Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Importance of Daily Bible Reading

I awoke anxious, concerned for my health, and so I prayed to the Lord to comfort and strengthen me. The psalter reading for the morning was Psalm 31, famous for its fulfillment by Jesus on the cross, when he said, "Into thine hand I commit my spirit" (v.5). On an anxious morning, God uplifted me with the last verse of this psalm: "Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord" (v.24). Comfort indeed.

So I am putting in a plug for daily Bible reading. In the past I have used Robert M. M'Cheyne's calendar, but recently I have been using the Society of St. James' lectionary. It continually amazes me how often each day's readings will coincide with my own particular needs and concerns. Daily Bible reading also provides more than comfort, it highlights that golden thread of gospel consistency which runs from Genesis to Revelation. The more I read, the more I detect how unified God's Word truly is. Some like to point to "contradictions" in the Bible, but those who spend time in the Word each day find just the opposite. Reading the Bible through once or twice a year is a joy, and a spiritual exercise guaranteed to deepen one's faith and trust in God. As the psalmist said, "Make me go in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I delight" (Psalm 119:35).


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