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More of Jesus: What I Learned from Reading the Bible in a Year

More of Jesus: What I Learned from Reading the Bible in a Year

I finally did it.

For many years I have committed at the New Year, sometimes publicly in front of my church, to read the entire Bible in a year. I meant it when I made the commitment. But, it just never happened.

I would get behind and give up discouraged.

This year was different. Not really sure why. I got behind, but caught up. I got discouraged, but pushed through the discouragement.

I have to say, I am kind of proud of myself. And, I learned lots of things this year as I made intentional time to read through the Bible this year. Here are just a few:

1. It was hard. I wanted to quit – especially the name-filled parts of the Old Testament. I got days behind, but would make a plan to catch up! Sometimes, because the pronunciations were a bit messy, I would use an audio Bible and read along. I would read four days in one hour to catch up. It was hard to make the time. Life is busy and tasks come at you quickly, but make it a priority every day. I tried to do it the same time each day – didn’t work. So I just committed to do it during the kids’ naptime or right after they went to bed (before my nightly TV time). It had always been hard, which is why I always quit. But, honestly, after March I found a rhythm and it got easier. I have heard a habit is created if you do something 19 times in a row – for me it was 90. But, hey, not a bad habit to have! Now, I am trying to go 90 days without biting my fingernails – here’s to hoping!

2. It was worth it. I mean, IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. I am so glad that I took the time. To keep my attention as I read (a little ADD over here), I used a pencil to underline key passages in each chapter. Now, in every chapter of my Bible I can quickly go to the places God was drawing my attention to during the year’s journey. I read the easy stuff, and the hard stuff and found that both had value for my own relationship with Jesus – after all it is all God breathed. It was hard. But, it was worth it.

3. It increased my hunger. Like most things, the more I did my daily reading the more I wanted to do my daily reading. Throughout the year I found my desire for God and God’s wisdom increasing. It was like sitting down with an old friend each day to catch up on what He was up to. Turns out, some pretty supernatural stuff! Being in the Bible everyday increased my hunger to know more about God’s work and word. In 2018 I don’t plan to do it again, instead I am going to spend the whole year doing a very deep study of Luke and Acts – see what I can learn afresh about how Jesus’s church started to change the world. For me, that hunger to study more deeply started by a daily investment of seeing God’s amazing work through the Bible.

4. It’s Jesus’s story. When I preach I begin by praying, “Lord we are thankful that every word, on every page, of all of Scripture, tells one story about one man who interrupted human history to save the people who rejected him, including me.” I am now more convinced than ever that this is true. The best part of the year was finding Jesus on every page. He is always there. He was there at creation. He is the fulfillment of Leviticus. He was there with Gideon. He is the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s promise to Ramah. He is the subject of the Gospels and the focus of the church. And, Jesus is the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world and will return to take his bride home. Reading through the Bible in a year was the assurance that Jesus is the center of the story and his story is found on every page.

If you have never done it – do it! It is worth it. Fifteen minutes a day, every day, and you will have it done!

It will be hard
It will be worth it
It will increase your desire to know God more deeply.
And, you will find Jesus on every page!

NOTE: CLICK HERE to get the reading plan I used. There are many, many to choose from. Just pick one and get to it – you will be glad you did!

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Chris Lawson

Founder of, husband to Merri, father to Adam, Ellie, and Zachary, and executive pastor @reynoldachurch. Lives to make Jesus famous. He enjoys watching the Atlanta Braves and UNC basketball, as well as demeaning and insulting whatever sports teams you root for. He knows a disturbing amount about television and movies.

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