This year I listened to the entire Bible (for FREE)! I started on Monday, January 1, 2018, and finished on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. In fact, I finished in enough time to listen to the following books of the Bible a second time in 2018: Ecclesiastes, Proverbs & John!
The Bible and Christian book publisher, on their website, relates that in just 12 minutes a day, someone could read the entire Bible in one year! Several years ago I read the entire Bible once before, but listening to it was a totally different experience.
To be honest with you, I didn’t think I was going to learn anything that I already hadn’t already learned, but, boy oh boy, was I ever wrong!
Listening to the Bible rather than reading it, for me, was like the difference between watching something on my childhood 12-inch black and white TV versus the latest 3-D HD full-color Jumbotron screen! Why the huge difference? You might ask? I asked the same question as well and, to be honest with you, I’ve been thinking a lot about it in the past year. I think I know why listening was so much more rewarding than reading.
Attention-Deficit Disor…Oh Look! A Squirrel!
I was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Disorder in the mid-eighties; I was in my second 7th-grade year and that diagnosis changed my life—in a good way! I learned I wasn’t stupid and I realized that I learned differently and that I could learn and that academically, I could not just survive, but thrive.
One of the main things I learned was how to read for comprehension and retention…but since that time I’ve made many life choices that have negatively impacted my ability to learn. I’d rather not talk about it, but needless to say that when God tells His children: “Don’t!” What He’s really saying is “Don’t hurt yourself.” A lesson I learned too late in my life.
But God is the God of new beginnings and healing and although I wasn’t totally healed related to my ability to remember and comprehend what I read, God has given me the gift of understanding about how I learn best—He can and will do it for you as well.
The Trio of Things God Taught Me
- The entire Bible is the story of humanity’s sinful stubbornness and rebellion contrasted to God’s patience, love, and forgiveness and how He makes the way for our salvation—over, and over…and over again. Jesus made this point best when He explained it to a professional Christian (who: surprise! didn’t get it):
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed (John 3:16-20, NLT).
- Interacting with God’s Word daily will always bring benefits and blessings. What God wants you to do is to get into the Bible every day because if you do, the Bible will get into you! God, through the Old Testament Prophet, Isaiah, assures us all of the potency and pungent power of His Word:
‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.’ (Isaiah 55:8-11, NLT).
No matter how you access it,
[the Bible] is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NLT).
- No matter how old you are, every Christian should—and more importantly, can—complete the entire Bible in just one year. Ultimately, this all becomes an issue of two components:
- What’s important to you.
- What’s palatable to you.
I’ll be honest with you, when I first began listening to the Bible, I was stretching it to listen to just one chapter a day…and, naturally and unfortunately, my attention and focus strayed and I ended up listening to that chapter again a second time the same day. But then something very interesting and unexpected happened: I began to be able to focus longer and longer and remember more and more clearly what I had read!
When I first began listening to the Bible I began looking forward to listening to it the next day and I went from struggling to listen to only one chapter a day to six chapters a day! I can’t take any credit for listening to and remembering what I listened to. I credit God’s Holy Spirit for that, because I had taken the time and energy and made God a priority in my life and I was rewarded with the blessing of deeper understanding as to how I live my life, how and what I think, and how I can live my life most wisely.
But, again, it wasn’t always ponies, glitter and rainbows; there were many days that I was smacked down into submission, obedience, and humility by God. I don’t know why I was surprised because in the Bible God clearly informs the reader:
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable (Hebrews 4:12, 13, NLT).
I also noticed that strangely enough, I was thinking more and applying more of God’s Word more effectively to my daily life. Again, I credit the fact that I had begun to immerse and marinate myself in His Word.
Get to It!
Okay, now that I listened to the Bible in 2018 in one translation (New International Version), I’m going to listen to it again! But this time, I’ll listen to it in a different translation. I can’t wait! If I, with my checkered mental past, can do it, then you can too! But where do you start?
Well, there are Bible reading plans everywhere! A great FREE resource that I use to daily listen to the Bible is: https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/ or you can check out this site as well: http://ssnet.org/bible-study-center/the-bible-in-a-year/
The website “Sabbath School Net” notes:
The 1,189 chapters of the Bible can be read in a year at a rate of 3¼ chapters per day.
Don’t worry if you don’t think that you can do it. Pray and ask God to give you guidance, focus, attention, and wisdom to understand and remember what you come into contact with that day.
Many years ago, an evangelist preached a series of meetings in our church and every night, before he began his messages he asked everyone in the congregation to hold up their Bibles and repeat this prayer after him: “Speak to me Lord, out of Your Word. Help me to love you more and know you better!” I pray that prayer every day, but I have also added my own ending (the scariest part): “And to share you with others.”
If you start to read it and you don’t feel like it’s working for you, switch it up and try listening to the Bible. If you don’t feel like that’s working for you, read it out loud, or listen to a dramatized version of it, or watch it. Check with your friend, Google, and YouTube to see what FREE resources are out there? And if you find some resources that you like that aren’t free, spend the money to purchase them. Remember, God guarantees that your time, money, energy, and life will be richly blessed and rewarded.
If God says it, you can take it to the bank!
 Accessed on December 31, 2018 from https://www.crossway.org/articles/infographic-you-can-read-more-of-the-bible-than-you-think/
 See Psalm 118.
 Accessed on December 31, 2018 from http://ssnet.org/bible-study-center/the-bible-in-a-year/