Today, I want to share with you 20 reasons on why you should read the Bible because this year I am celebrating 20 years of daily Bible reading!
In 1997, my mom gave me an NLT One Year Bible. I was in the hospital with severe eczema all over my face and feet. She read to me Hosea 6:1-3 that says,
“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”
I was determined to find my own verse so I read through the One Year Bible for eleven months and twenty-six days later I found it.
“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10, NLT).
My life has never been the same since, and I wholeheartedly believe in reading the Word daily.
That’s why I do what I do. I write, speak, coach and consultant, publish, laugh, and love according to what I’ve learned through this book. 1997-2017 marks my 20th years reading the Bible, and remaining in the vine that is Jesus (John 15:1-5). Because I’m SO passionate about it I’m giving you 20 reasons to read the Bible this year with me!!
1. Get to know Jesus. If you like someone you’re going to spend time & money getting to know them. It’s really that simple!
2. Be a follower. Disciple = follower. It’s not a spiritual term. You follow people on Twitter and Facebook, so why not be mindful to follow God FIRST?
3. Discipline takes time. Over the years I’ve discovered what works for me. Yearly devotional + Bible journal + colored pens = a very happy Renee. Find what works best for you and stick with it!!
4. It’s fun! I If you’re in the middle of reading your daily this & daily that and you find that you’ve replaced the ritual with religion. Get. Out. Quick. Find something else. Do something else. Go somewhere else. Ask someone else. Reading your Bible should be fun!
5. Don’t be afraid. Perfect love (from God) casts out all fear. Throughout a year’s time you and I will encounter trials and temptations. Watch for them and stay alert. Mostly though don’t be afraid. If you need help remembering this just open to Joshua 1. I think God says it like 8 times. Don’t be afraid…Don’t be afraid…just keep swimming…just keep swimming…
6. Ask. Just because you or I am in the Word daily doesn’t mean we still struggle. Ask for help!
7. Don’t do it alone. We need community. We need people. We need help. See if one of your friends or family can keep you accountable to spend your time daily with God. If you don’t tell others, they won’t know to ask.
8. Learn more! I’m like a sponge. I soak up everything I see, touch, taste, smell, read, etc. Here is a great way to spark learning in your life. Take a topic you read about in your daily quiet time and dig deeper.
9. Use helpful tools. My favorites are the Interlinear Bible and BibleGateway.com to look up the Hebrew & Greek words including any verse in the Bible if I can’t remember the reference. I highly recommend bookmarking these references.
10. Use your senses. The Bible actually says to taste and see what is good (Psalm 34:8). Food tastes good, your time with God should too!
11. Find your promise. There are a million (okay maybe not a million) promises. I like to treat my Bible as a journal and underline my favorite verses and write “Promise” up on the top margin to remind me of God’s promises.
12. Memorize Scripture. If you can quote your favorite movie, you can memorize Scripture. Just sayin’
13. Fall in love with God. No matter what you read, how difficult a passage is, or how frustrating it is to find time to spend with Him…He is worth it! All of it. All the marbles, all the money, everything in the world does not compare to Him!
14. His grace is enough. My heartache is knowing God, seeing that He can heal, and watching when He says no. Grace is figuring out that He is enough. No. Matter. What.
15. God is the Beginning and the End. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That means that January 1-December 31st is all under His control.
16. Write Your Dreams. I love that reading the Bible helps me to write my dreams. Each time I find a promise from God, I write it down and wait for it to come true. It’s so much fun to look back and see just how many times God has answered my prayers, and when!
17. Be Wild And Free. There is no perfect Bible character. I love learning from all the wild and free characters in the Bible, and applying what I have learned in my life.
18. Reading the Bible Fuels Prayer. Every time I question what to pray for others, or get stuck on how to pray–I refuel with the Scriptures. There’s always a verse for every situation. It might take some time to find it, but it’s there!
19. When I’m Wrong, I’m Wrong. The Bible is a great tool to show me when I’m wrong. It shows me how to repent of my sins, and ask those I’ve wronged for forgiveness as well. (See: 1 John 1:9).
20. Honoring the Sabbath. It’s taken me 20 years to realize that reading the Bible daily can look different on some days than others. For instance, while researching and writing my #d0notfear passages for social media, I realized that I needed to take a break on the weekends. I needed space to rest, wait and listen to the Lord to speak to me. It has been so difficult to break and I’m still working on it. This has revolutionized my daily quiet times so much that I can’t wait to continue my deeper quiet times Monday through Friday while leaving room to honor the Sabbath on the weekends.