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Tis the season for “read through your Bible in a year programs.” If I had to guess the Unknownamount of blog posts, published Bibles, and other materials available to help someone read through it would be, “a plethora”. “Excuse me jefe, would you say we have a plethora?” “Oh yes, El Guapo, we have a plethora.” [1]

Reading through your Bible has become a year-end advertisement, resolution, and chore list. I would like to encourage you not to not do it. “What?!? You’re a pastor! You don’t want me to read through your Bible?” Yes, that’s right. I don’t want you to grab a plan, make plans, and follow through with those plans so you can say you read through your Bible.

I would rather you simply say, “I’m committed to learning about my Lord and Savior, therefore I need to read my Bible because it is the source of light in this dark world.”

imagesThere you have it. Please do not read through the Bible to read, read the Bible to know and love our Savior better. We read to learn about Him, me, and how I can respond to Him. Make learning your goal. If learning about your Savior is the goal, then it is necessary to turn to the Bible. If learning about Him is a goal, then church, your pastor’s preaching, and Bible Studies become instrumental. [2]

In fact, as you learn, you’ll want to live it out. Now having relationships in the church will be instrumental too. We grow in discernment when we practice what we learn. “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb 5:14). There you have it. Want to honor the Lord with your life? Then practice what you learn. images-1In fact, failing to practice what you learn will only produce pride and a puffed up head. “Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1).

The author of Hebrews argues maturity comes when we learn about the Lord and practice it. Those serving the church grow to be like Jesus Christ. Honoring the Lord requires knowledge and practice. They go together like a husband and his wife. The two are one flesh. You can’t have one without the other.

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb 6:10-12).

Now, I realize this blog preaches to the choir. Amen! I’m grateful for your faithfulness and love for Him. So, now, you want a plan to study in a way that works for your life, yet allows you to study Him? Well, the good news is there are a plethora of Bibles published to direct you, blogs, and plans available to see how others do it. In fact, I have a plan too, you can find it here.

Go, read, learn, and love. Feel free to tell me your plan and leave any ideas for me too. What other books are helpful for you? What do you do to help study and learn?

[1] If you are unaware of this exchange add the movie Three Amigos to your 2015 resolutions list.

[2] More on being a learner here.