Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In...all.


When I started this blog just a shade over 13 months ago, the main purpose was to use it as a discussion forum for our Read the Bible in a Year group. While the blog itself didn’t really turn out to be very useful in that capacity, I’m happy to say I DID finish the plan! On December 31, 2007, through God’s grace, I read the last word in Revelation: all. And 364 days earlier, I’d started Genesis with the very first recorded word of scripture: In.

“In…all.” Reminds me of a song we sing telling Jesus He is our all in all. I seriously doubt that the very first and last words in the Bible were randomly chosen. To me, this appropriately conveys to us that whatever we need—direction, discipline, encouragement, examples, insight—it’s all in there. We can find all we need in these wonderful pages. Amen!

So what have I learned or gained from reading the Bible in a Year? Here are some highlights…

*People have been as messed up as we are today ever since the fall. Injustice, incest, child sacrifices, greed, murder, adultery, unspeakable violence and war, deception, and numerous other vices are recorded throughout the ages. Gives a whole new irony to “the good ol’ days” doesn’t it? And it highlights the depths of God’s mercy and grace in providing a Savior.

*I’m amazed at how some of the Old Testament rituals, which honestly, before, I thought had no relevance whatsoever to me today, really can be illustrative under the New Covenant.

*God’s timing is just…PERFECT. I can’t even begin to list here how many times that the reading for a certain day was clear direction, affirmation, or conviction for me.

*His Word is new and fresh every day. Even familiar verses take on new meaning depending on your circumstances when you read them. His Word is living and active (Heb. 4:12).

*I don’t have to fear Revelation! I always used to avoid reading Revelation, or at least large parts of it together. It was just too scary and confusing to me. But this time around was different in a way that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit. I actually found myself reading more than I was supposed to on several occasions this time because I was riveted—couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! I still don’t understand it very well at all, but it was just “less scary” to me.

Even though I’ve read it all, I’m clearly seeing I didn’t retain it all! For example, just last week at Bible study, Lisa Gard and I were whispering about Sara being Abraham’s half-sister. I couldn’t believe it! So I looked it up in the verse she showed me and not only did I know this at some point, I had even underlined it!!! (I do that when something’s shocking or impactful.) And less than a year later, it had slipped through one of the holes in my colander-like memory.

Maybe doing this plan EVERY year wouldn’t be such a bad idea!

5 comments:

Gretchen said...

Yeah for you my friend! I started reading the Bible through in a year a few years ago and decided I would try a different translation each year. This year it is the Message. Last year was the NLT and the year before that the NIV.

I am like you in the fact that I do not always remember everything I read. Or sometimes I think it maybe that it hits me afresh and God reveals something new to me.

Thanks for pointing out the "In... all." I love that. It sure wraps it all up. We sure need it "all" don't we. Even the scary parts! Thanks so your insight! Love ya!

brittanie said...

The "In...All" thing is awesome.
I completely relate to your comments on the daily relevancy of God's Word. Even this week... Every stinkin' thing I go thru is ALREADY covered in there! I love that!
What an incredible God we serve.

M. Milbourn said...

what an awesome testimony of God's Word. I have never read the entire Bible. It's awesome that you completed the plan that you set out on last year.

Beams of Light Ministries said...

Congratulations! I especially liked the "in all." That simply sums it up doesn't it? Wow! ~Sanya

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Oh my! I cannot believe I have not commented here yet! I love you did that read the Bible in a year. I learned so much but you are so right that you don't retain it all. After I did that I went back and did an inductive study of the entire Bible-I retained much more and then writing Bible studies helps you retain even more! Miss you sista!
Much love,
Angela
BTW-You going to She Speaks this year?