If you’ve followed this blog for long, you know that I read the Bible annually, always looking for particular topics each year (click here to learn more about this strategy). In 2016, I studied the topics of spiritual warfare, marriage, the Holy Spirit, and judgment. In addition, I noted verses that overlap between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and verses that illustrate God’s communicating with His people.
It’s this latter topic that’s been most transforming for me. As you read the Word in 2017, I challenge you to watch for statements like “God said,” “thus declares the Lord,” “says the Lord God,” and “the word of the Lord came to . . . .” Highlight them as you see them, and you’ll find a lot of these statements.
In fact, the Bible begins with, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Gen. 1:3), ends with “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly’” (Rev. 22:20), and includes thousands of such expressions in-between. When you hit these kinds of statements, consider these reasons to read the Word today:
- God who made all of creation has chosen to speak to us. He’s hardly a distant, non-communicative God. He wants us to hear, know, and follow His words.
- Three billion people in the world have never heard the name Jesus and have little or no access to God’s Word.
- As many as 1800 languages still need Bible translations to begin.
- In some parts of the world, it’s dangerous if not illegal to own a Bible. Meanwhile, we often have more Bibles than human beings in our houses.
- We who can read what God says to us every day are incredibly, incredibly blessed.
- We cannot take this privilege for granted. It’s a privilege we may not always have.
- All of us need to hear a word from God today. Bible reading puts us in that position.
Even if you read only a few verses or one chapter today, you need to do it. Read on!