I wanted to take this week to reflect and share some exciting revelations I have had on the journey I’ve been on this year as I read the Bible chronologically. I’m half-way in my reading and I’m overflowing with all God has been showing me.
Throughout my 30’s and 40’s (when I finally dug into scripture on my own) God has revealed some pretty amazing (but simple) ways to make scripture come alive. I’ve shared those tools in my book In the Mi[God]dle: Keys to Keeping God in the Middle of All We Think Do and Say and when I speak to women’s groups. However, God has opened my eyes to another incredible and easy way to study scripture that has brought me so much closer to Him. Not only that it has given me a deeper understanding of the thread He has woven through history since He created Earth and man and given me an appreciation and eye for Him in my daily life and world events. It’s not that I ever doubt God’s existence, power or attention to detail – it’s just that sometimes I put Him in my “human” box when He is so much more – so much greater. I sometimes simplify the greatness and forget to look at Him with the awe, gratitude, praise and adoration that I should.
Those of you who have been following my blog for some time know that I’ve been reading the Bible chronologically since January on a one-year reading plan. All my blogs for 2015 (and part of 2016) are about (and going to be about) the revelations, ponderings and treasures I’m finding in reading the Bible this way for the first time. Not only am I readying it in chronological order, but I’m reading it in a translation I’ve never read (Holman – HCSB). Approaching the Bible through these two new lenses has been incredible.
I can hardly put into words how much it has impacted my walk with Christ and my understanding of the scriptures. Simply put, reading the Bible chronologically has made me want to dance like David in pure abandon, without a care of who is watching and throwing every bit of energy, love and might I have into worshiping our Creator.
Here are just a few things that the Lord has opened my eyes to since I began this journey:
- It’s a story. I know we already know that, but there is something about reading the story in order that makes it so much better! Imagine reading one of your favorite books out-of-order. Things just don’t make as much sense and are more difficult to grasp and understand (i.e. history timeline, descendants, story lines). I’ve been so excited about “the story” at times, I’ve completed a weeks worth of reading in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.
- Not only that, did you know that Chronicles and Kings repeat many of the same stories? OK, maybe you know more than I did, but I never realized it. In order you read them back to back so it reinforces the story and you may catch a glimpse of a small change in wording or detail.
- Imagine reading in 1 Chronicles about David, all his struggles, sins, etc. when what comes next is the Psalm he wrote during that time. The Psalms in context are even more beautiful and full of meaning when they are put into the context of David’s life and trials. Consider this, if you just hear a song you like it’s easy to enjoy it, but if you read their personal journal about what going on in their life and how and why the song was written it comes alive in a new way.
- When you read the Bible in order you have a fresh glimpse into how God’s hand REALLY is in every detail. It’s not just a saying anymore. It’s real. You see His hand at work as each leader or King gains or loses his power. You see how God raises up the shepherds’ son and understand how it all ties together.
This is just a taste of all God is showing me through this journey. I pray you will consider purchasing a chronological Bible and begin reading it for yourself or (if you are more patient than I am) you can go online and print out a chronological reading plan for the Bible you already have. Just know you will be doing a lot of turning and flipping of pages. That’s where the patience comes in. Please let me know if you decide to take this journey. I would love to know you are doing it and pray for you along the way.