Is it okay to read for mileage?

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “I have treasured your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Is it okay to read for milage?”
This morning I want us to continue our thinking from yesterday regarding becoming increasingly familiar with God by keeping yourself immersed in the story of God (the Bible). I also noted yesterday that the more familiar you are with God and His story, the more you will develop a feel for God. A feel for God is a subtle sense (call it a gut-check if you will), that something is or is not from God. The well-known Southern Baptist leader Dr. James Merritt once said, “The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible, but to know God.”
I’ve mentioned before that I have the personal habit of reading the Bible cover-to-cover at least once each year, usually twice. I do that precisely to keep myself immersed in the story of God. (It’s true that it’s also important to slow down and do deep Bible studies of individual books, and to do character studies of people in the Bible, and to memorize verses and passages, but there’s great value in reading cover-to-cover as well).
Shortly after I became a Christian, I was reading a biography of the great missionary to China Dwight L. Moody. In his letters and writings Moody often spoke of his personal goal of reading the Bible cover-to-cover forty times before he died, and he kept his friends and readers updated about his progress over the years. He wrote in glowing terms about his increasing familiarity with God as a result of staying immersed in the story of God.
Moody’s example inspired me to set a similar goal. Since reading his story, I’ve also learned of many other famous Christians who had a personal goal of reading the Bible cover-to-cover a certain number of times, and who said so, including John Calvin, Billy Graham, James Dobson, and many others.   
The obvious concern about this kind of reading is that it’s little more than “reading for milage”. You have a set number of chapters to read each day and so you just plow ahead to get through it, and as a result, your reading is superficial instead of deep. Well, yes, that can happen. But that’s why we should also participate in some of the other Bible study methods I referred to earlier. Every form of Bible study has its benefits and its weaknesses.
“Reading for milage” is just another way of saying, “I have a goal to read five chapters a day”. If you do that, you will read the entire Bible in a year. I encourage you to try it.
God bless,
Pastor Jim   
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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