It’s that time of year for reflection, rejoicing, renewal and planning. We look back to assess 2009 and face the new year with prayerful hope and expectation. One serious undertaking is considering which Bible reading plan I am going to embark on. Last year, I started with reading the Bible chronologically with many others in our church. However, I got sooooo hungry for reading more of the New Testament that I decided to drop that one. I switched to an old favorite by Professor Horner. It is an intense, vigorous but wonderful Bible-reading program! I read the 10 chapters a day in my more youthful college-years but 4 (almost 5) children later, it’s difficult to find the time to keep up with it. I do highly recommend it though!
Another favorite of mine is the M’Cheyne bible reading plan. It goes through the Bible, reading 4 readings a day. It’s separated for family worship and private reading but some like to read one part in the morning and the other in the evening.
This year, I found something that can go on my ipod. YouVersion has 20+ reading plans that you can choose from. I wanted to read through the OT once and the NT twice and well, there it was! There are many websites that offer a list of reading plans but you can start with looking at the ones I’ve linked to in the side bar.
Whichever plan you choose, remember, this is only a plan. I find that often a reading calendar is a source of pride or fall. “Yup, I’m totally caught up!” with a little air of self-satisfaction. Or, too often, with shame and discouragement, “I dropped off the schedule by the end of February.” It was good to read this blog where it was mentioned that a Bible-reading plan is not something that is to bind the conscience. Too often, it’s another checklist or resolution that invokes guilt and resentment instead of being the tool that it is. To have a Bible reading plan is to have a plan. It puts “a sense of organization and structured thinking to a Christian’s life. If I don’t follow the calendar every exact day, it’s no big deal. The main thing is that I would organize my schedule and delight in God’s inscribed Word…”
Undoubtedly, reading and meditating on God’s Word is foundational in our Christian walk and discipline. May the glory of God be deeply impressed on our heart, souls and minds this year as we delight in His Word!
“Remember, it is not hasty reading, but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest, and strongest Christian.” Thomas Brooks
“It was only yesterday, after laying down the Bible, that I wondered what kind of mind I would have had if I had not the Book of God, the Book containing the astounding idea of ‘from everlasting to everlasting,’ the development of all that is worth knowing … One would think, that as I have critically and, I think, devoutly read and examined every verse, every word in the Bible, some a score of times over, I should not require to open the pages of that unspeakable blessed Book. Alas, for the human memory! I read the Bible today with the same feeling I ever did, like the hungry when seeking food, the thirsty when seeking drink, the bewildered when seeking counsel and the mourner when seeking comfort. Don’t you believe all this? For alas, I read it sometimes as a formal thing, though my heart condemns me afterwards … I am yet astonished at my own ignorance of the Bible!” Robert Mofatt