From the day I started reading God’s Word consistently, I noticed my confidence in God and in myself increase. Self-doubt and fear found a new home. I still struggle with stuff that happens in life, but each time I go to God’s Word I find rest for my soul.
I started with the Fresh Start Bible one-year reading plan. The following year, I read the TLV version. And in 2022, I’m reading The Complete Jewish Study Bible that I plan to read in two years coupled with The Bible Project OT/NT reading plans which I absolutely love and find helpful in content and to stay on track.
I’ve discovered several benefits of reading the Bible for yourself:
- You have a personal experience with God
- God speaks to you directly
- God reveals Himself to you
- Your faith is nurtured
- Your confidence in God grows
- Your personal confidence increases
- You read biblical accounts in context (and they make so much sense)
- You can easily detect verses that are said (and sometimes preached) out of context
- You’re not easily fooled by false doctrines (Romans 16:17)
- You’re not easily persuaded to follow false teachers
- You’re not easily deceived by smooth talk and glowing words (Romans 16:18)
- You solidify your identity
- You increase your trust in God
- It gives you hope for the future
- It calms your fears, anxiety, and stress
- It anchors your soul
- You gain compassion for others
- You see the world through God’s eyes
- You learn to read God’s Word for what it is without adding your own spiritual twist (and can easily detect when others do)
- You have a different outlook in life
Things that used to bother me, don’t anymore. Yes, I still go through discouragement, stress, and a bunch of other challenges that come with being an earthling. Reading of God’s Word reorients my attention to the things above while continuing to do my very best to be salt on earth by adding flavor to those around me.
I’ve always read the Bible but did not follow an annual plan. I’ve discovered that nothing beats connecting daily with God through His Word.
The first year I started my reading plan (2020), I was 35 days late! The first 2-3 weeks after making the decision to commit to reading the Bible from cover to cover, I played my Bible app day and night to catch up! I listened to the Word while cooking, grocery shopping, client appointments, etc. until I was finally caught up. For this reason, my Bible app says I’m 35 days ahead! I’ve highlighted a gazillion verses, taken many notes, and bookmarked tons of verses. Each time I read, I get flooded with topic ideas to write about.
I’m letting you in on a secret: I have fallen in love with the Tanakh! (That’s Hebrew for the “Old Testament”)
The Old Testament used to be dull and boring (and too bloody) for me. I never understood it. But there’s so much more to it than the Sunday School stories I learned.
The Bible is now taking on full color.
- I can hear the ocean roar, see the people lift their fists complaining to Moses
- Walk beside Joshua as he strategizes to lead the people and conquer the Promised Land
- Sit at the feet of Jesus while He teaches how to live and depend on our Father
- Walk next to Jesus as he goes on his daily date to chat with our Father
- Look over Paul’s shoulders as he writes his letters (in a prison cell) with so much emotion and fatherly love teaching and clarifying the Scripture to believers in Yeshua with so much zeal
How the heck did I live before getting my consistent, daily dose of God’s Word?
Now I understand what Jesus meant when He said:
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.John 6:63 NLT
Whenever you feel depressed, down, or discouraged, take a good dose of God’s Word and you’ll experience its powerful effect lift up your spirit.
I finally understand why the enemy works so hard to distract us from reading and hearing the unabridged and unadulterated Word of God!
The moment we get faith from God’s Word injected into our spiritual veins, my goodness, we are unstoppable!
I’m sure you’ve experienced those moments in life. I’m determined to make it the norm in mine.
How to Get Started
Here are some ideas and tips to start your Bible reading plan and deepen your personal relationship with God:
- Select a reading plan – if on your phone, choose a plan that has the option to play the Bible while you drive, etc.
- Set aside a time to read the Bible daily – preferably when you’re not driving so that you can highlight, take notes, and bookmark verses that speak to you. If you miss a day or a few days, don’t worry, catch up.
- Obey what the Lord shows you to do – it could be scheduling a prayer time, writing an encouraging note, preparing a teaching to share with others, write a blog, volunteer your time, cut out negative influences from your life, stop a harmful habit, start a healthy diet.
- Attend church regularly – find a good and healthy church to attend on a weekly basis; get involved in small groups; pursue spiritual growth.
Seek God and you will find him when you seek him with all your heart.
You’re in for a treat!