Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. Revelation 1:3 NIV
I have just finished reading the Bible for 2 hours in the middle of the night as part of our annual Bible Reading Marathon. What a joy to read in the quietness of the night, even though I am in the middle of our town which has an occasional car go by and a train horn blowing in the distance. Several birds are singing their songs to awaken the morning.
I remember when we started this Bible Reading 8 years ago. My daughter-in-love had participated in Birmingham’s Bible reading for a couple of years. I remember thinking, “The believers in Tuscaloosa should be able to pull off a continuous Bible reading marathon.”
So the questions arise, “Why do this? Is this a gimmick? What benefit is it, if no one is listening? Is there a purpose, if no one is called to respond?”
I wrote the following, which is posted for the readers at the event.
WHY the Bible Reading Marathon?
- It’s scriptural to read the Bible aloud. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. I Tim.4:13.
- Because WE CAN. We still live in a country in which WE CAN read the Bible in the public square.
- It builds faith for those who read. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
- We are pronouncing God’s word and purpose over our community and state. Since confession carries the idea of agreeing with God’s perspective- when we read, we are declaring God’s LOVE (HIS WORDS) and desires for our community
- It is an activity that reflects the UNITY of the ONE CHURCH in our community. Readers are participants from over 30 congregations and represent racial diversity with Chinese, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian and others.
Personally, God speaks to me every time I read. Even when I read through all of the genealogy of names in 1 Chronicles 1-9, God revealed His love for the generations. I love to see the joy of those who are thankful for the privilege to read God’s word aloud over our city.
When I found the verse in Revelation, it was key to my passion to host the Bible Reading Marathon. Even though I understand John is referring to a blessing for reading the book of Revelation, I believe it also applies to all the inspired Word of God.
So, there is a blessing to read God’s word aloud for the one who reads it. It shows honor to the revelation of God and His ways to mankind. When we honor God, it aligns our lives to receive a blessing.
There is also a blessing for those who hear the words. We have families, couples and small groups who come to listen and support each other as they read. Listening to God’s word is like a fresh shower of cleansing over your heart and mind. It washes away the troubles of the world so that we may see God more clearly.
You don’t have to wait for a Bible Reading Marathon to read God’s word aloud. You don’t have to do it publicly to receive insight and blessing. BUT there is a blessing awaiting those who choose to spend their time reading the words of God from His love letter the Bible.
May you find the sweetness of His presence in His word calling you to come and drink. You will be satisfied as with the sweetness of honey. Let me close with words from my reading this morning, Psalm 19:7-14 NIV
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Blessings Love y’all
It is true that we receive a special blessing when reading God’s Word aloud. It is Vickie and my joy to participate in this public reading. Thank you, Greg, for hosting this each year!