Read It Through in 2002READ IT THROUGH IN 2002
When was the last time you read through the whole Bible? Before you answer, let me be right up front with my answer and say that it’s been a long, long time. It’s been longer than ten years and probably longer than 20 years since I read through the entire Bible, cover to cover, Genesis to Revelation, not skipping Leviticus or Nahum and reading all the genealogies and the “white pages” of the Old Testament. Now I’ll be the first to admit that the Bible can be an intimidating book. It’s long and old and contains lots of names that are hard to pronounce. Plus it’s the only book most of us will ever read that is divided into numbered verses. That alone separates it from a Tom Clancy novel. Not to mention that when we read it, we are reading the Word of God. If we take that seriously, then we ought to approach the Bible with a sense of reverence for the truth it contains. And since it is God’s message to us, we shouldn’t be surprised that it changes us when we read it. All of that makes it quite a feat to read the Bible all the way from beginning to end. But that’s what I’m challenging all of us to do in 2002. Today we’ve included an insert in the bulletin that contains a special plan that will enable you to read through the entire Bible in the next 12 months. Each day you will read two passages–one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. On certain days the first reading will come from Old Testament history and the second reading will come from Psalms or Proverbs. When you finish your daily reading, there’s a box on the insert for you to place a check mark. Just keep on reading and checking those boxes and by the end of the year, you will have read through the whole Bible. But what if you get behind? No problem, just catch up as soon as you can. What if you want to skip around and read out of sequence? That’s okay, but be sure to go back later and read the parts you skipped. Here’s a piece of advice as you start out. Buy a good study Bible and read the notes as you go along. I especially recommend the MacArthur Study Bible or the Nelson Study Bible. The NIV Study Bible is also very good. In the pew racks you will find a commitment card. I hope hundreds of children, teenagers and adults will sign up to “Read it through in 2002.” If you’ve never done it before, now is the time to sign up. And if you’ve tried before and never made it out of Leviticus, join your Christian friends in reading through the whole Bible this new year.