A year ago I both extended and accepted the challenge to read through the Bible in a year. Each day I read a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm and a passage from Proverbs. Reading some of each part was good and bad. I didn’t like that it often felt like I was jumping around. However, when I was laboring through some of the difficult books (Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, etc.) it was really nice to have some Gospel to read along with them. But at the end of it all, I was so blessed to have been through all of God’s Word this year (and youversion.com gave me a badge). Here’s some of the ways I have been blessed:
- I’ve learned a lot of things. One of the things that I never really realized was how incomplete the conquest was at the end of Joshua and how much that impact Israel. After King Solomon’s death, Judah and Israel struggled to remain unified and be the end of the Old Testament Israel was nearly non-existent while Judah was back in Jerusalem. Another example of this divide is that Jerusalem was the capital of Judah and Samaria was the capital of Israel. Not sure I fully understood the significance of that before this year. In the New Testament I was surprised how often Paul seemed to be upset about Judaizers and people who tried to bind Christians to old aspects of the law. I also actually took the time to deal with Revelation, which I generally try to avoid.
- Daniel, Zechariah and John all moved up on the list of books I like while Isaiah and Numbers moved down. Just personal preference, otherwise their all very good books.
- I learned a lot of personal discipline. Blogging this much in the last year was difficult, but I think it has helped me to develop important tools that I will forever use as a minister of the Gospel and even more so someday when I am preaching weekly. I think this discipline also helped me in other areas of my life as well (such as my diet, which allowed me to lose 35 pounds). Spiritual and physical discipline is so valuable and I have truly been blessed by that this year.
- I feel closer to God and more comfortable with His word. I trust Him more. And I mean that. I really trust Him more. After reading the Bible, I find God to be very reliable and I am more comfortable letting him guide me and my life.
There are other areas too, but as I sit here thinking about how I have grown and been blessed by this challenge this year, these are the things that jump out at me the most.
Now the question…how have you been blessed by reading through God’s Word this year? What was something you learned? What surprised you? Pick your favorite question from this list and put your answer in the comments! If you didn’t read all of it, just share how God’s Word blesses you when you do spend time in it.