Friday, September 15, 2023

One book you ought to read more than once!

Although it is impossible to get precise statistics it is clear that the Bible is the world's best-selling and most widely distributed book. A number of years ago the Bible Society did a survey and came to the conclusion that around 2.5 billion copies of the Bible were printed between 1815 and 1975. More up to date figures put the number at more than 5 billion.
The Bible has been translated into 349 languages; 2,123 languages have at least one book of the Bible in that language source - the Bible Society.
Please read the following extract from the Bible. Listen to what God says in His timeless book. It will set you up not just for a year but for the rest of your life, if you believe it.
Romans 10:8-18 (The Bible - NKJV)
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
But do people who have a bible read it regularly?
Statistics show that most people professing faith in Jesus have never completely read their Bible. Many people start reading the Bible but then become overwhelmed by the number of chapters (1,189) and verses (31,102) there are. What most people don't realize is that you can read the Bible in a year by reading fewer than four chapters a day.
If you divide the Bible into 365 daily readings, your goal of reading the Bible in a year can easily be accomplished. 

Here is a conversation I heard recently:
I asked a longtime Bible Teacher how many times he’d read the Bible in its entirety from Genesis to Revelation. “Never, but I hope to someday,” he replied. I was stunned. I thought, “Then how do you know what you believe?” 
Soon after I encountered another longtime shepherd of God’s sheep. I posed the same question, but got a very different answer: “I try to read through the Bible every year. After all, I’ve given my life to teaching and preaching God’s Word, so I had better know it to the highest degree a man can know it.”
The following quotation sums it up “When all your favorite preachers are gone, and their books are forgotten, you will have your Bible. Master it.”
Reading through it annually is one means of accomplishing that end.
Here are five benefits I’ve discovered from reading through God’s Word each year.

1. You will know the main storyline of scripture. 

2. You will be better equipped to explain and teach scripture
3. You will form the wise habit of reading the Bible
4. You will make the Bible your primary reading material 
5. You will have to look at every bit of the Bible.
Where to begin!
There are numerous excellent plans available to help you read systematically through the Bible in a year. Over the years, I have used Tabletalk magazine’s annual plan, Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s classic planwhich takes the reader through the New Testament and the Psalms twice and the OT once. Don Carson’s modified version of M’Cheyne’s calendar is available at that link as well.
Another approach I have used to great benefit is the ESV Study Bible’s plan. Here is another plan that has the reader visiting a different literary genre—epistles, law, history, Psalms, poetry, prophecy, Gospels—each day of the week.  

Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the world's best-selling and most widely distributed book.


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