Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3 NIV

Two weeks from today, on Sunday May 2nd, we will host our 7th Annual Tuscaloosa Bible Reading Marathon in front of the First Baptist chapel. Last year because of COVID we changed and held a Bible Reading Hour of Power. We divided the Bible into 3 chapter segments and had people read all over our city from 2 to 3 pm in their homes, yards, on top of their homes, and in public places. The entire Bible was read over our city,aloud, in one hour.

This year, we are back to the platform of reading it aloud consecutively one chapter after the other from Genesis to Revelation. Once we start at 2:00 in the afternoon, we will have readers take 15 minute segments to read for the next 80 hours to complete the reading the entire Bible, aloud.

I want to share some of the scriptures that inspire me to invite people to participate in this public reading of the Bible. If you live in the Tuscaloosa area, please feel free to sign up for a 15 minute reading by following this link. Next Sunday, I will share some of the highlights and testimonies of people throughout our the years of reading.

  • There is a blessing when the Bible is read.
    • Our verse today, Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near Revelation 1:3, clearly states that there is a blessing for those who read the word and for those who hear it and put it into practice. For those who are shy about reading aloud, we invite you to come and sit to listen to the word of God being read
  • We are commanded to engage in the public reading of the scriptures.
    • Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. I Timothy 4:13
    • At the present time in America, we are still free to read God’s word publicly
  • Faith increases when God’s word is read and heard
    • So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by hearing Romans 10:17 NKJV
    • When a person reads aloud they engage more of their 5 senses. Speech engages the ears. Hearing engages the spiritual man.
  • There is power in God’s word
    • God’s word penetrates to bring conviction and freedom.
    • For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
  • We align ourselves with God’s breath when we speak His words aloud
    • Inspiration means God breathed. 
    • All Scripture is (inspired) God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
    • To speak is to use our breath to form words. Speaking God’s words is a privilege and honor.
  • We are commanded to keep His words in our mouths. 
    • Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
    • Our lips speak, our heart meditates, both are needed.
  • Listening to God and loving God are connected
    • This passage is known in Jewish culture as the Shema (listen or hear). It is similar to the Lord’s Prayer for Christians.
    •  Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIV
  • Speaking God’s word beseeches heaven to impact our world.
    • Ezekiel spoke to the heavenlies for dry bones to live. God was asking Ezekiel to speak what God was already working to accomplish, bringing back the dead from captivity
    • Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  Ezekiel 37:4-5 NIV
  • Reading God’s word aloud attributes honor to the Word of God. We follow that which we honor.
    • Then Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” with the raising of their hands; then they kneeled down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.  Nehemiah 8:5-6
    • All of chapter 8 of Nehemiah is worth the read.
    • As Ezra is reading, the Levites explain what is being read and the people adjust their lives to the word of God.

May you be inspired to read God’s word aloud, often. Many have enjoyed listening to the word of God being read on a variety of Bible apps. May you experience all of the joy and benefits of the reading of God’s word.

Also remember to pray, encourage and support ministries that are translating God’s word for people groups who have never heard it before. We are abundantly privileged with multiple Bibles and many versions to read, hear and understand God’s word for our lives.

Share the Tuscaloosa Bible Reading link with a friend. For our online followers of pastorgregonline, I invite you to read God’s word aloud with us during May 2nd – 5th. Come together with family and/or friends to read God’s word aloud, May 2nd through May 5th, 2021.

Blessings Love y’all