for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. -Acts 20:27
In Paul’s farewell speech to his beloved family in Ephesus, he makes a startling and yet glorious statement. In his 3 years in that city (Acts 20:31), he taught them the complete counsel of God. He wanted to make sure that they understood the entirety of God’s truth. He didn’t neglect the hard portions of Scripture. He taught them all.
How is your grasp on the whole counsel of God?
I don’t mean that to be a condemning question but an enlightening question. You don’t know where to go until you know where you are first. Where are you in your understanding of Scripture? How much of it have you read so far?
Check out this image below to get a bird’s-eye perspective of how much content is contained within the Bible.
If you looked over this image, you might have realized a few things:
- Psalms is big.
- The Old Testament is actually 3/4 of the content.
- There are some really small books.
- There are some books that you are very unfamiliar with.
- There might even be some books that you forgot were in there.
No worries. Don’t allow this snapshot to overwhelm you. It is a good process to acknowledge where you are and what you need to do next.
There are 929 chapters in the Bible. There are 66 books – 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. That is a lot of glorious information.
I have mentioned that before you attempt a Bible reading marathon, make sure you have completed a few laps. Start with a reasonable plan for where you are and work up from there. By looking at this list, maybe you could find a few books that you could start going through, studying, marking off your progress, and working your way through the whole counsel of God.
Why Bible Reading Is So Important
Through recent conversations in discipleship relationships, I have discovered the need for regular Bible intake. I used to think that reading your Bible was an important discipline, but I now believe that it just might be the most important discipline. Here’s why:
Reading the Bible is the most important habit in life because it will eventually lead you to every other worthwhile habit.
Just think about that for a moment. Can you think of a worthwhile habit that is not prescribed in the Bible? If you get Bible intake down, the others will be addressed. That doesn’t mean you will apply every one, but you will be exposed to every one. You don’t believe me?
- Scripture will teach you a love for the Lord (Deut. 10:12).
- Scripture will teach you principles concerning financial debt (Prov. 22:7).
- Scripture will teach you the need for fasting (Is. 58:6-9).
- Scripture will teach you concerning exercise (1 Tim. 4:8).
- Scripture will teach you regarding marriage (Eph. 5:33).
Do I need to go any further? Scripture has promised to equip the man of God for EVERY good work (2 Tim. 3:17).
There is not a good work in this life that is not addressed by Scripture.
If you get this one habit down, all the others can fall into place. I pray you get into the Word today and every day after that!