A new year means a time for refocus on what’s important in life. Here’s a great way to refocusthat could also transform your perspective on things.
Before I reveal the four steps I want to reiterate that while the advice could transform your life, it likely will not. As with most life-altering advice, it is simple, easy to implement, and even easier to ignore. Statistically speaking, the odds are great that you’ll ignore this advice. But a handful of you will try it so for the one or two people who will find this useful, the four steps that will transform your worldview are:
1. Choose a book of the Bible.
2. Read it in its entirety.
3. Repeat step #2 twenty times.
4. Repeat this process for all books of the Bible.
A wonderful way to gain greater knowledge and understanding of God’s Word that creates a “solid foundation” in the process. You may be wondering the best way to make this 4-step process a success. Here are some tips:
1. Choose shorter books and work up to longer ones. Since you’ll be reading an entire book of the Bible and not just a chapter or two, you’ll want to work your way up to more extensive readings. When beginning this program you may want to start with a short book that has only a few chapters that can be read several times in one sitting. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and help develop the reading habit. For example, a short book like John or Jude can be read four or five times in one sitting allowing you to finish the entire twenty readings in less than a week. [NT books, shortest to longest: 3 John, 2 John, Phlm, Jude, Titus, 2Thess, Rev, 2 Peter, 2 Tim, 1Thess, Col, 1 Tim, Phil, 1 Peter, James, 1 John, Gal, Eph, 2 Cor, Heb, 1 Cor, Rom, Mark, John, Matt, Acts, Luke; OT books, shortest to longest: See this chart.]
2. Read at your normal pace. Treating the material reverently does not require reading at a slower than normal speed. Read for comprehension, ignoring the division of chapters and verses and treating each book as one coherent unit.
3. Skip the commentaries (for now). Don’t get bogged down by referring to commentaries or other outside sources. Commentaries are for your Bible study, rather than for this synthetic reading. Read each book in its entirety and then attempt to summarize in your own words its theme and major points.
4. Stick with the process. After the eighth or ninth reading you’ll hit a wall that is similar to what runners face in marathons. The text will become dry and lose its flavor. You’ll want to move on to the next book or abandon the program altogether. Stick with it. Persevere and you’ll discover the treasures that repeated readings can provide. Keep in mind that not every book will be equally rewarding. It doesn’t mean that you’re a heretic if during one of your readings you find 2 John a bit redundant or Jude just plain boring. Keep in mind the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Stick with it and you’ll fully understand the truth of that verse.
5. Choose an appropriate version. A modern language paraphrase is not an appropriate version for synthetic reading. Likewise, the familiar rhythms and cadences of the KJV can, upon repeated readings, get in the way of comprehension. I personally recommend the ESV, though the NIV can be a suitable alternative.
6. Pray. Ask God to open your heart to his Word. Trust the Holy Spirit to illuminate the text and provide guidance and understanding.
7. Begin today. Don’t put it off another day. Don’t say you’l start tomorrow, or next week, or after New Year’s. You won’t. Start with the only time that you are guaranteed—right now. Use some of the time you’d normally spend reading blogs to begin this program.
After taking the first step today, head over to the source for some additional information on why doing this is a great idea!