Read Scripture Blog: Week 12

Today, I just want to share a very practical and (hopefully) helpful tip for you as you continue in the faithful commitment of reading through God’s Word in a year. The idea is simple, but the effect can be profound.
As with every task that we take on in life, reading the entire Bible can be overwhelming. It can be like remodeling your house, writing your research paper, or taking on a huge task at your work – where do you even start? How do you make sure to finish well? If we try to tackle the entire project at once, seeing the big picture, but not focusing in on the details (because it’s overwhelming to look at the details!), then we risk being overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and not even getting started!
So, if looking at all the details can be overwhelming and looking at only the big picture can be overwhelming, then how can we tackle a big project in a way that we can finish it well? Well, I think part of the answer lies in how we approach the task. One of the most effective and practical lessons I have learned in taking on bigger projects, is to spend intentional time breaking down the project into manageable chunks. Break down your remodel into several manageable steps, listing the materials and work needed for each step. Break down your research paper into manageable points, sorting the research into each of those paragraphs. Break your task at work into manageable processes, working out the needs and procedure for each process. In the end though, focus on practicality over generality.
Let’s look at reading the Bible then. The Bible is naturally broken down into two major portions – the New Testament and the Old Testament. But beyond that, you can break down both of those portions. The New Testament can be broken down into a historical section (Matthew-Acts) and a correspondence section (Romans-Revelation). The Old Testament can be broken down in multiple sections: the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy), the historical books (Joshua-Esther), the poetic books (Job-Song of Solomon), and the prophetic books (Isaiah-Malachi). You could even break down each of those sections into smaller chunks!
The result is that you have smaller, more manageable goals to set for yourself while methodically tackling the bigger task at hand! Once you set those goals though, it is important to celebrate accomplishing them, so that as you reach them you have the momentum and motivation to keep going. So, this week specifically, we can celebrate finishing two books and look forward to finishing more! As we press on, however, let’s not forget to enjoy the process itself!