I did. Not to brag, but I can truly say that not only did I keep it but it has benefited me beyond my expectations. My last year’s resolution was daily so it involved me being active in remembering it which in turn produced daily benefits to not only my life but the lives around me. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I will be doing it again this year however with slight differences to keep it fresh and new. What was it you ask? It was to read the Bible, both the New and Old Testament, cover to cover in chronological order.
This is not the first time I have had this resolution, however, it was the first time that I read the Bible in chronological order which is enormously helpful to those of us who think in terms of storylines. Many years ago, I was impressed not by a Pastor, sadly enough, but by Oprah to read the Bible cover to cover. Her valid point was that as a Christian I should know for myself what the Bible says and be able to speak with confidence about my understanding not because someone else told me about it but because I had studied it for myself. After all, is this not what higher education is all about? We major in a field of study and read volumes of books coupled with lectures from those more knowledgeable then ourselves. Yet the very book that defines Christianity and embodies the whole nature of Jesus Christ, many have never read to completion.
How sad. I equate it to marrying only part of a person and not the whole person. Wedding vows often include the lines, “for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health” but what if the vow only said “for richer and in health” and left out the other parts? How is that commitment? Anyone can be committed to the good in a marriage but it takes a person of character and conviction to be married during the “poorer and sickness”. The same is true for studying the Bible, if we only read the parts that are easy, fun, satisfying for the moment, or applicable to our lives right now, then we miss part of who Christ is.
So, many years ago, I read the Bible cover to cover for the first time and it has rewarded me beyond my initial expectation and now I continue to read and reread it while gaining deeper understanding and wisdom well beyond my natural abilities and talents. There are many websites to assist you with this endeavor, you can even download an APP for free “YouVersion” Bible which has many reading plans to select from. Or here is a favorite website: http://www.ewordtoday.com/year/.
However you choose to read the Bible, just read it. Come with an open heart and mind to what God is saying in His word about Himself and about your life and you will be blessed. Embrace the whole nature of Christ through the reading of His word and your relationship with Him will deepen to levels beyond your understanding. Just as the difficult moments in your marriage fostered a deeper commitment and understanding of your spouse, so reading the difficult parts of the Bible will strengthen your faith and love of Jesus.