This year I decided that I’m going to read the Bible in one year. I’ve done this before with different devotional Bibles and “plans” sent to me through social media.
Let me start out with explaining how I am aiming to read the bible in one year. I aim to read 5 chapters a day in order (Genesis 1-5, 6-10, etc) and one Psalm (Psalm 1, 2, etc) and one chapter of Solomon’s book (Proverbs 1,2,3 all the way up to Songs of Solomon). I started on January 1 and, although I missed a couple of days, I’m now in 2 Kings.
What I’m trying to do this year is go through it with a highlighter (I hate highlighting my Bible though) and try to highlight key portions, verses, God speaking directly to people, etc. It’s great as I feel like I’m learning and understanding so much.
In Comes The Books Of The Kings.
So I’m reading about one king of Israel, who was the king during this king of Judah. But because this king of Judah lived longer, there is another king of Israel. Then the king of Judah dies while this king of Israel is still king. Then, a prophecy from Jeremiah or Jonah pops its head up and now I have to go over to that book and make a note.
It’s so hard. But, if you’re looking to get a better understanding of God and his work, I’d highly encourage this process.
I also have my Old Testament Surveys book out from college to give me an overview of what is going on.
If you are looking to do some reading, perhaps go through the whole Bible in a year, I’m putting some Chronological Bibles below. One is an NIV translation (New International Version), one is an NLT (New Living Translation) and the other an NKJV (New King James Version).
Author Robert Lloyd Russell is a popular Bible teacher and seminar leader. His purpose in writing is to help Christians develop a living theology and dynamic discipleship. His writing has been described as inspirational doctrine, inspiring the reader and containing a strong undercurrent of sound doctrine. New and mature Christians of many different backgrounds and denominations have appreciated his writing.
Did you know that the Devil “reads” the Bible? OK. Maybe he doesn’t “read” the Bible, but he does know it. And he knows it better than you or I. And he’s not afraid of using it to make you sin and do things that are against the Will of God.
Allow me to share of when the devil tempted Jesus.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matt. 4:1-7)
Do you see where even the devil said, “For it is written”? He goes on to quote Psalm 91:11-12.
It’s interesting how Jesus responds, isn’t it? Jesus responds with the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 6:16).
Straight Out Of Context
Have you ever lived in sin? Commit the same sin over and over again. Remember, as Apostle Paul says, “by grace you have been saved, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).
Or when a church member confront you of a sin? You have Matthew 7:1 ready in your back pocket. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
For some reason, we actually have King James waiting, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” So people use this as an excuse to ignore people who call out their sins.
Reading Ephesians 2 in context, Apostle Paul is calling on us to live a life away from sin: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world… (Eohesians 2:1-2a). And our faith should be followed with good works: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works… (Ephesians 2:10a).
If we are to read Ephesians 2:1-10 in context, it would say, “We are saved by God’s grace, not good works. Because of God’s grace, we are called to put away our sins and live the life God calls us to live. The outpouring of knowing God is, indeed, good works.”
Same thing with Matthew 7:1. Fortunately, Jesus straightforwardly explains in verse 3-5.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
This is simple to read in context. “Don’t judge. First, deal with the issue in your life and then help your brothers and sisters deal with the identical issues that they are dealing with.”
The Devil Is In The Details
What other verses are twisted? Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”? What about Philippians 4:13: I can do all this through him (Jesus Christ) who gives me strength.
It is dangerous to read these verse out of context.
Jeremiah 29 is a letter to Jewish captives who will spend 70 years in captivity before the Lord will liberate them. Yet, we use it to draw people into the church. But when a woman miscarries, or you lose the job, or your loved one dies, what then?
One verse prior to the coffee mug imprinted verse of Philippians 4:13 is 4:12. It reads, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
If you don’t get the job, if you don’t pass the test, if you don’t get the girl, should we exclude the verse altogether? No! God is still sovereign. Be content in much and in little, “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Your strength is not in your circumstance, it’s in Christ.
The Baby And The Bath Water
Back in the day, before modern luxuries of running water, a family would all bathe in the same water. Not all at once, mind you. First the father would bathe, when he got out, then the mother, then the oldest to the youngest child. So when it was time to throw out the water, it was so filthy that you could hardly see through it. And the sayin came, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.”
Now, I just jumped through a few verses that are often read out of context. Should we “Throw out the baby (the verses) with the bathwater (the things that don’t apply to us)”? Of course not. The Bible is a historical account of the God of Israel moving and doing things. And as Hebrews 4:12 says that “the Word of God is alive and active…”
I mention in my book, “God: The Master of Sin and Satan The Beautiful”, Satan doesn’t mind if you believe in God. He doesn’t mind if you read the Bible just as long as you don’t repent of sin and live for God.