Okay, I admit it.
Sometimes I have a hard time finding a book of the Bible. Take Hosea, for example. Old Testament for sure, but is it one of those before Psalms or after the Major Prophets? I have to think about it every single time—and go back over my memorized books list until I find it. Amos is another one that trips me up. And, which book comes before Nehemiah? Where’s Nahum?
Familiarity with the Bible comes with use, but it also helps to memorize the order of the books in the Old and New Testaments. I surely won’t judge you if the preacher announces Obadiah and you look in the Table of Contents.
Have you ever read the Bible—all the way through? Or did you get bogged down in Leviticus and quit—forever?
We’re at the beginning of a new year, and I hope you’ve considered Bible reading as a regular practice. There are all kinds of Bible reading plans. You can use an app. or the Internet or have it on your phone. There are lists you can check off. My personal favorite is The Bible in One Year. See what works best for you.
The important thing is to read God’s Word. Make it a priority.
The Bible is the only living book. That means that it is supernatural—God breathed—and the Holy Spirit applies it to each person’s life. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). No other book can do that. It’s the only Book that knows you.
If you started once in Genesis and got bogged down by Leviticus or so, consider starting in a different place: the Gospel of John. It’s 21 chapters. That means you can easily finish it in less than a month, reading a chapter a day. The gospels are about Jesus and His ministry, and any of them would make a great place to start (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Ask God to speak to you. He will.
After John, try Acts. A good friend calls it the “Acts of the Holy Spirit”—which is an accurate representation. It chronicles the time after the resurrection of Jesus and what was happening in the early church. Read the entire New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Go for the Old Testament, as well. Genesis 1-11 is all about beginnings. There’s lots of history in Chronicles, Kings, and the Samuels. Enjoy reading about the Old Testament heroes and villains. Learn how God works in the history of mankind. Read prophecy and find out what has already happened and what is yet to come. Finish up with Revelation—almost all of it still to occur. There’s a blessing for everyone who reads it (Revelation 1:3).
As you read through the Bible, you’ll see the amazing connections between then and now and different passages. It’s the most awesome Book in the world, and it will change your life, if you let it.
Find out where Hosea is, Nahum, and all the rest. Become biblically literate, and let the Word of God change you.
Begin today! You still have 29 days in January to finish the 21 chapters in John.
God bless you.