What’s the right way to read the Bible this year? You’ll find the answer in the Bible!
David, speaking in Psalm 16:11, says, “You make known to ME the paths of life.” David has a personal relationship with God. While it’s true the Bible has a message for all people, God intends for that message to be understood and received by each individual personally.
I read through the Bible every year, and I’ve used a variety of Bible Reading Plans to do this, but no matter which method I use, I try to make it personal by making notes in the margins. You can easily make the Scriptures personal by asking this one question at the end of your Bible reading: What message does God want me to take away from this passage?
For a great selection of various Bible Reading Plans, click here.
How personal can it get? Psalm 139 says it all.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you
Every year, I give what I call my “Reason for the Season” gift.
It’s a present to remind each recipient of why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. My “Reason for the Season” gifts are never very elaborate. Most of them are simply stocking stuffers and cost very little.
These gifts can be as simple as a bookmark with a Scripture on it or a key chain with a Christian symbol swinging from it. During past Christmases, I’ve given a calendar or a devotional book. For children, I’ve put Veggie Tale toys and Bible story DVD’s under the tree. I’ve also given mugs and ornamental plaques with Scriptures on them.
I started this practice several years ago when my daughter was a teenager, and I suddenly realized the true meaning of God’s “gifting” us with His Son was being lost in the hustle and bustle of checking things off her Christmas wish list. Now, purchasing these “Reason for the Season” items from a Christian bookstore a few weeks before the big holiday seems to take the edge off the Christmas rush and serves as a reminder of the purpose of this celebration.
Truly, the “Reason for the Season” is a tiny helpless baby sent by a powerful, holy God to rescue a hopeless fallen sinner.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 2:15: