Sola Scriptura was the fundamental cause of the Protestant Reformation some 500 years ago. It claims that Scripture alone is the final authority in the life of the believer and the church. It also claims that any authority the church has is derived from the Scriptures. As such, then, the Bible is the final or ultimate authority in both the life of the church and the individual Christian. The Bible even makes the claim that it contains ‘all things that pertain to life and godliness’ (2 Pet 1:3) and it commands us to be transformed by the renewal of our minds so we might now what the will of our Savior is (Rom 12:2). Since that is the case, it would serve a Christian well if he or she were to diligently read the word.
As we make the turn into the new year, what better time is there than now to start diligently reading God’s transformative word with regularity? There is no better time! So, as we begin the new year, would you consider starting a Bible reading plan? There is no ‘one size fits all’ in regards to reading plans. Some take two years to read through the Word while others one. Some follow the order to the books as they are in the Bible while other plans take you through the Bible in a chronological manner. The options are nearly limitless but they all have the same goal: to get the follower of Jesus Christ into regular, even daily, encounters with their Savior through His revelation to them…the Bible.
As you consider this and prepare to start on January 1, I would like to offer a few encouragements and cautions. First, don’t be over aggressive if this is your first foray into reading God’s Word. Don’t start a plan that will have you read through the entire Bible twice in six months (we aren’t all like RC Sproul who read the entire Bible within two weeks of his conversion)! You are setting yourself up for failure. Second, as you progress through the year, if you are like me, you are likely to fall behind at times. Do not be discouraged if that is the case! Do not feel that you must “catch up” to the current date. If you missed a week or two, just pick up from your last passage and resume from there day by day. Third, before you start reading a new book in the Bible make sure you read the introductory material for that book from a good study Bible. This is critical so that you know what the general overall theme of that book is, to whom it was written, and why it was written. That will make your time in that book much more beneficial. Finally, pray! Pray that God would incline your heart towards Him (Ps 119:36), the He would open your eyes to behold beautiful truths from His word (Ps 119:18), that He would unite your heart to His will (Ps 86:11), and that He would satisfy you with Himself (Ps 90:14).
As we begin to earnestly read God’s word in 2018 may we come to agree with the Psalmist that His word is sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb and more valuable even than much fine gold!