Your group gathers regularly to study the Bible. Great. But how many of them have actually read the Bible—all the way through?
Challenge your group to join you in reading the Bible all the way through in 2017. Even if your group regularly studies a section of Scripture together and they engage in daily “devotionals,” reading the whole Bible takes them to a greater and deeper level.
There are several benefits to reading the Bible:
- See the big picture. By reading the Bible through, we see the big picture: These are not books or events isolated from each other. God’s revelation has a central truth of His love, grace, and redemptive plan, and it weaves from Genesis to Revelation.
- Learn the proper context. Familiar passages and verses take on greater significance as we see them in their context. I’ve had several verses I memorized over the years that took on a different (i.e., correct) meaning when I saw them in the context of the verses and chapters around them. Group members will also offer more insights in your group study. “That reminds me of something I read earlier this week in Proverbs.”
- Discover God’s heart. The Bible—all of it!—is God’s Word, so doesn’t it make sense that if we want to grow closer to Him, we would read the whole of His Word? As we read, we gain insights into God’s character and His heart. And in the process, we learn something about ourselves.
So where do you start?
There are a gazillion Bible reading plans available. Here are a couple:
A lot of your group members probably have a Bible app on their phones. Many apps—such as YouVersion—include a variety of plans.
Another good option is to listen to the Bible. YouVersion, among others, offer audio files of the Bible, so you can listen on the go. I have a version I use on my iPod, and it is a daily part of my drive home.
Which plan is best? The one you stick with. (Personally, although I read my Bible every day, I do not put myself on a regimented schedule.) And if you do this as a group, you will stick with it better. As a group, you can encourage each other to read.
Take the challenge. And enjoy the ride.
Lynn Pryor is a team leader for adult resources at Lifeway. He and his wife, Mary, lead a Bible study group for young adults and have survived raising two sons to adulthood. A graduate of Southwestern Seminary, Lynn has previously pastored and served churches in Texas. Follow him on his blog at lynnhpryor.com.