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Feasting on God’s Word

Many people think about and plan to read their Bible as the new year approaches. They hear about this or that plan or dig in with the first few chapters in Genesis. All is well until they get to the long lists in Numbers or the laws in Leviticus. Often times we run out of steam, and thinking all is lost and that we can’t catch up, we stop reading the Word altogether.

According to a Christianity Today article from April 2022, only about 10% of Americans report that they read the Bible daily.

Before you get the wrong idea, I’m not suggesting that our Christian faith is about checking off boxes … reading the Word, praying, and attending church … these are all significant aspects of our faith, but not so that we can boast that we accomplished all three regularly.

The whole point of reading the scriptures
and praying daily is to know and love God!

The Bible is the written revelation of who He is, what He has said, and what He values. It is not a how-to book or a motivational manual – although it does have instructions, and it is motivational.

The Word is written to tell us the redemption story and point us to our place in His story.

So how will you read the Bible this year? Here are some tools and resources that might help:

Bible Apps (all free) to make reading easy:

A set of motivational podcasts to adjust your mindset:

A set of videos to build your background knowledge on the Word:

Picture of a girl reading the Word of God, the Bible.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

Biblical Theology with overviews of the grand narrative

Several excellent books give overviews if you are unfamiliar with the big story arc of scripture. Reading one of these books while getting started reading the Word can help you make connections and help you see the organization of the story and how it fits together. Choose one of these books, maybe one with a teaching resource, and invite a few friends to explore God’s grand narrative!

God’s Big Picture: Tracing the storyline of the Bible

Vaughn Roberts wrote God’s Big Picture: Tracing the storyline of the Bible. In his book, Roberts uses the unifying theme of the kingdom of God to show how the Bible’s story flows from Genesis to Revelation. Additionally, the Gospel Coalition has a free study course, 9 units, with video, outline, study guide, and leaders’ notes to help you work through that book. It’s not a difficult read – rather short and to the point!

According to Plan: The unfolding revelation of God in the Bible

Graeme Goldsworthy wrote According to Plan: The unfolding revelation of God in the Bible. His book is also quite accessible, although possibly more academic than Roberts, and follows a similar theme – the kingdom of God using this three-fold idea: God’s people, in God’s place, living under God’s rule. You can check out this summary of Goldsworthy’s book on the Gospel Coalition site, part 1part 2, and part 3.

The God Who Is There: Finding your place in God’s story 

D. A. Carson wrote The God Who Is There: Finding your place in God’s story – yet another book that will take you from creation to new creation to see how the storyline of the Bible fits together. The Gospel Coalition has also created a free study course using this book at the center – with 14 videos (almost an hour long each) to guide you through the study. This is a great introductory book to the storyline of scripture!

Christ from Beginning to End: How the full story of scripture reveals the full glory of Christ

Last, Christ from Beginning to End: How the full story of scripture reveals the full glory of Christ is written by Trent Hunter and Stephen Wellum. As they tell the full story of scripture, they trace the theme of covenant – a rich way to see Christ from beginning to end. In 2018, the Gospel Coalition sponsored a conference with this theme. On this site, you will find videos and blog posts that take you through the storyline of scripture – the covenantal progression.

If you have children, you definitely want to read The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. She does a magnificent job – her tagline being “every story whispers His name!”

Tips for Reading the Word of God

  1. Choose a modern translation of the Bible that appeals to you! Maybe choose a study Bible with notes to help you understand what you read. Choose a standard Bible or one that has been reorganized chronologically.
  2. Read with a friend or family member.
  3. You don’t have to start at the beginning. Start with the book of John and read a chapter a day. Then read Mark, Matthew, Luke, and Acts. Or choose a plan on an app. Did you know it only takes about 75 – 80 hours to read the whole Bible? That means if you read just 15 minutes daily, you can read it all in a year!
  4. Don’t quit if you miss a day or even a week! Just start where you stopped and keep going!
  5. Pray, asking God to give you a heart for wanting to know Him better through His word.


Father, the creator of the world and author of redemption’s plan, turn our eyes away from worthless things so that our hearts long for your Word and are preserved by it. Open our eyes so that we see the beauty of who You are and find our places in Your story. Give us understanding as we read and meditate on Your word. May our lives reflect the truths we find there and bring honor to Your name through the power of the Spirit who is at work in us. Amen.

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