Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” - John 8:31-32 NKJV
A while ago, I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover. As a devout Christian and theology student, I felt it was important both to my spiritual well-being and undergraduate education.
Fellow Christians applauded my endeavor, and suggested 365 day plans. However, I decided to read a chapter a night, for as long as it took, to make it to that black leather cover in the back.
Well that was more than 4 years ago and, as of last night, I’m in Isaiah.
Yes, I know, most people would feel like a failure at this point and, once upon a time, I did too. I think it was around the 2 year marker. I felt bad that it was taking me so long. I felt like a bad Christian, like I had let God down and kind of hoped people would just forget I’d ever tried.
Then, about a year ago I heard a quote by Dr. Nido Qubein, “There are no unrealistic dreams, only unrealistic time frames.”
I suddenly realized it was not God who was disappointed in my progress. It was not God who was making me feel guilty, it was me.
Since then, I’ve continued to read the Bible as I have for the past 4 years, a chapter a night. Only now, I relish every night. Now I know that there is no reason I should feel guilty for failing to read the entire Bible in a year or 4 years for that matter. The Bible isn’t something to be conquered or accomplished. It’s not another book to check off your reading list. It is to be read as a love letter from our Great Lover, a note from our Friend “who sticketh closer than a brother.” It is quite literally a spiritual experience.
Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you feel you’ve failed in your Scripture reading, failed in your quiet time or failed God entirely. Well, before you beat yourself black and blue about it, ask yourself why you feel that way. Is it because you set an unrealistic time frame? Are you comparing yourself to your friends or family? Are you trying to “deserve” God’s love? If so, let me be the first to remind you that your relationship with Christ is a life-long love affair. There is no rush and there is no way to make Him love you more.
So even if it takes me my whole life to read through the Bible, that’s okay. My journey through the Bible is my own and as long as I am making that journey with my Savior, I am a disciple indeed.
How long has it been since you spent time with God and His love letter to us? Hours? Days? Decades? No matter how long it’s been, it’s been too long. Dust off your Bible and read it. You won’t regret it.
My Jesus, Thank You that we are among the blessed few throughout history who have daily access to Your Word. Thank You for loving us enough to give us an entire book to get to know You through. Keep us close to You. Keep us thirsty. Amen.