For centuries they have been the sacred treasures of all people who seek to know God, understand his ways and find wisdom for this life and beyond. The Psalmist urges us to consider carefully the things written in God's word. If we do, the reward will be immense (Psalm 1:1-2).
In ancient times, God spoke to the people of Israel and urged them to seek the counsel of his word: "This book of law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do all that is written in it; for then you shall make your way prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)
It is this Word of God in written form that Paul tells us is "God-breathed" and "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) The written texts provide us with an accurate preservation of God's counsel across the ages. They make God's word available for careful study and discussion, which leads to better understanding and more complete obedience to his will.
Finally, God's words in writing make God's message accessible to the whole world. The truths and inspiration of Scripture translate across all languages and cultural barriers.
Based upon this high view of the Scriptures, we want to encourage - even challenge - everyone in Illini Life to a careful and complete reading through the Bible. There are many ways to plan out such a project, but we would like to suggest two. They are both based on a two-year time table. We think this time frame will allow for a more careful reading and less guilt-laden feelings than the one-year plans that are so common.