We are in a new year, and many of you have set resolutions for this year. That’s great! I hope you can keep them, and I hope your resolutions will help you grow in this year. If you haven’t set resolutions, that’s ok too. In any case, be reminded that your daily habits are formative (good or bad).
One of the most important spiritual habits (disciplines) is reading the Bible. If you are not reading regularly, let me encourage you to make a commitment in ’22 to read God’s Word daily.
There are many helpful Bible reading tools, plans, and apps available. The one I have used regularly is the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan that covers the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year. Here’s a link to the plan. I read from the ESV Bible, and you can find more Bible reading plans from ESV.org. You can also download the ESV Bible app and read through the plans offered on the app. The M’Cheyne reading plan is there as well under Classic Plans.
This plan is helpful for me because it helps me see the interconnected themes throughout the different books of the Bible.
In his book The Shape of Faith to Come, Brad Waggoner reflected on the importance of Bible reading for Christian maturity,
Our study of churchgoers included the measurement of more than sixty factors characteristic of biblical spiritual development… Our statistician applied sophisticated procedures to our data to produce a rank-ordered list of correlations. The number one factor, or characteristic, most correlated to the highest maturity scores is the practice of “reading the Bible.” I almost had to laugh when I saw this. Sometimes we complicate things. The simple discipline of reading the Bible has a major impact on Christians.Brad Waggoner, The Shape of Faith to Come, 68.
Essentially, consistent Bible intake leads to spiritual maturity. Nothing is more important to one’s spiritual development than the reading of God’s Word.
If I could get believers to do only one thing for their personal spiritual growth, it would be reading the Bible. When we read the Bible, we hear (read) God’s very words spoken to us. If you want to hear from God, then you must not ignore God’s written Word.
So whatever your plans are for 2022, whatever your resolutions, make sure you read from the Bible daily.
May God make himself known to you this year through the reading of his Word.