Journeyman Project Dispatches from the Life of Patrick Fowler: Christianity Explored

27Nov/090

The Bible in 1 Year: Mission Accomplished!!!

About this time 1 year ago, I decided to start following the Bible in 1 year plan laid out by the website, YouVersion.com. While I later left the website behind, I continued on their daily Bible reading plan, and even managed to finish early. The day before Thanksgiving I spent some time in prayer before wrapping up the book of Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament.

Before you applaud my valiant effort and godly motivations, let me admit that much of the reading has been required for class, as well as being a part of my goals. This task has been done in boredom and in inspiration, with little results and with great results over the past year. My best thoughts from the experience are below.

1. The Bible must always been seen as a whole story. Too many misconceptions about God arise from an ill knowledge of the whole story of Scripture. It's difficult to gain a full understanding of God with a limited knowledge of all that He has written and done.

2. There is infinitely more about the Bible than can be learned by reading it through once. The Bible is a huge book, meant to provide us with instruction throughout our entire lives. The meaning of some Scriptures are only open to us in certain periods or events in our life. It's a pleasure to keep reading and experiencing all that God wishes to share. It's humbling to know that I'll never experience the full counsel of God in this lifetime...it's too big for one person...He's too big to know in one lifetime.

3. The books of prophecy are the most neglected books in Scripture...and because of that, we miss a lot as Christians. During the exciting historical books of the kings (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, and 1 & 2 Chronicles) the prophets are speaking to the kings, giving God's perspective on all the events of the time. By failing to listen to them, we fail to hear God's perspective on important events. I need to find a better resource for myself and for others to be able to experience the words of God in this part of the Bible.

4. Discipline is a major key to spiritual growth. Getting held to a schedule of regular Bible reading really gave more consistency to my thoughts and focus on God. It made my prayers more regular, my mornings more productive, and grew my willingness to focus on the Spirit of God at work in my life. Rigid discipline can push people to legalism and pride, but it also opens the door to greater intimacy with God. I encourage you not to fear it. More often than not, I believe you'll find it working for good.

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