This is article #6 of Observations Gleaned from the Scriptures by JaneEllen.
I hope those of you reading this blog did the experiment I suggested last week from Philippians 2:1-18. There are no right or wrong answers to your discoveries. If we listen to the Bible, it has a way of bringing to light the things each of us needs to live a righteous and Godly life.
Let me tell you about another experiment that I did. In 2014 the Yearly Bible Reading Schedule for the church where I was worshiping was to read the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts. There are 52 chapters in those two books. So using the math, we were to read one chapter everyday for a week. After finishing the Book of Luke, I realized that with this type of reading I was understanding and retaining more of what I was reading than I ever had before. When I started reading the Book of Acts, I decided to start taking notes on each chapter. After completing the reading of Acts, I did not want to stop reading the Bible one chapter a week. In 2015, I found out that there are 260 chapters in the New Testament and it would take five years to complete the New Testament reading one chapter a week.
I shared this information with a friend of mine and since we are two old retired school teachers, we decided to embark on this journey. But we went a step further. In addition to reading one chapter everyday for a week, we decided to copy the chapter each week. This became very labor intensive, but we kept going. We took spiral notebooks, drew a line down the middle of the page, and copied the Scriptures on the right side of the page exactly from the Bible using the ESV version. On the left side we wrote down our research, word study, archeology, geography, our ideas of what we thought the Scriptures were saying, etc. At one point we actually purchased two copies of Josephus and tried to wade through his writings. Once a week we got together to discuss and share what we each had discovered separately. We had a blast!
In 2016 my friend suggested that we start memorizing a verse or verses from each of the chapters that we thought best reflected what we learned in the chapter. We finished the New Testament in January 2020. At that time, we had copied all but the Book of Acts using this format (Acts was copied in a different format) and memorized over 200 verses of scripture. We also wrote these verses on flash cards and said them to each other when we got together.
There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament. Doing the math studying and copying the Old Testament one chapter a week would take just under 18 years. Now you remember that I told you we were two old retired teachers. We probably don’t have 18 more years left to do this. When we realized the time we needed to complete the task, we just laughed and started on the Minor Prophets simply because they were the shortest books. Covid-19 shut us down, but we continued separately until we decided we wanted to get back into the New Testament for additional study.
Why am I telling you this story? Because we found out that reading the Scriptures to really listen to what God has to say, copying what He said, memorizing some of what He said and studying together is a great way to retain more of what God wants us to know. Do most of us have the time to do this? Unfortunately, no.
Let me suggest that if you would copy just a few verses of your daily Bible reading everyday and memorize one verse a week you will be astounded what you will learn and retain.
I heard it said one time that if you took a subject that you knew nothing about and read five minutes a day in five years you would be an expert in that subject. And if you read for fifteen minutes a day at the end of ten years you would be the world’s foremost authority on the subject. I don’t know how true this is, but it sounds plausible.
The Bible is a different kind of book. You will never learn all there is to know about it but if you are not reading at least five minutes a day you certainly are not learning how God wants you to live. 2 Peter 1:3 says God has “granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him.” Knowledge of God comes through reading the Bible. 2 Peter 1:4 says that “He has granted to us His precious and very great promises.” Don’t cheat yourself out of His great and precious promises by failing to read His Word.
Until next time, I remain with a song in my heart. JaneEllen