…”1
If you have questions after reading, I recommend talking with your pastor or, if you have difficulty finding someone with whom to discuss a passage, look at John MacArthur’s sermon archive at his Grace to You ministry site. You can listen to or read his excellent expository preaching of the Bible. There is a link to the site in the right sidebar under Resources.
“The chief aim of studying the Scriptures is not the amount read or even the reading itself. The aim is to know God….
“In whatever ways we adapt the suggested plan to our own particular needs we must aim at reading two or three chapters at a sitting, or a whole book or epistle. There are many precious things we shall never see unless we read the Word of God in large chunks….
“The briefest regular perusal of Scripture has deep and largely unconscious effects upon us. So even if your achievements on certain days fall short of your desires, do not be discouraged, for ‘in due season we shall reap if we faint not’ [Galatians 6.9]….
“…Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct. You will probably be the last to recognize these. Often you will feel very, very small, because increasingly the God of the Bible will become to you wonderfully great.”2
May the Lord be with you and bless you in 2011, and may you grow in your love and knowledge of Him through the reading of His Word.
Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
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1John Owen, The Works of John Owen, edited by Rev. William H. Goold, Vol. IV, pp. 193-194.
2Geoffrey Thomas, Reading the Bible.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter