Godly Women Blog

Read the Bible in a Year

Written by Susan Scott Smith

A member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, shares her reflections from reading the entire Bible in 2013 and looks forward to the 2014 program.

In the past few years our Church has made available different yearlong Bible reading programs. I have participated in a few. Sometimes I successfully completed it in a year, and sometimes I did not. 

You may have read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation. But if you haven’t yet experienced this blessing, I’d encourage you to do it.

Our 2013 program

In 2013 I was very skeptical. Why? I looked at the readings for the first day—Jan. 1, 2013: 

Genesis 1; Matthew 1; Ezra 1; and Acts 1  

WHAT? I had never seen a Bible reading program that looked like that, and I did not think I would like it at all! 

However, I tried to be open-minded about trying it. (That is partly because I am rapidly approaching the “senior citizen” stage, and I know seniors sometimes have a reputation for getting set in their ways and refusing to try new things.)

So, I decided to try it. 

How did it go?

Throughout the year I generally stayed up with the program. When I got behind, I made an effort to get caught up quickly.

What is my impression now that the year is finished? I am really glad I tried it and stuck with it long enough to actually get an impression.

This past year’s program was like a rake with four teeth going through the Bible at four different periods of time. 

A rake is designed to collect dead grass, rocks, leaves, debris and other items from a yard. A rake can also be used to loosen soil, level soil or do light weeding. How does that apply to last year’s Bible program?

As I collected facts about those four periods of time, day after day, and moved through the lives of the people living then, I found that our lives today are not that different. All of us face the same basic daily issues and are forced to make decisions between following God versus our own human reasoning. 

The biblical characters’ personalities came alive. Each of them had strengths and weaknesses. They struggled with their human nature and succumbed to pressure from time to time. They made mistakes, asked for help, tried again, and were thankful for God’s merciful correction, forgiveness and bountiful blessings—just like us. 

Sometimes the biblical characters’ actions reminded me of things I have done or do. That is okay if it is a godly characteristic; but if it is not, then some weeding is needed. 

Loosening the soil aerates it, enabling moisture to penetrate and preparing it for planting. Weeds are easier to remove. As I recognize changes that need to be made, aeration takes place—the scriptures have loosened the soil, softening my heart for the changes needed.

End result

Hebrews 12:1 tells us: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”

Rather than the Bible being an out-of-date book that has lost touch with reality, the Bible actually holds the secrets and keys to an abundant life in any generation, any time in history. 

I can hardly wait to actually meet and share experiences with that “cloud of witnesses” whose life experiences are recorded for our benefit.

The 2013 Bible Reading Program was unique in that it enabled me to rake (clear debris from) my yard (life) and prepare the soil (soften the heart) for what God intends me to do with my life. The Bible offers a wealth of wisdom, and I am so thankful God has preserved it for us to use in the present age.

This year—2014

Having completed the 2013 Bible Reading Program, now it is time to start a new one! The Church of God, a Worldwide Association, just released its 2014 Bible Reading Program.

This one begins with Genesis 1 and Matthew 1, but does not go straight through the Old and New Testament. I am eager to discover what I will learn from participating in the program this year!

Give the new Bible Reading Program a try. It might just open the door to a new learning experience.

To learn more about the importance of Bible study, read our article “The Practical and Priceless Benefits of Bible Study.” 

Susan Scott Smith has been a teacher for more than 20 years and is a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in Texas.