The Daily Bible1
by Jere Stansel
On the first day of January this year, Gene and I began reading The Daily Bible - In Chronological Order, which happens to be a New International Version with devotional insights. It’s paperback, so I feel free to bend it and mark it up as I please. I have read it through twice before, and found it to be a great devotional guide. Certainly, there are many other plans for reading through the Bible in a year, and many of you perhaps have tried them. But, for me, as the chronological presentation of God’s story unfolds daily, I began to appreciate God’s plan as never before. Let me mention three distinct blessings I have received reading through this version of the Bible.
First, reading the Bible through in a year seems to cement in my memory Biblical names and events. How many times have you heard a Biblical character mentioned and then spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who the person was and how he or she fit in the story of redemption? For example, what is Jacob’s relationship to Isaac? Who is Abram’s wife? Who comes first—Moses or Noah? Do you ever get these historical dates and people confused? After reading through the Bible in a year, we come much closer to answering those questions quickly and correctly!
Another advantage of reading the Bible chronologically is that the Scriptural characters seem to “come alive” and present themselves more like real persons. Not surprisingly, I find Biblical characters (Adam, Noah, the Patriarchs, Prophets, and the Disciples) are very much like you and I, for they are both good and evil, obedient and sinful, unbelievably devoted to God as well as undeniably selfish, deceitful and prideful at times. As a result, I enter into their personal stories, and my sin comes home to me like gangbusters. I am they.
I have saved telling you the best blessing until last. I don’t know exactly how it happens, but it does. While reading through the story of the Bible chronologically, God becomes so real, so great and so indescribably mysterious that my knowledge and love for Him increases exponentially. That’s when I become so small in comparison.
So my question to you is, why wait until January 1 next year to begin this undertaking? It’s not difficult to read one entry per day, no matter on which date you begin. Let’s all pray that God will bless our efforts in 2018 as we study His word.