Years ago, while interviewing a person for a staff position, I posed this question: “What does it mean to have a passion for Jesus?”
What would you answer?
Here’s what he answered: “To have a passion for Jesus is to have a passion for his Word because that’s where we find Him.”
As part of the celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, the Michigan District embarked on a campaign of Bible reading. The District encouraged people to develop not only the habit of daily Bible reading but the discipline of reading through the entire Bible annually. The Reformation Reading Plan – Crafted Daily was developed and posted on the YouVersion app so that people could annually read through the entire Bible in an order that reflected which parts most impacted Martin Luther’s ministry.
To date, over 13,000 people have participated to some degree.
It has been said, “You can’t give away what you don’t have.” When it comes to sharing Jesus with others, we can’t give away what we don’t have! We cannot give away a solid, mature testimony of the biblical Jesus if we do not have it. And the surest way to be able to have plenty to share with others is through disciplined Bible reading. An old prayer of the Church is to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God.
Here is the best advice I can give you about maturing in Jesus and the Christian faith: this year, read through the entire Bible. When you are done, repeat the same (at least) once every year for the rest of your earthly life. No other single activity will enhance your effectiveness as a follower of Jesus more than this. And it will take you just 20-30 minutes of daily reading or listening.
By reading through the Bible I do not mean devotional readings in a booklet. I do not mean reading a book about the Bible. I do not mean preparation that you might have for a Bible class. Those have their place. But I mean reading in some fashion every word, from “In the beginning” to “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen”—although not necessarily in that order.
Yes, the Pharisees made their stock in trade in the Scripture; they were known for knowing the Scripture inside and out. They knew the Scripture, but they didn’t KNOW it. Don’t worry that thorough Bible reading will make you into a Pharisee. The problem with the Pharisees was not their discipline but their hearts. Remember, the abuse of something does not nullify the use of it.
This is an invitation, not a burden. Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth. And the truth will make you free” (John 8:31–32 RSV).
You can find more information and start reading this Bible reading program at crafteddaily.com.