Early Returns On The Year of The Word

I have mentioned on this space that I am making 2012 the “Year of the Word.” I am taking an entire year to study, learn, meditate,

A bible from 1859.
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reflect, and most of all, READ the Bible. I want to know more about God by studying his word. I want to know more about myself by studying God’s word, and I want to know more about the world. Two months into this project, I have some thoughts.

1. What you tell yourself about the Bible matters – Now that I am paying better attention to the Bible, I am recognizing what people say about it. Renovare describes the Bible as a book about humans being “with God.” Others list the Bible as God’s revelation about himself. For me, I have discovered that prayer, worship, and experience matter but the easiest way of finding out more about God is through his word. Why haven’t I accepted this obvious truth before?

2. You can’t read every part of the Bible the same – This is another obvious observation that seemed to go over my head for much of my life. Though I have been critical of “read the Bible in a year” programs because they become more about achieving something than discovering something, I now realize that certain parts of the Bible need to be read in large chunks. The gospels, Psalms and much of the New Testament deserve the short treatment while the historical books and books of the law are better handled in larger chunks.

3. The Bible is so rich, it is going to take a lifetime to appreciate it fully – I have never thought about this before but part of my frustration with the Bible in the past has been the sheer volume of truths and insights into Christ and the Christian experience found within its pages. I often felt like  a hiker who never climbs up a small mountain because, “I am never going to make it up Mt. Everest so what is the point of climbing a smaller one.” But that is the beauty of the Bible. Within its words are a gigantic collection of truths, lessons, discoveries, and insights that reveal themselves by multiple readings, by meditation, and by the teacher that is time. One year of the Word is not going to do this book justice.

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