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There are times when the gist of a passage is not enough. Reread this account of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness:


Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:1-4).


I think it’s safe to assume that Jesus knew the gist of scripture. Yet He quotes God’s Word itself to dispense with the temptation. While certainly a good reason in itself for memorizing scripture, God’s Word provides a jumping off point for praise and worship, which the gist of passages doesn’t seem to do. The memorized Word renews the mind, leading to a transformed life. In Romans 12:2, Paul says not to be conformed to this world, but instead to be transformed. How? By renewing your mind and seeing life from God’s perspective (truth) not the world’s perspective (lies).


The Five Day Bible Reading Schedule is one of the most popular reading plans in the world. In 2020 it was downloaded over 100,000 times, in numerous countries on every continent except Antarctica (what are those penguins doing down there? Does anyone know a penguin trainer who could get them to download the Schedule?). It’s been used all over the world by people who want to build the habit of daily Bible reading. The bottom line: it works. Reading five days a week is a do-able pace that will build the Word into your life!

You can choose to read the entire Bible, or just the New Testament (or just the Old Testament.) Take your pick and follow the plan.