No one challenged me anymore about Bible reading than Rev. J. D. Webb. He was a retired minister in his early 90’s when he attended my home church. His practice was to read the Old Testament through once a month and the New Testament through twice a month. Yes, that’s correct. It’s not a mistake. I would go to his house as a Bible school student and he would share with me what God was teaching him through the word. He would also write articles for his denomination.
Bro. Webb was a Christian for over 65 years and God’s Word was still alive and precious to him. I would always leave inspired and knew God could help me cultivate a love for His Word that would last a lifetime. Psalm 119:97 says, “Oh, how I love thy Law” and Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste.” I went on to set a personal goal as a new Christian that I would read my Bible through at least once a year. God has helped me to accomplish that goal now for 37 years.
I believe God gave me a plan to help make that goal a reality. I have personally made January my Bible reading month for many years. I try to read more scriptures during this month than any other time of the year. The custom started when I had three ministry responsibilities as full-time pastor, teaching at Penn View and part-time Home Missions Director. I didn’t teach in January so it created a spot where I could take advantage of this idea. I felt like I needed to be filled up with God’s Word, not just good books about God. Using this plan, there was one year that I read the whole Bible through in 27 days. That year I also read through the Bible three times. Last year I read through the whole O.T. by the end of January. This is not my norm each year, but I always read a large portion of O.T. It’s amazing how much more you learn about God’s word if you read a bigger portion. You see the story come together more. You see God at work. You see more of His promises, protection, and provision for His people. You see over and over how he loves you and me. God has also given me lots of sermon ideas.
Let me share a few tips about Bible reading. First, make sure you have a good Bible to read from. My reading Bible is a Super Giant Print Bible. It’s a three-volume set. There are only around 5-8 verses per page. I’ve read out of that Bible 6-8 hours a day many times in January. I could never do that with a regular print Bible for an hour. I am not suggesting to you to read as much as me. I would like to encourage you to read the Bible for an hour some time with a good reading Bible. I told my daughter to try mine. She did and said Dad, I can’t believe the difference. I bought her one later.
My phone has Bible Gateway on it and it has been a great blessing for Bible Reading. I’ve read many chapters in my tree stand. Yes, I’m safe with little walls or rails around me. I’ve adjusted my font and lighting and turn my phone sideways to make the scriptures wider. Then you just read and scroll down. It’s amazing how easy it is to read several chapters in God’s Word.
If you have trouble reading like some don’t ignore or forget to use your Bible app. It will read the scriptures for you. My wife and I have listened to many chapters while driving our van to the next ministry location. We thank God for the privilege of listening to the Scriptures.
As we begin a New Year, let’s spend some extra time reading and listening to God’s Word. It is in His word that we find instruction and edification.