This is the time of year that many think about making commitments to read the Bible more regularly in the coming year. I highly encourage everyone who desires to radically follow Christ in 2013 to prayerfully consider ways to engage the Word of God more regularly. One of the tools that many have found useful (including myself) is a Bible Reading Plan. There are a myriad of plans available, and Justin Taylor just posted an article this week on the Gospel Coalition Blog giving lots of helpful advice about following a Bible reading plans, as well as several links to some great plans. (see that article here)
Several years ago, I created my own Bible Reading Plan, and have been using it ever since. Everyone needs to find a plan that will fit them, and since I didn’t find one, I created my own. For those who are interested in it, you can find it on our website HERE.
Here are the essentials of the Bible Reading Plan I created, and use:
1. It covers “about” 2 chapters a day
2. it goes through a complete book of the Bible at a time (so you’re not jumping from book to book day after day). When you start a book, you’ll stay in that book until you finish it.
3. it switches between OT books and NT books. In other words, after you finish an OT book, then you’ll start reading through a NT book.
4. between books, you’ll spend a few (2 or 3) days in Psalms and Proverbs. Some don’t like this but I like it for two reasons. One, going through Psalms and Proverbs all at once is like drinking water out of a fire hydrant. They were meant to be absorbed in shorter, more bite-sized sections. Two, these days give me a moment to pause and reflect over the previous book, and spend time in private worship before moving into the next book.
5. It is a two-year plan. In two years you will go through the NT (and Psalms and Proverbs) twice, and the OT (and Revelation) once. Why? Again, this is mainly just my personal Bible reading plan, and the NT books, and Psalms and Proverbs tend to be the ones that feed my faith the most and turn my affections toward Jesus the most.
If this plan works for you, great! If one of the ones Justin Taylor suggests works for you, awesome! If you want to try your hand at creating your own, fantastic!
My encouragement would just be to pick one, and start. Don’t be legalistic. If you miss a day, catch up if you can. If you start to miss several days in a row, then just pick up where you should be on the day, and don’t fret the stuff you missed. The key is not to complete a Bible Reading Plan, but to spend more time communing with Jesus. So, use it as a tool to help you in that regard, but extend yourself some grace when you get behind (like I always do).
Let me know what has or has not worked for you…and feel free to share some stories about Bible reading in general and Bible Reading Plans in particular that might be helpful to others.