They say confession is good for the soul. I hope this confession is good for your soul as well as mine. Here it goes…
I am a Bible Reader.
I am an unapologetic, unrepentant, voracious Bible Reader.
And I don’t care who knows it.
It wasn’t always that way, however.
Like a lot of Christians, my Bible reading in the early days was fairly inconsistent. I would read a verse or chapter here and there, but it was a long time before I developed any real hunger for God’s Word. I don’t remember how long it took before I finally read it all the way through. Fortunately for me, the Lord placed two people in my life that really challenged me with regards to reading the Bible.
The first person was Cathy Jo. After the Lord saved her out of drugs and the biker scene of the early Seventies, Cathy fasted and prayed two weeks for an understanding of God’s Word.
And the Lord heard her.
Cathy was amazing. While others were reading a verse for the day pulled from the little promise box on the kitchen table, Cathy was reading chapters and books. Her hunger for the Bible was insatiable. I have no idea how many times she has read it through from cover to cover. When listening to her teach, you knew you were sitting at the feet of a true lover of God’s Word.
One evening, while Cathy and I were discussing my call to the ministry, she asked me if I had read the Bible through yet. When I told here that I hadn’t yet, she never said a word. The look of disappointment on her face said it all. I was withered by it. There was no excuse I could give that would amount to anything. I will never forget the look in her eyes. Cathy’s love for the Bible, and her life in general, continues to inspire me to this day.
The second person was an elderly Jewish man whom I only met once. Although I have long forgotten his name I have not forgotten the way he challenged me.
As my wife and I visited with him, we discussed the subject of reading the Bible. He scoffed as he said, “Young people! They read a verse here and a Psalm there.” He then opened his Bible to Genesis 1:1. He pointed to it and said, “The Word of God begins here.” Then he turned to Revelation 22 and pointed to verse 21 as he said, “And it ends here.” I couldn’t argue the point.
On one of the blank pages in the back of his well worn King James Bible he had recorded how many times he had read through the Bible. He would record the date he started and the date he finished. I cannot recall how many entries there were but they were numerous. Even though he has long since passed on to be with the Lord, the testimony of his love for the Word of God lives on.
I am happy to report today that their investment in my life was not in vain. I now stand humbly among their number. While I have read the Bible for years, my hunger for it continues to grow. In 2009 the Lord had me read through the New Testament once a month for all twelve months in twelve different translations. It was an incredible journey. Last year the Lord had me read through the whole Bible four times in four different translations. Talk about an exercise that causes the Book to really come together for you! I was so grateful. Even though my Bible reading for 2012 is much less aggressive, I am still reading a minimum of ten chapters a day. I love it!!
I want to help you stand among the number of committed Bible readers as well. In the next several posts, I will be sharing things which I believe will help you read the Bible and like it. Stay tuned!!
Who has inspired you the most to read your Bible? Leave a comment below and share your story. I would love to hear it!