October 21
Read Luke 4:16–32

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures? —Matt. 21:42

It is a devastating thought of how little is left of greatness when all that our Bible has inspired vanishes. The most thrilling part of any spiritual enterprise is never statistical, and yet I find myself attracted in passing to look upon the labor which someone has undertaken to tell us about the Bible. The Sacred Writ contains 3,566,480 letters, 773,692 words, 31,173 verses, 1,189 chapters, and 66 books. The middle verse, he says, is Psalm 118:18. The longest verse is Esther 8:9, the shortest John 11:35.

In a busy day like ours, we would find a set of statistics showing us how we could read these great truths to be of much more value than their technical aspects. Here is one method, not necessarily the best, but at least one set of statistics showing how a busy person can gain a knowledge of the Bible.

There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 chapters in the New Testament. This makes our previous accounted total of 1,189 chapters in the entire Bible. If we will read three chapters every day and five chapters each Sunday, we can finish reading the entire Bible in just one year. Or, if we desire to read the New Testament alone, and read two chapters a day, we can finish it in less than twenty weeks. If we read only on Sunday, completing five New Testament chapters each Sunday, he will finish it on the fifty-second Sunday. In one afternoon we can begin with Luke’s Gospel and at one sitting read the remainder of the New Testament to be thrilled forever with its moving story of power.

O GOD, Thou who art the Father of lights, illumine, we pray Thee, our minds with those flashes of divine insight which are ever near unto us and which are ours only for time to make their discovery. Amen.

First Methodist Church, Shenandoah, Iowa