Start Here: 5 Reasons to Read the Whole Bible (and 2 Tools to Help You Do It)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. –Colossians 3:16

When you hear “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” what comes to mind first? Memorizing Bible verses? Doing a Bible study? Going to a conference, or reading a popular book by a Bible teacher or a pastor?

How about simply reading the Bible? Just reading it.

In January 2000, I responded to an invitation to join a group of women forming to read through the Bible in a year to get to know God and to meet weekly to discuss what we read.

The experienced changed my life, and I’ve been part of many other similar groups since then. All of my children’s books and my two books for women got their start when I experienced reading through the whole Bible with others with the sole purpose of getting to know God better.

Along with so many other women who have participated along with me, I discovered five wonderful reasons to read it.

Reasons to Read It

1. We discovered that God reveals himself through his Word. It’s been said that the Bible is the only book whose Author is right there with you when you read it. Although I have always believed in God, it wasn’t until I began to read the whole Bible that I started to truly get to know Him. And every time we read through, God speaks to our lives at that time, and there is always more to learn.

2. We discovered a sense of sisterhood, a “one-anotherness” as we interacted with the Word and with each other each week.

3. We discovered that we were developing discernment, the ability to evaluate what we hear others say and write about the Bible, about life, about faith.

4. We discovered that we could indeed teach and admonish one another with wisdom—God’s wisdom. As years went on, we could bring in Scripture from other places in the Bible that all had some bearing on the question being discussed—or on the crisis or decision one of us faced. The rustle of Bible pages as women talk about the Word is a very satisfying sound!

5. I’m convinced that one of the most loving things we can do for someone else is invite and encourage her to become a lifelong reader of the Word, and to read it together.

When you start to see connections between the Old and New Testaments, as you discover that the Bible actually tells one big story, and when you find yourself getting to know God more and more through his Word—that’s when it really gets exciting!

Need a Place to Start?

My new devotional, Encountering God’s Heart for You: 365 Devotions from Genesis Through Revelation, can guide you through the Bible from start to finish.

You won’t read every single chapter, but you’ll get the big picture of the Bible’s whole story, a clearer sense of biblical history, and lots of encouragement. The daily devos are short and, as one reviewer said, “simple in approach but not shallow.”

I can’t wait for you to read it and share it with your friends! My publisher, Bethany House, designed this hardcover book with a beautiful pearlized cover. (It would make a lovely gift!)

My earlier book from Bethany House, A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year, contains short background explanations to each week’s reading, plus space to journal and tips for reading through the Bible in a year with a group.

Read through the Bible in a year? Yes, you can do it!

My prayer is that as you read through the Word and encounter God’s heart for you, you’ll also discover and deepen your heart of love for Him.

– Diane

8 Responses to “Start Here: 5 Reasons to Read the Whole Bible (and 2 Tools to Help You Do It)”

  1. Reply Linda Lonh

    I thank God for the “Encountering God’s Heart for You,” book, for teaching me through it (presently, I’m on devotional 160!), for leading Diane as she wrote the manuscript, and for Diane’s faithfulness to our loving Lord.

  2. Reply Lynn Pratt

    Thank you, Diane, for reminding us that the Bible is God’s living and active Word. The more time we spend there with him, the better. And readers, Diane’s new devo book is terrific! It showcases God’s love and power and steers to multiple Scriptures to connect the dots.

  3. Reply Lena Wood

    Can’t wait to get started on this book.

    Thanks for your passion for the Living Word of God!

  4. Reply Betty Jo Benz

    I’ve read through the Bible many times (whole books at a time, sometimes 2-3 at the same time, but not necessarily in order) and agree to the value in doing so, though I’ve never gotten anyone to do it with me. Which I agree would be better. However, I’m looking for a new approach, while still reading it all. My last time, I decided to take it slower and hopefully deeper, and it took me about 2.75 years to finish. Since I finished late in the summer, I’m currently using a chart given to me that some church handed out that does much of the Bible, but I’m not thrilled with it. Suggestions for more than just starting again reading on Jan 1?

    • Reply Diane Stortz

      Hi Betty! For some reason I am just now seeing this reply to my post. I’m so sorry! I hope you’ve found a Bible reading plan for 2020 that you like.

      I’ve seen recently that Immerse has online reading groups. You can check it out here:

      If you haven’t gone through my book, it uses a back and forth OT and NT plan that many have liked.


  5. Reply Debi Taylor

    I have your book “A Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in One Year” and my journal (don’t want to write in the book) ready to go. I am excited to go on this journey through the Bible. I want to grow in my relationship with Christ.

    • Reply Diane Stortz

      Hi Debi! For some reason I am just seeing your comment now. But I recognize your name and I know you’re following along on FB. Hurrah!

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