Sunday, November 15, 2020

Reading Front to Back

On Friday, November 13, an annual event occurred. In my nightly Bible reading, I finished Revelation and moved my marker back to Genesis 1. In early high school, I started reading one chapter a night, most nights. That schedule continued through college until I increased to three chapters at the end of every day. At that rate, I go through the Bible about once a year.

Now, the only days I miss reading are when I'm in the hospital or my volunteer week at camp. Those times are only because I'm either too sick to comprehend or don't have everything I need to be able to read (table, book board, Bible, and stick).

Around 2010, I also started doing a daily reading plan through Bible Gateway. With that, I also read through the Bible front to back in a year. Therefore, I start and end the day with God's Word and read the entire Bible twice a year. In 2020, I added another study time of reading the same 1-2 chapters in the New Testament every day for a month. I started with Jude, then 2 John, and a few chapters in Romans. For the last six months, I have been reading two chapters a month in Revelation. Parts of it sound very close to what we're experiencing in the world today.

My night reading is in The Evidence Bible by Living Waters. In order to not always read the same passage morning and night, I adjust my night reading every time I go through. This year, I read every piece of the commentary that went along with the text. It meant some nights I only accomplished one chapter, and others not even that much. I don't remember when I started in Genesis in my night reading in 2019, but I'm positive it took over a year this time.

This week, I watched a documentary called The Insanity of God that covered persecuted Christians in various countries. One gentleman lived in the former USSR and was arrested for reading the Bible in his home to 75 friends and family. He was in prison for 17 years. Any time he found a scrap piece of paper and piece of coal or charcoal, he would write whatever passages he could fit and remember. Then, the writing would get stuck to the damp cell walls.

However, it wouldn't be long before prison guards found the writing. They would destroy the paper and mercilessly beat this Christian for his actions, for 17 years. Other countries had similar accounts of imprisonment while some would just kill anyone found to have a Bible or professing to be a Christian.

I can't recall now how many times I've read through God's Word in its entirety. Each time, I still look forward to the accounts of creation, the flood, Abraham, Israel, Joseph, the nation of Israel, and most of all, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In America, many Christians have multiple Bibles and can easily access them, but how often do we read them? Do we truly understand we have all sinned (lied, stolen, lusted, committed adultery, blasphemed, etc.) and deserve God's eternal punishment in hell? However, Jesus paid the fine and all who repent and trust in Him alone can be set free from the sentence we deserve.

Living the quad life and laying flat 20 hours a day, I have time to read. However, it needs to be a habit everyone does daily. It may be something we can't always do, and may regret not taking the time to be in God's Word.

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