I stumbled upon the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan nearly twenty years ago in a church bulletin. Along with an encouraging note from Pastor Gordy Gottfred, the reading schedule appeared every Sunday in the month of December. It couldn’t have come at a better time in my life.
It wasn’t as if the Bible were foreign to me: I had read, studied, and even memorized whole chapters as a kid. While the Bible doesn’t say, “Thou shalt read the whole Bible every year,” I’d never read it even once. And I’d become skeptical. Doubt about the existence of God crept into my mind and took over my worldview. No longer sure what was trustworthy, I suffered a crisis of faith. Life turned bleak, pointless, and hopeless. I cried out to God.
One day I awakened to an overriding perception — God loved me! Suddenly hungry for spiritual things, I wanted answers but assumed the Bible would be problematic. For several years I browsed and sampled it, particularly the parts I liked.
Then I saw the Bible reading schedule in the church bulletin. To my surprise, I eagerly started the plan on January 1.
I took to the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan because it had readings for only 25 days per month, which provided a rest once a week, plus I got to read in 4 sections of the Bible on the same day.
Although I got behind and had to read double-days to catch up, I finished reading through the Bible that year – for the first time in my life. More than that, I didn’t find the problems with biblical content I’d expected. Au contraire! The Bible answered questions, made sense of life, helped me to see who God is, and touched me deeply. I lost count of the times I told my husband, “This is good stuff!”
I read the same schedule for five consecutive years before I followed a different plan. But this is my favorite, for it got me hooked on the Book, through which God gives us hope. I learn something new every time I read it.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)
Thanks for helping me get into the Bible, Pastor Gordy.
I hope my experience is helpful to you, Dear Reader. Merry Christmas!
Posted on December 16, 2014