5 things I’ve learned from reading the Bible this year

A couple of years ago, I decided to start doing what many others believers do – read the Bible in a year.  Through this discipline, I have learned many things about God, His Word, and about myself.  I have also noticed that each time I read through the Bible, different themes, ideas, and challenges resonate with me.

Here are 5 things that I’ve learned from reading the Bible this past year.

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1) God wants to be known.

Time and time again throughout the Old Testament, God the Father declares “You shall know that I am the LORD your God” (Ex. 8:24, Deut. 29:6, Ez 39:7, Joel 3:17, Jeremiah 24:7, etc.).  This is repeated over and over again, especially in the book of Ezekiel.  If you have read the Old Testament, you know that God causes some very violent events to happen.  Why would he allow the slaughter of thousands of people?  As I’ve discovered, God almost always gives the reason why.  He wants to be known.  God will go to great lengths to make His Holy name known throughout the nations.  He wants to be known, and He will do anything to accomplish that desire.

2) God opposes people.

Let that sink in.  It is recorded several times in the Old Testament that God says “I am against you” and that he is “opposed” to a person or group of people (Numbers 22:32, Nahum 3:5, Jeremiah 50:31, Ez 28:22, ).  Jeremiah and Ezekiel are full of these references.  This is not often the message we hear when we hear of God, especially in our culture today.  We mostly hear that God is a loving God and accepts all people and all things just as they are.  This is not what the Bible says!  God is constant and all loving, and in His love He opposes sin.  I find it interesting though that God doesn’t say “I am opposed to your sin”, but instead says “I am opposed to you“.  We should wrestle well with the wrath of God!

3) All humans fail, even the greatest ones.

When you think of Bible characters, who do you think of?  Adam, Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Samson?  As ‘great’ as these men and women were, they all were sinful people who made huge mistakes.  I think too often we have too high of a view of the people in the Bible as if they were these great people, but in reality they were not more less or more human than any of us.  The message of the Bible is not “humans can do great things”.  We should also be careful to not put men like Moses and David even close to Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the ONLY character in the Bible who we should worship and adore.

4) For me, reading the Bible takes perseverance.

Truth be told, I am not really an avid reader.  I don’t know if it’s my attention span or what, but it does not come naturally to me.  In my spare time, I am rarely looking for a book to bury my head in.  When people talk about reading a book in a day it seriously blows my mind.  So reading the Bible is actually a challenge for me.  There are times when I really have to have mental perseverance to make it through the chapters of my daily reading.

5) For me, reading the Bible takes planning.

I have found that I have to be very intentional in order to find time to be in the Word.  To be honest, this year I am not going to fully finish my Bible reading plan.  I read the Old Testament, but only a little bit of the New Testament, and since September is when my reading plan ends, I will not have time to finish it.  I got behind and life circumstances have caused me to forget about the daily discipline.  I’m at a spot now where I am just going to start back over in September and do better at prioritizing it.  I also use an app on my phone called YouVersion which helps me keep on a schedule.  Without it, I would be much more forgetful.  It helps me see what I need to read that day, and it motivates me to get caught up when I am behind.

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I share these things with you not to try and get you to think that I am some super Christian who is better than others because I read the Bible.  I simply want to share my experience with you to encourage you to consider getting into God’s Word more and more.  If we truly believe that what we have in the Bible is God’s Word to us, we should want to spend our whole lives discovering what it says.

Blessings,

Josh

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