An eager commenter on my original “Bible Study” post prompted me to give a second brief update on my daily Bible reading (I wrote the first update back in July 2022). Apparently, my humble daily regimen inspired the reader to establish a schedule of her own. To that, all I can say is, “To God Be the Glory!”
That said, it’s satisfying to know that the words I scribble down on this self-indulgent blog do, indeed, reach people. There are probably fewer things more pleasurable to a writer than to find that his words have made some impact on his readers, and the pleasure is enhanced when it’s a stranger. We all understand that we influence those close to us, for good or for ill, because we can see the effects more clearly. But the idea that a stranger might be reading our words is a small sign that we’re expanding beyond our immediate familial and social circles to wider audiences. It feels good.
But I digress. This post is about studying the Bible, not tooting my own saxophone; pride, after all, is a sin.
Since school has resumed, I’ve managed to maintain my morning schedule, though the volume of my reading has reduced considerably. Currently, I’m rereading Proverbs for the fourth time since June, sticking to one chapter each morning. After that, I read a segment of a “read-through-the-New-Testament-in-a-year” Bible (at the time of writing, I am in Ephesians).
And that’s it! I have found that the Holy Spirit is opening up more and more of Proverbs to me with each successive reading. Yes, there are mornings when I’m so tired and groggy, I’m not always absorbing the material. Most mornings, however, reading through my chapter of Proverbs slowly draws my attention in as I riddle through some enigmatic bit of wisdom.
My New Testament passages have been a bit longer lately, as it seems whoever edited this “one year” Bible got to late September and realized they weren’t going to make it by 31 December! It’s in the New Living Translation, which is highly readable, but sometimes is so modernized, I suspect it’s playing fast and loose with the original meaning. I much prefer my readings in my main Bible, which is in the New King James Version, which some of my readers consider blasphemy.
What can I say? I don’t want to wrestle with Stuart English at 5 AM.
So, at the moment, I’m staying consistent with my reading, though I am planning on expanding my reading again in October. I may give Proverbs a rest for a month or two, so that I can come back to it with fresh eyes later.
The problem at the moment is that I am not sure what to add to my reading. My girlfriend has been reading through Genesis, which is always cool and intriguing, but I’m also curious about some of the minor prophets. I know I should add some Gospel readings to my OT/NT mix, but—and I understand this statement will be controversial, to put it mildly—the Gospels sometimes get a bit “same-y” to me. Yes, yes, I know—that’s kind of the point.
I’m actually experiencing that with Paul’s Epistles a bit. 2 Corinthians and parts of Galatians were a bit of a drag, especially with Paul scolding people left and right (granted, they needed that rebuke). That said, I’ve gotten a great deal out of Paul’s Epistles, as they reinforce each other nicely, and delve deeper into the nature of Christ. I’ve always admired Paul’s hard logic, too, which is consistent and uncompromising, and which really ties the Old Testament to the New.
Of course, it’s God Word, and my piddling quibbles are a result of my own human frailty, not a shortcoming of God’s Literary Talents. Who am I to critique the Word of God? That’s not my goal; I’m just highlighting what I suspect many of us experience at times when diving into God’s Word—it’s not all inspirational, feel-good verses and rainbows. There’s a lot of hard stuff in there—just read Isaiah or Jeremiah sometime! I doubt many of us what to spend too long in Leviticus.
But every word of it contains meaning for us. That Meaning is Christ. We are so blessed to have the full story—despite my deplorable characterization of the Gospels as “same-y”—because we can see the prophecies of the Old Testament fulfilled in Christ.
What a blessing that is, to live in an age where we can see the “Big Picture” in a way that the ancient Israelites could not. What a blessing to be grafted into that lineage—to be heirs of Christ!
What a blessing to be able to wake up at 5 AM (or, increasingly, 5:30 AM) and spend time with God in His Word.
To God Be the Glory!
P.S.—What should I read next? Leave your recommendations below in the comments! —TPP