This week marks one year since we began our #2YearJourney reading through the Bible together. Every week we read 2 chapters every day Monday-Saturday. Throughout the year we also take a few breaks to be used as “catch-up” or just reflection on what we have been reading.
Multiple times in my life I have tried to do one of these “read through the Bible” programs…and failed. Between the large amounts to read every day and the feeling of being overwhelmed when you miss a few days, and what to do with things like the book of Leviticus, have made consistent reading really tough. Even though I knew all of this I also knew that pursuing a reading plan can produce great fruit. As we have pursued this great adventure together as a church I have learned a few things about the Bible and myself.
Being consistent is hard but worth it: I know that reading the Bible is good for me. I know that it reveals God to me and teaches and guides me. I know that I tend to focus more and think clearer when I am regularly and consistently in the Bible. Even though I know all of this, I still fail to be consistent. I still miss days. I skip days, I don’t make it a priority. As we’ve pursued this #2YearJourney and I have had days that I have missed or fallen behind I’ve had to regularly remind myself to just keep going. Just because my Monday got away from me doesn’t mean I should just give up. And that’s my encouragement to all of you, if you have tried to do this or any other reading plan, and you have found yourself falling behind, just keep going. Make a note and you can go back to catch what you missed. The point of things like this are not to be able to say “I did it! I’m awesome” but rather to help you connect with God regularly and maybe read and learn some things that you haven’t in the past.
God has perfect timing: It’s amazing to me the amount of times throughout this year that what we have read during the #2YearJourney has been applicable to something going on in my life or in what I was preaching. This year has been a regular reminder to me that God is in control and his timing is perfect. He has set up multiple times for me to read a specific passage or verse right when I needed it.
I needed to grow in discipline: As I’ve already stated, I’ve quit on things like this in the past. And I’ve been tempted to quit again here, I mean some of those lists of names can be rough to focus on. And it is going through these sections of scripture, these days where I didn’t feel like getting into the word, that I realized just how much growth I’ve needed in the area of reading consistently. I recently had a conversation with someone about how sometimes the thing you need to do with your relationship with God is just be willing to show up. Consistently engage with God even when you don’t feel like, because while you might not feel like talking with God, he’s got something to say to you! It’s really only in the two months or so that I have begun to realize that God has done a great work in my heart, because now when I’m not reading every day I realize I’m missing an important part of my day. I realize now that I was not nearly as strong as God wanted me to be in my discipline and he has grown me in that through this #2YearJourney.
The benefits of accountability are real: One of the reasons we wanted to do this as a church was so we would have built in accountability with one another. In the last month and a half I have gotten a new accountability partner for my reading in my son Ben. Because I want him to know scripture and hear scripture as much as possible I’ve made sure that I’m reading or listening to the Bible with him every day. It has helped me in my own desire to read and make time for reading to know I have someone counting on me and expecting me to read every day. If reading plans like this have been tough for you in the past, get someone to do it with. Work as a team. We are the body of Christ, meant to hold each other up and strengthen each other.
CF Rocks: I didn’t learn this, I already knew, it but I wanted to say it anyway. Every week we have different people in our church write reflections that go with our reading plan. They write short devotionals and give us questions or challenges to help us engage with the scripture. Thank you to everyone who has written a reflection because they have helped me to think differently about the text and have been helpful with some of those tough passages. I’m very blessed to be in this community and serve alongside wonderful people.
If you haven’t tried, or you tried and gave up, I want to encourage you again to jump in to this reading plan. It’s a manageable amount of reading each day, there are breaks built in, there is a group doing it together. Whether you start from the beginning or you jump in today, however you want to do it get in to the word because God has something to say to you!
You can find all of our resources related to the #2YearJourney here at this link: http://churchinroscoevillage.org/teaching/read-through-the-bible
What have you learned through this process? Share it in the comments below.