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.