Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 1, 2015

Listen Thru the Bible

Many Christ-followers begin each new year with a plan — or with the best of intentions — to read through the Bible over the course of that year. Reading through the Bible in a year is a worthy goal. Bible reading is essential for moving beyond merely knowing about God to knowing God on a more personal level. Bible reading is also a key to discovering God’s will for our lives and to being able to intelligently articulate what we believe.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, his young protégé, that Scripture “is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). To state this another way, the Scripture teaches us the path we should walk (teaching), convicts us when we get off the path (rebuking), shows us how to get back on the path (correcting), and helps us to stay on that path (training).

In previous years, I have followed a variety of read-thru-the-Bible plans. I have two good options on my Bible Teaching Notes website. I also keep a One Year Bible next to my reading chair in my office. I like this Bible because I can check off the passages I have read. Some years I have concentrated on reading a particular genre in Scripture. Whatever plan you choose, the important thing is to stick with it and not give up if you happen to get behind.

Listen Thru the Bible
This year I have decided to do something a little different. Instead of just reading through the Bible, I have decided to also listen my way through the Bible. Thanks to advances in technology, it is easier than ever before in the history of the world to listen to the Scripture being read on our phones or other devices. Listening to the Scripture adds a dynamic dimension to engaging with God’s Word.

In order to make my listening plan more effective and meaningful, I have set the following ground rules.

First, I want to give God my undivided attention. One of the most important things we can give others is our attention — and God is certainly worthy of that. In order to give God my undivided attention I need to find a time to listen and a place that will allow me to remove or minimize distractions.

Second, I want to do more than just hear words being recited, I want to listen. Listening is more than just hearing words. Listening is an active process by which we make sense of what we hear, consider it carefully, and respond accordingly.

Third, I am prepared to rewind and listen to the same passage again and again if necessary in order to get a better grasp on God’s Word. While I fully expect to listen my way through the Bible in 2015, my ultimate goal is not to get through the Scripture but to allow the Scripture to get through to me.

I encourage you to read or listen your way through the Bible this year. And, be sure to ask God to help you burn off the Bible calories you consume by putting what you read and learn into practice.


  1. This article encouraging me a lot. Here I am living in the village is mostly I talks and my people are listening. There are a very few of them who can share from the bible. Some times I be come tired then needed to hearing words. Then I am reading through bible with sounds and I am hearing my own voices. Such a way I am encouraging my self.


    • Keep reading the Bible and teaching others in Bangladesh to do the same. God bless you, Mortuza. I pray that 2015 will be a good year for you as you tell others the good news about Jesus.

  2. Thanks, Omar. I had begun a reading plan yesterday and will also take your advice on “listening”! We just prayed over your family.

    • Thanks, Celia. Look forward to seeing you and Steve more in 2015.

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