I love reading. I remember being in Grad School and having to make a reading plan in order to accomplish all of the reading in the various books that needed to be read. If each day I read 17 pages in this book, 24 pages in this book, 14 pages in this book and 12 pages in that book then I would successfully finish all the books in the allotted timeframe. For me, there's something about checking off those little boxes each day that provides a sense of accomplishment.
I've always loved Bible reading plans as well. Long before apps were a thing, I remember the first reading plan I saw in the back of my Student Application Bible, "Through the Bible in 1 Year". I remember those glorious little black boxes that were just begging to be checked off. Fast forward to the introduction of apps like YouVersion and others, reading plans and "Verses of the Day" have become all the rage. Countless people receive a "Verse of the Day" right in their inbox each and every morning. There's no arguing that these types of apps, reading plans and inbox verses have allowed perhaps 100's of millions of people to be exposed to the truth and power of God's Word. I'm thankful that someone had the idea and follow through to make each of these tools a reality.
Here's my challenge with these types of tools. While they're fantastic, they can also serve to cheapen our study of God's Word. If our desire is to deepen our understanding of God's Word then we must push past a "verse of the day" depth. If we desire to dig deeper then we must be less concerned with checking off our daily box that represents our completed chapters and more concerned with more fully understanding what it is that we're reading.
What if our desire was less about getting through the Bible and more concerned with getting the Bible through us. What if our commitment was to not push on to the next verse or chapter but to stay put until we fully understand this verse's implication for our lives. What if success wasn't the amount of times we've completely read through the Bible and instead was defined by how successfully we had lived out the Scripture that we had read.
Don't misunderstand me. I love the apps, I love the reading plans, I love the verses of the day but let's be cautious and ensure that we're digging in and not just skimming the surface of what God has for us. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.