In his book, Brian relates the story of how God changed his heart through daily reading of Scripture.
“When I was a kid, I used to sit in church and listen to missionaries tell of a distant Africa or the dangers of China… Like most of my friends, I cringed at the idea. It actually made me NOT want to pray too much or get overly serious for fear God might ask me to live in a hut and drink water that people did their laundry and perhaps other business in.”
As you can see, ministry – or at least a ministry that called him out of his comfort zone – was the last thing on his mind. He worked in the Christian music industry for years but found his faith faltering. He found it difficult to read the Bible with regularity, and felt he didn’t get much out of it when he did. And then he had a realization:
“It’s vital that we not only know certain verses than can provide comfort, but that we allow the Bible to unfold and guide us in the way its meant to. We can’t just make it into a sound bite because doing that doesn’t lead us into the richness of its texture and into the life it speaks of. If we want to live in the hope that Scripture offers, we need to engage deeply and in context.”
When he decided to read the Bible daily – and out loud in the form of a podcast – he began to understand the grand story and themes laid out throughout the Bible that you can only grasp if you read it in its entirity.
Other people started listening and reading aloud with him, and DailyAudioBible.com was born. As the community grew and people started coming to him with honest struggles and questions about their faith, God grew Brian. It became a full time ministry that he continues to this day.
“Just as our bodies need a balanced diet, our souls require a steady diet of Scripture… He offers us 31,173 nutrient-rich verses about himself and encourages us to feast! Inexplicably, we choose to fast instead… The Bible is life-giving – it revives every famished heart and breathes resurrection power into deathbed souls.”
After telling his story, he goes into detail about how to experience the changes he did.
* Embrace the whole truth – don’t pick and choose.
* Expect to be challenged.
* Make the Bible Plan A (not plan B) – don’t go to it only in need
The last 50 pages of the book are full of suggested plans for reading through the Bible in a year. He lays out schedules for reading it along with the Daily Audio Bible community – which reads from several sections of Scripture at the same time- as well as reading it chronologically and historically.
I have to admit that I’ve never read through the Bible in a year – or even in its entirity. One of the things that I appreciate about our denomination – and the Reformed faith in general – is that Scripture is looked at holistically. No part of it is obsolete, and every part of it has to be examined within the larger story and structure of God’s words.
I very much valued our last pastor’s practice of choosing a book of the Bible and preaching all the way through it – verse by verse. Sometimes it took a year to get through the whole book, but I loved the depth of understanding we gained by not skipping around.
“I began to realize that God wasn’t asking me to read the Bible once and check it off my things-to-do-before-you-die list. This was to be a way of life for me.”
Listening to Scripture in addition or instead of reading it appeals to me, so I’ll be joining the people over at the Daily Audio Bible, listening to Brian read each day. On that page you’ll also find readings in several languages (even Japanese – yay!) and a special reading for children. Brian has also published a Passages Bible (NIV) in ebook format to help you follow along with the reading schedule.
Do you regularly read through the Bible? What kid of schedule do you follow?
This book was provided to me for review by LitFuse. I was not required to write a positive review. To read more blogger reviews of this book, click here.