Why I didn’t read the Bible in a year

Transcript: Hi friends, It’s Pam. Welcome back to another podcast season. It has been way too long and I am so excited to begin 2022, with some brand-new podcasts. So, thank you for sticking around with me. I want to jump into today’s podcast, which may come as a surprise for some of you who are listening. But last year I started a challenge and I led 64 women into a Bible reading plan for an entire year. So, essentially by the end of 2021, we would have read the Bible from cover to cover and friends. I have to make a confession on this podcast, straight from the get-go. I’m Pam, the head cheerleader of those women who did not finish my Bible reading.

So, today’s podcast is appropriately titled “Why I Didn’t Finish Reading the Bible.” Actually, learned a lot from the challenge out 2021, and so today I wanted to offer some things that really jumped out for me in that challenge, perhaps why that challenge was not successful for me, and then to really focus on what we can learn and how do we apply all of that to our life, to make sure that we are staying in the word consist. So, let’s look at some things. First of all, I learned from last year.

No matter how many times I have attempted to read the word from cover to cover, it is inevitable that I get bored around Numbers and Leviticus, like every single time. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Some of you are saying yes and amen right now as you’re listening.

So, I created the Bible reading plan for last year’s group that included Old Testament and New Testament reading at the same time, and I did this because I find that it’s helpful to have some other things that you are reading while you’re in the so-called board parts.

Because the entire Bible was divided up into 365 days. Most days included an average of three chapters of reading. Friends, I’m a slow reader, I really like to take in what I’m reading and for me personally, I found this to be so challenging. I would read whole sections and feel as though I had missed so many important pieces specifically for the challenge. Last year, I had purchased a brand-new journal Bible and so when I would come across parts that just really needed for me to go back and explore and dissect, I would write it in the margins, I would highlight everything, and then I found myself never doing it. I simply did not have time to go back and dissect. I would love to say to you that Pam spends an average of two hours each day, dissecting God’s word, but friends, I don’t and unless you’re a full-time pastor or professor that’s listening right now, I doubt that you do too. Sure, there are moments of great studying and sermon prepare and Bible study preparation, where I spend hours sitting at my desk, dissecting everything, but on a consistent basis, that’s not who I am. I’m a wife, I’m a mother, I do things in my community, I’m a friend, and so while I know that God has gifted all of those things as extra’s in my life. I can’t spend hours every day reading the Bible for me, my time in the word has to be more focused in order for me to extract what I really need.

Here’s another thing that I learned last year in the challenge. If I ever miss today, it was not fun catching up and before I knew it, I would be so far behind that. I felt like I was completely out of the race, there were some of my sisters who were leading the race, there were some who were walking the race and I was sitting in the bleachers, and then shame would creep up, it was nasty and it wasn’t a good cycle for me. Here’s the honest truth. Sometimes we don’t read the Bible every day, and there should be no shame attached to that. No ridiculous thoughts of falling or failing and not being a good Christian and none of that and that’s where our hearts would begin to walk into legalism instead of an authentic relationship with Christ. And for me, I can very easily get sucked into legalism.

And I know that that is not the relationship that God really desires for me and with me. However, as I am thinking about the challenge, I cannot help but reflect on Psalm 1, and so I’m going to read that. It says, blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night, he is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not weather and all that he does, he prospers. We see a very similar passage in Joshua, one, eight. It says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, and so that you may be careful to do, according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Both of these scriptures reference meditating on the Law Day and night, and the Hebrew here for meditate means to speak or mutter. I think this lends to another podcast that I should probably do for another day on the importance of memorizing scripture and speaking that. But for today, I really want us to focus on daily scripture reading because it is so much of a buzz in our Christian communities of how we should be in the word every single day. I personally think that reading God’s word every day has some incredible benefits to our faith that we need to note.

  1. it builds our faith. Spending time with God in his word increases our knowledge of who God is and we are then able to increase our trust and faith in our creator.
  2. we grow in wisdom. You simply cannot grow in the wisdom of the Lord without reading the wisdom of the lord. They are never apart from each other friends; God is not going to give you fresh insight outside of his word. And we’ve had so many discussions about this already in 2021, when I started the podcast of how many times, we see people saying, God showed me or God told me, and yet there’s no evidence of that in God’s word and so God is not delivering this fresh manana outside of his word. He’s not. And so, if you want to know the wisdom of the Lord, then you have to be in the wisdom of the Lord, which is his word. The root of all godly wisdom is in the word, all of it.
  3. this is how our mind is renewed and we’re able to test and approve the will of God. And so often that is one of the biggest questions that we have for day-to-day or resolutions and goals, and five-year plans, 10-year plans to be able to do those things, our mind has to be renewed, and how do we do that? We do that through the word of God.

What’s interesting is that in my study, I have found no scripture that says that we have to read the Bible every single day, and I want you to hear me clearly on how I just worded that. I believe that the benefits of being in the word are countless. I just gave you three. We could probably together come up with 10 more and then even then there would be so many more benefits. When we go back to Psalm 1 and Joshua, we see a common theme in both, and there is verbiage in both that is repeated. Meditating day and night on the law, and for us today, that would be the whole word keeps us steady, careful, and prosperous. If an earnestly desire to go row in my faith in a closer relationship to Christ, and I cannot forsake the reading and meditating of his word. However, I think that our approach has to be individualized and intentional, and for many, a one-year Bible plan is exactly what they need. I’ve seen so many will be steady, careful, and prosperous in their life through their dedication of such plans. But for me, it wasn’t so, and it wasn’t that my life was lacking, steady, careful, and prosperous, but I just could not commit to that large of reading on a daily basis.

I do have to admit in this podcast that I feel disappointed in myself for not accomplishing the goal I set up and that I led 64 women in. But I also know that I have to take time with God authentically. I’ve said that word. So, often when leading women be authentic in your time with Jesus, being authentic and intentional in your time in the word allows the word to be illuminated for you and for you to thoroughly extract wisdom. That leads to a more Christ-centered life. After all, that’s our passion and her, his sisters. It’s to reflect the nature of Christ more and more every single day.

And so I want to end this podcast with no shame, no shame from myself, no shame from you if you’re reading this and you are part of our group and then get to finish the plan. No shame if you have ever been one of those people that joined in a group and just could not finish, I have to constantly remind myself, and so this is why I say it so often in my group, but we are in a marathon.

We’re not in a sprint, and the Bible has an amazing way of illuminating itself and growing and growing as we grow in our faith, the Bible never stops for us, but it just gets bigger and bigger.

And so don’t forsake your time with the Lord, and while I think that the benefits way outweigh not spending time in his word, I don’t want you to feel that you are not being a good child of God. If you don’t read every single day, I want you to find a schedule that works for you, I want you to find a time that works for you, and I want you to really focus on being in the secret places with the father. And so yes, strive for every day strive for that. But if it doesn’t happen, sister, it’s okay. It’s okay. Friends, thanks for sticking with me through this podcast, and if you have any questions about what this looks like in your own life, please as always message me. I am here for the conversation and I am here for the shame stomping and I am most certainly here for helping to encourage you to be consistent in your time with Jesus. Consistency and holy habits are beautiful things in growing with our creator. Until next time sisters keep worshiping and finding joy in every moment.

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