There are books you read that can change your perspective. And there are those that can change your life.
I wasn’t yet in my teens when I met a pastor friend of my late mother. I remember telling him and his wife then some of my problems (yes, even children have problems, contrary to what some adults may think). I had wanted to tell my parents first but we were not particularly the kind of family where you are free to discuss everything. They gave me some advice and then the pastor specifically said, that I might like to read the Bible from cover to cover. He said there are many things I could learn from it.
For someone who loves to read, I actually liked his suggestion. I had already read Bible stories for children before as well as some Bible verses but I have not tried reading the Bible in the way he had suggested. And so I did. It has been a practice for me to read through the Bible every few years since then. Each time, I would read something and think, how come I don’t seem to remember this or that part from my reading last time? Ah, it only shows how limited the memory is 🙂
The more I continue to read, the more I realize how realistic the Word of God is. It contains not only happy stories but the whole gamut of challenges that people go through. It not only shows you a loving picture of God but also shows Him as righteous and just. And it shows me how much I still need to grow in grace, how much I still need to understand what loving God really is all about, what it really means to love my neighbor.
Our church here in Butuan City (The Jesus Family Ministries) has started a Cover to Cover reading program of the Bible for a couple of years now. We follow a daily Bible reading plan and then get to discuss our learning and insights in small groups once a week. Now, one interesting point from the program is that we actually have quizzes about our reading! I think that helps challenge the mind to remember what was read 🙂
Reading the Bible now with a group, however, just like when I was reading it by myself still shows me that after all that the characters in the Bible go through and after all that I go through, there is love and there is hope right through those pages. And one can encounter personal change and transformation as one reads this book from cover to cover. I am thankful that God has given us His Word (2 Timothy 3:16).
UPDATE: It is Finished 🙂
We have completed the 3rd booklet of our Cover to Cover Bible reading program just last night! Congratulations to us 🙂 I have done Booklets 1-3 and I look forward to finishing the next ones.
Below are some shots of last night’s graduation. We have the extra blessing of enjoying excellent food courtesy of Atty. Wing Yu, who was not only a very happy graduate but also a very gracious and generous birthday celebrant 🙂