Do you have a favorite book; one book that you enjoy reading over and over again? There are a lot of books that I only read once and then never touch them again, but there are some books that I have read multiple times. “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom is one of those books. This book makes the reader think about how the choices they make and the ways they behave affect people they are connected with, whether by direct or indirect contact. I enjoy reading this book because it makes me think a little deeper about my actions and recognize that they do not only impact my life, but also affects other people.
When it comes to the Bible, of course, I have my favorite stories. I love the story of Joseph and how is he was Israel (Jacob’s) preferred son, yet he was betrayed by his jealous brothers who sold him into slavery. He was esteemed by his boss, Potiphar, yet falsely accused by boss’ wife. He was favored by the prison keeper, but his jail-mate forgot about him. Ultimately, Joseph became second in command in Egypt and his brothers found themselves at his mercy. Joseph extended forgiveness to his brothers, saving their lives. What a beautiful story of choosing forgiveness over revenge!
Another of my favorite Bible stories is about Esther. It is an incredible journey of love, hate, evil plots of genocide, and reaping what you sow. If you have never read this story, I encourage you to do so as it is an exciting story filled with a lot of twists and turns. I never tire of reading it and look forward to it every year.
Have you made a commitment to read your Bible more this year? When choosing a yearly Bible reading plan, I find myself enjoying the Chronological Bible. I like this plan because it makes the entire Bible feel like one big story. I have a difficult time reading through the “begats” and the Numbers, but the Chronological Bible puts the chapters and books in the order which they occurred.
If there are stories that appear twice, such as the “Fishes and the Loaves” in the New Testament, the stories will repeat back to back. Another thing that I like is in the Old Testament, the Psalms are placed where they occurred in the storyline. If you find yourself trying to read the Bible through each year and you are giving up because you are not following along as well as you would like, I encourage you to check this plan out.
Maybe you have read your Bible through before and are commissioning yourself to do it again. Sometimes a year long commitment can be risky. What if you get bored? The thing I love about reading the bible through each year is that it never gets old.
A lot of times I will be reading and I find myself having “ah ha” moments while reading God’s Word. I call these “treasures.” These treasures are sometimes found in the darkest of times. One definition of treasure is “any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized.” (dictionary.com) God’s Word is the highest of all prizes. There are so many treasures that are buried in this Book that no matter how many times you read it, you will never run out of gems to find.
If you are feeling weak when you read Exodus 15:2, you may find help in, “The Lord is my strength,” but if you are feeling like you have lost your joy, you may find hope in, “The Lord is my song.”
“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (NIV)
If you are feeling like everything around you is unstable and falling apart, “He is my Rock,” in Psalm 62:6, may give you the hope of stability, but if you are in a situation where you feel like you need to be rescued, “He is my Salvation” may be what you need to read.
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (NIV)
If you are in distress when you read John 16:33, you can find “Peace,” but if you are overcome by the trouble in the world, you can find hope in knowing that “He has overcome the world.”
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (NIV)
In Isaiah 40:31, There is “Strength” when you are weary from the wait, and the promise that if you keep going, “You will not grow weary or faint.”
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)
When you read Psalm 145:19, and you are feeling like God does not take heed to your heart’s desires, you will be reminded that “He fulfills our desires” and if you are in need of being saved, you will find that “He will save you.”
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.” (NIV)
Don’t judge a book by its cover! Just because you have read it before does not mean that you cannot find valuable jewels the next time you read it. These are only a few examples of a plethora of possible circumstances where you can find answers and hope in His Word.
I encourage you to take the time this year to read every scripture in the Bible. There you will find promises and conviction that will help you consecrate your heart, mind, and spirit. I love how it doesn’t matter how many times you read the Bible, you find something new. You can read one scripture and it can minister to you in different ways depending on the light you are currently standing when you read it. I can guarantee you that if you take the time to search His Word, you will find the treasures that are hidden there.
Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (NIV)
Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)