Our Christian forefathers used to speak about Bible reading as a “means of grace.” By that they meant that reading the Bible is one of the ways that Christians are strengthen in the grace of God. Other means of grace include prayer, gathering with other believers to worship and even sharing the faith with those who are unbelievers. In all these ways God works to mature our relationship with him and to make us more useful in the service of his kingdom.
Since January I have been trying to work my way through the Bible following a plan originally devised by Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a remarkable minister who died before he was thirty in 1843. His plan involves reading about four chapters a day and at that rate takes the reader through the Old Testament once in a year and the New Testament and the Psalms twice.
M’Cheyne’s plan also provides the basic structure for twin volumes by D.A.Carson called, “For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word.” Over the course of two years Carson provides commentary on one of the selected readings. His thoughts sum up the main thrust of the passage and help one to appreciate how God’s word applies to our lives today. I have been enjoying the first volume and plan to carry on with the second next year.
Let me encourage you to read the word of God. The Bible is a supernatural book that we need to read on a regular basis and commit to memory if we are going to be able to take our stand in this evil day. As the psalmist said: “Your (God’s) word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path.”