Thursday, January 2, 2020

Seven (7) Ways to Read the Entire Bible in One (1) Year

Half a dozen people asked me about how to read the Bible in 1 year. This is such a noble and respectful desire that I want to share with you Seven (7) Ways to Read the Entire Bible in One (1) Year below 👇 click each picture and read some write up for each tip ya 😉 Let's pray the prayer of Jesus for ourselves: "Lord, make us holy by Your truth; teach us Your word, which is truth. Amen" (based on John 17:17) 🙏 #ServeToLead #ReadTheBible #LeadersAreReaders #LetsMakeReadingCoolAgain

#1 Pray for the Holy Spirit to Guide You BEFORE You Read

In John 16:13, Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” and “all truth” can be found in the Bible both in the Old Testament (“All Scripture...” 2 Timothy 3:16) and New Testament (“...everything I have told you...” John 14:26). So it is wise to start your reading by praying first. Below is the example of my prayer which I printed and put it in the Bible that I’m using now:

Father, in the name of Jesus, I have opened this book because I desire to know and understand who You are. I realize this is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit. I ask that You would anoint me with Your Spirit. Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart that I might know and understand what You are saying to me.

As I read, let me hear Your voice within the words of this book. Transform me, change me. Then lift me again with the goal of eventually seeing You face-to-face. Let my life be so transformed that I will never be the same. For this, I give You all the praise and glory and honor, both now and forever. Amen.

#2 Hunger & Thirst for the Word of God

During the temptation, when Jesus was physically hungry and thirsty, He quotes the Scripture, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He was referring to spiritual food. As Christ-followers, we must be continuously hunger and thirst for His Word, then we can be satisfied. Otherwise, we’ll be ‘malnutrition’ Christians. This satisfaction is supernatural and that will always come to God for more. If you have this inner motivation to read the Bible, you’ll not feel ‘forced’ to read it but out of your need and initiative because you’re ‘starving’ for - both the written and the living - Word of God.

#3 The Rise of False Teachers & Teachings

If hunger & thirst for the Word of God is your inner motivation, then the rise of false teachers & teachings should be your outer motivation to read the Word of God for yourself! Many people are swayed by false teachers and teachings nowadays, especially in Sarawak, and when I investigate further, I have found the number one reason (one of the reasons) is due to the lack of Bible knowledge. Paul reminds Timothy as to us today: “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Based on this, I partly understand that false teachers are actually the product of the people who want to “follow their own desires” and so they “reject the truth.” False teachers increase as our knowledge of the truth decrease. If you want to protect yourself from false teachers and teachings, read your Bible!* (*this can reduce the probability)

#4 No Idleness & Wasting Time

To sum up: Honestly, we are lazy to read our Bible. Not that we don’t have time (we all have 24 hours either you’re a saint or the chief of sinners) but because we used our time for something else other than spending our time for God and His Word. We have time for video games, Netflix, YouTube, and social media. The key is not to ‘find’ time but intentionally to SET time. Not time expansion but time management. Schedule it, put it in your calendar, prioritized it.

Also, maximize time. I always bring books in my bag with me, one of them is the Bible. Whenever there are pockets of free time, I read. After breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I read. While waiting for the rain to stop or before meeting start or when I’m not online, I read. Read the Book of Proverbs and you’ll find that nothing positive ever said about lazy people!

#5 Use the Bible Reading Plan

#5, #6 and #7 are more practical. First, it is helpful if you have a plan. You can read the Bible entirely without a plan. You can do it! I’ve done it. I just read and read, and continue where I’ve left the day before. But nowadays, as I’m in the ministry, a Bible reading plan is very helpful. There are lots of Bible reading plans you can choose. Go to > choose > download > print > use! Also, if you like, you can use Bible reading plan Apps.

For me, this year, I use the Chronological Bible Reading Plan. With this I can read through the Bible - 3 to 4 chapters per day - in the order the events occurred chronologically. Try your best to stick to the assigned reading but don’t feel guilty about skipping it when you’re really busy. You can catch up during the weekend (sometimes when I’m curious, I just read the entire book or just bookmarked where I stop).

#6 Choose Bible Translation Suitable for You

The Biblical languages - Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic - are very rich and colorful. Thank God we have more than 450 English translations now (based on Wikipedia). It is exciting but at the same time it can also be confusing... so you have to choose which translation that is suitable for you. In almost every Bible, there is an introduction by the translators where they explain the philosophy and methodology of the translation (as I write this, I refer to the introduction to the New Living Translation). This is how I choose which translation to use for what. For Bible Study, I use KJV, NKJV, and ESV (and sometime NIV) because these translations seek to preserve the original syntax and sentence structure as much as possible. Basically, these are under Word-for-Word* (*Google to understand what this means) translation category. For Bible reading, it is better for you to use the Thought-for-Thought* translation category. I use - and suggest to you to use - simple English translations such as:

> New Living Translation (NLT)
> Today’s English Version (TEV is also known as Good News Bible)
> New International Version (NIV) or Today’s New International Version (TNIV)
> Alkitab Versi Borneo (AVB)

Paraphrased Bibles also good for reading but probably NOT suitable for serious Bible Study. Among my favorite are:

> The Message (MSG)
> The Living Bible (TLB)
> JB Philips New Testament (PHILIPS)

Whatever translation that you use, it is better for you to stick to one translation for Bible reading because it can help you to familiarized and memorized the Scriptures.

#7 Use Actual Book Rather than App

Bible Apps sound easy to excess, modern and technologically savvy. But (this is where my personal preference comes) Apps can be distractive. Why reading an actual book is good? Well, for me, holding the actual, physical Bible can set the mode and mood to read it. There is no ‘bing’ ‘ting’ and ‘ping.’ Besides, you don’t have to keep on charging it. Yes, the Bible is still the Bible regardless of format. But print, physical and actual book Bible allows us to better recognize the sense of permanency and supremacy of the Word of God than Apps does.

If you only read the Bible on your phone, it can give you the sense that the Bible is just another App. This is especially important because many young people today, who are digital natives growing up immersed in a sea of temporary pixels, may view (have a mental picture of) the Bible as equivalent as Angry Bird and PUBG. By all mean, Bible Apps are very helpful. I use it to prepare for Bible studies. Don’t reject or ditch Apps all together... just use it wisely. If your goal this year is to read the entire Bible in 1 year, I highly recommend using physical, actual Bible book. Plus, it smells good!



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