Originally posted 4 January 2010, revised and edited for 2011
Why this big time Investment: As you sit and consider if you will join us on our adventure to read your Bible in a Year your first thought might be “Why am I doing this?” You might be thinking about the time investment – an estimated 15 – 20 minutes a day. If you read first thing in the morning, it means you have to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Is that sleep worth more than reading through the Bible? Calculated out over the full year it will take 90 – 120 hours to read through the whole Bible. That is two – three work weeks. That is 4 – 5 whole days. You could use that time to take a vacation, repaint a few rooms in the house, do physical exercise (which I definitely could use) or even watch five seasons of MythBusters. They are all ok activities. However, for me this particular activity, reading through the Bible in a year, is an especially worthy activity.
I came up with these three reason why this particular activity was a worthy activity:
He is worthy. Since I begin my reading each day in a short time of prayer and reflection my first thoughts of the first reading on the first day of the year were ones of praise and adoration to God Himself. The first words of my prayer were “I praise you because you are worthy.” If God is truly there, and if He truly is all-powerful, all-knowing, loving, just, perfect, beyond measures of time, etc. then He is worthy of my small commitment of 15 – 20 minutes a day. That was my first thought, then after my prayer to kick off the year, I started to read Genesis 1. I ran across simply sentences that are loaded with meaning and impact. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” “And God said…”. “So God created man…” He is worthy of my time in this endeavor because as we will read later on our journey…
Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
His Word is worthy. When I started this blog in 2009, I mentioned that one of my motivations was to invest in something that has always been important in my faith – the Bible. Why? Because in my life, I needed it for my personal instruction and training. I needed to depend on the Bible more than I depended on what men had to say about the issues of faith and religion. A critical part of my earlier criticism of religions was that the people I was criticizing did not even know why they believed what they believed or took the time to challenge/understand what their religious leaders were saying to them.
As we go through this adventure this year we will later come upon verses such as these, which I believe tell us that the Bible is worthy of our time because it will challenge us to grow, to learn and to correct our paths:
Psalm 119:9-11 NIV
9 How can those who are young keep their way pure?
By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
II Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I am worthy (as an investment). Lastly, on that first morning of last year’s journey I thought that I was worthy of an investment. From the verses shared above, we know that:
1. God created everything, even man.
2. God created and knew us from the moment of our conception.
3. God’s word is profitable for all of us.
God has such a love for his creation (including you and me) that he went so far as to send His only Son to die for us on a cross. God has such a desire to speak to us and to guide us in our paths that he ensured that his Word would be made available to us. He ensured that the teachings of Moses all the way through to the prophecies of John in the Book of Revelation would be available to us. God has invested in us and it is appropriate that we use his Word to also invest in us. We will be better for our time spent in this adventure.
Sure we could use the time to invest in a vacation or painting a room or watching five seasons of MythBusters, but when it is all said and done those are only temporal investments. The rooms will have to be repainted one day, the vacation will come to an end and there will always be another MythBusters like show. However, God’s Word is eternal, our souls are eternal and He is eternal. What better way to spend some of your day than to invest in eternal matters. Taking 15 – 20 minutes a day to read through the Bible is a worthy activity.
Bonus Idea: In 2010 my family read the chronological Bible reading plan with me. At times one or another of us fell behind; but we did it as a family. The value of everyone reading the same passages each day is that it tends to leak into your conversations and discussions. Many times at dinner we could talk about what we read that day. Often I was challenged to make sure I had read prior to dinner, because sometimes questions would come up and I had to be ready. What a great way to do something together as a family.
I believe the encouragement of knowing that others are reading with you is invaluable. I knew that if I fell off schedule then I was letting the others down. Find a friend of family member to read along with you. That way later in the day you can ask each other how they are doing on their reading of God’s Word. Because He and his Word are worthy!