International (MNN) – It’s a new year which means many of us are committing to new Bible reading plans. But, why is daily Bible reading important? Biblica’s Chief Ministry Officer Stephen Cave shares:
“We need to understand that the Bible is not just what God said all of those years ago. It’s not just what his dealings were with the people of Israel or the New Testament church. It is still what God is still saying to us today. And for me, that’s the most important reason to read it.”
God’s Living Word
The Bible declares God’s word to be alive. And since it’s alive, it travels with us through each day, all of our challenges, and as we age both physically and spiritually. It’s why the same Bible verse can be read hundreds of times, and still have more wisdom and guidance to give with each read. The Bible really is our roadmap in this world.
Towards the end of this year, Cave read Louie Giglio’s book, “Goliath Must Fall,” and it had a strong impact on him. In the book, Giglio pulls lessons from the Old Testament story of David and Goliath. And it was this story that buried itself in Cave’s thoughts.
“Every day, the Israelites were confronted with the voice of Goliath. Every morning he would come out and speak and remind them of their failures. And every evening he would come back out and remind them that they were still being defeated,” Cave explains.
“And for me, if I didn’t have the word of God as a daily part of my life, then I would be hearing all the voices of the Goliaths’ around me, instead of hearing the voice of God.”
For Cave, sitting with the Bible first thing in the morning is a regular part of his day. Before the world’s voice has a chance to reach him, he fills his heart with God’s truths.
However, Cave does warn to not read the Bible to check something off a list, but read it because you want to hear God’s truth. There will always be a need for a balance between intentionally forming good habits, such as daily Bible reading. But if we aren’t careful, in our efforts to be disciplined, we can turn daily Bible reading into a legalistic ritual.
“I think that’s the first thing. Make sure that the heart behind it is not merely to read the Bible because that’s what Christians are supposed to do,” Cave explains. “The heart behind it has to be, ‘God, I want to hear what you’re saying to me today. I want this to be an expression of my relationship with you. I’m trusting you that as I read this, you will make it alive.’”
Choosing a Bible Plan
Now, as for choosing a reading plan for the Bible, Cave recommends a plan which has individuals reading chunks of the Bible in one sitting. While devotionals are good, they’re best read alongside the Bible, not in its stead. Otherwise, by only reading a devotional, the reader is instead reading someone else’s thoughts on the Bible rather than the Bible itself.
Need a good reading plan or even just a Bible to read? Cave suggests using YouVersion, where Biblica (and others) put their Bible readings. YouVersion provides access to different translations, languages, audio Bibles, and various reading plans. The app can be downloaded on a phone or even a computer. Which means regardless of where you are, you have access to God’s word digitally.
YouVersion also includes different Bible plans such as the Bible in 365 days, a chronological reading of the Bible, and even shorter plans which span over a few weeks.
“I just find that YouVersion is such a resource to get so many plans that help you read [the Bible] in different ways,” Cave shares.
“It will take you through large chunks of the New Testament together. It will take you through whole books of the Old Testament. It will give you different sections of the Bible put together. I love all of those plans because they’re giving you larger chunks.”
Print or Digital
Cave also urges people to read their physical copies of Bible, versus digital versions, as much as possible. The brain’s ability to comprehend what is read actually changes based on the medium. And it turns out, reading a print copy is better for that comprehension.
Plus, it’s easier to draw connections throughout the Bible as well as flip between passages, as someone would need to do for a chronological read when using a print Bible.
Translations, Prayer, Go
But, which translation is best to use? The one you have access to is the way to go, Cave shares. However, he also urges readers to find a Bible translation that’s easiest for them to understand, whether that’s the New International Version (NIV), the New Living Translation (NLT), or one of the many more translations available today.
As for prayer, Cave says to pray for faith. Pray for your belief, as well as others, that God will speak and open up His way to you as you read His word.
Need a new print or digital Bible? Find one through Biblica here!
CLICK HERE for Biblica’s Bible reading plans.