Have you ever done a quick read through the Bible? Genesis to Revelation in just a few months? That might sound daunting, but I can attest to the fact that it can also be an amazing adventure with the Lord.
I first did this twenty-odd years ago when I realized I’d never actually made a concerted effort to read the entire Bible. I realized I hadn’t been looking at it as I would any book—one to be read. So I committed to reading for a certain amount of time every day—and to finish that reading before I picked up any other book. It was an experience that fueled my love for God and His word.
Since then I’ve read through the Bible many times. Fast and slow. Beginning to end or a jump around plan. But with a brand new Bible for Christmas and a brand new year on the calendar, I decided to do a quick read over pristine pages. No underlining. No notes. Just reading. Taking it in. Making it the first of many things I read in my day.
Have I discovered new things reading through the Bible this time around? Of course! And not just in the pages. This time I’m reading a set number of chapters and marking it off on a chart in my journal. So each day when I finish, I know what the next day will be. The cool thing? I’ve found myself waking up thinking: I get to read through Nehemiah (or whatever book) today!
That is to say, I come eager in a way I haven’t in a while. Eager to see what is next, even though I might generally know. And that time I spend reading? I don’t miss it in my day. In fact, I’ve been very productive in the remaining hours. I think that’s just God’s wink and smile in my direction. Which makes me love and trust Him all the more.
If you want to take a dip into a quick read (and by quick read it’s best if it’s less than 6 months so it’s all in your head like a story) there are several ways you can start:
Set an amount of time: set a certain amount of time each day to read. Stop where you stop, even if it’s the middle of a chapter!
Set a number of pages: a friend of mine divides the number of pages in her Bible by the number of days in which she wants to finish. Enough said.
Set a number of chapters: this is my process at the moment. I’m currently doing 25 every weekday with 5 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday.
Maybe your weekends allow more, not less, but don’t short yourself on the weekdays. The sacrifice is part of the experience. kind of like with fasting. And figure out a way to keep track that keeps you motivated. For me this time it’s a hand-drawn chart in my journal where I color in the chapters I read each day.
But even more than the method, I think the biggest thing with a quick read is to come to the reading with an eye for story, just like you would in reading any other book, I guarantee with that lens you will see things you haven’t noticed before. Because God’s word is like that—living and active. A love letter to His beloved creation.
My husband wrote me love letters back in the 1980s. Sometimes I read them slowly, to savor. Sometimes I studied each word and nuance. But sometimes? Sometimes I devoured the entire letter in a fury of needing the words to blanket me all at once.
A quick read through the Bible. I encourage you to give it a try.