Each year, the New Year arrives surprising fast! It seems the years fly by faster than the previous ones. I’m told that the reason for this is that when we are younger, one year is a much larger percentage of our life. When a year was 1/7 of my life, the years took forever! Now that they are 1/72 of my life, they fly by! It makes sense!
Be that as it may, I’m finding that some of my better habits have been falling by the wayside. There are a few others that need shoring up. I have come across some resources for all of us that you may appreciate or want to modify so you can benefit from them.The areas I need most help with have to do with regular, consistant time in GOD's Word. I tend to meander through, in and out. I have found some things you may want to help you this year. Click To Tweet
1. Reading one book a month…for long books, maybe two months.
I had heard of many of them, but I want to share a couple with you, one of which I plan to modify for myself this year. One was simply to use each month to go through a book of the Bible. For a long book like Isaiah, you could take 2 months. Plan ahead and know which books you plan to for the year…or at least 6 months ahead, and you won’t have to waste time thinking about it each month! It’s easy. It’s not complicated. Make sure you have a study Bible on hand in the version that is most comfortable to you, with the perspective you find most helpful. The church history background (for New Testament books) and history of Israel background (for Old Testament books) always add a wealth of meaning to the books your read. I don’t recommend using gobs of commentaries for your Bible reading unless you have read the passage multiple times and are very familiar with it. Commentaries can throw you off sometimes. The are good for correction (maybe) and addition AFTER you have done your own reading and thinking with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Don’t underestimate the power of simply reading the book over and over. I have found that reading a chapter at a time is helpful. Reading the whole book at one sitting more than once, gives an overview and is helpful to get a better idea of the book and where it is going. Then, as you read smaller sections as part of the whole, they make more sense. You also know the context of verses you may have memorized over the years. Sometimes, you will find you have used them out of context, sometimes not. But you will be able to plug into the richness of the book and what GOD, through the author, was trying to say to a select group of people. Then it gives you a better understanding of how it applies to you in your present context.
2. Choose a 5 day plan to read the Bible through.
This was a new concept to me, but honestly, a sensible one. How many times do you plan to read the Bible through in a year and within the first month, you are days behind! This one is more realistic. It is a chronological plan which I find very helpful in getting all the history figured out. The Psalms are tucked in there too! You have the option of only going through the New Testament. I will connect you to the one link and let you take it from there. It is all free.
3. Professor Horner’s plan
This plan is unique and interesting. It is more complicated for sure. He has divided the Bible into 10 categories. He reads a chapter from each every day. It is meant to be read quickly as an overview. But it is quite a heavy commitment. In some categories, you will go through certain books almost every month or every quarter. Other books you will go through a time or two every year. It is definitely great for a person who teaches the Bible regularly.
I’m going to do a modified version of it. I’m choosing 3 or 4 categories to work through this year, but I’m not going to do all 10. I try to choose realistic goals! I like the concept. I wish I had heard of this plan earlier in my life! It’s a great way to get grounded in the Word of GOD and what its message is for sure. Remember, the goal is to read rapidly and not get caught up the details. It is meant to give you an overview of these books and as you read them all at the same time, you will get a feel for how they relate to each other as well as the similarities from book to book. As you can see, the combinations will all be different at different times of the year.
Challies has some additional plans mentioned that you can peruse. I just shared some that I thought you might not be familiar with or were a little bit more unique.
4. 90 day Bible reading plan
This is a plan I have done and it is surprisingly simple. I enjoyed being able to focus on it for 90 days. I finished reading in close to 100 days. It wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the bird’s eye view of the Bible for sure! The plan I did was also a chronological one as well. It was very interesting to see the order of events and read the same events in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. It all depends on how you want to do your Bible reading. Is reading through the Bible in a year something you want to focus on for the year? Or do you only want it to be part of what you do in the year? When I did this plan, I did it with others. I think it helped us all keep up.
5. Miscellaneous Reading plans
At this site, there are a variety of reading plans available to choose from. Some here have already been mentioned, others haven’t. Take a look and see if there is something here that fits what you would like to use.
6. Bible reading plans at BibleGateway.com
I came across quite a few reading plans including a listening plan, on Biblegateway.com. It works well if you commute to work or are stuck in your car for long drives. So take a look at this site as well and see what they have to offer. They have most of the previously mentioned plans as well as a few extra ones. At this website, you have multiple options available for your translation choice. They have an app for your phone or iPad as well.The encouragement that comes from spending more time in GOD's Word is surprising! There is nothing more encouraging! It helps us know more about GOD and who He is too. So this year, let's spend more time in GOD's Word...and grow. Click To Tweet
A final note about memorizing Scripture and meditating on it.
For this post, I’m going to mention Scripture memory and meditation. It goes hand in hand with our Bible reading. Some keep their Bible reading vital by choosing a passage from where they are reading that week and memorizing it. Personally, I find passages/groups of verses are much easier to memorize because they are in their context and not plucked up alone all by themselves. They teach us something in the grouping. But that is personal preference.
Memorizing the Bible is a way of hiding it in our hearts and giving us an opportunity to think about it at random times. I have especially found it helpful at times when discernment is needed.
Is this true? What is the objective truth that tells me? Truth is a big deal to me. How can I live my life in a certain way if I’m not certain it is based on truth? I have to know. That is why I spent a lot of time being certain the Bible was true. That’s why I have memorized it so I have the words handy when I need them.
So as we go into a New Year, we need to develop new skills. We aren’t doing it to better ourselves in the sense that we want GOD to love us more. He already loves us! If we are in Christ, He already loves us more than we can imagine!
We are doing this for ourselves. The encouragement that comes from spending more time in GOD’s Word is surprising! There is nothing more encouraging! It helps us know more about GOD and who He is too. So this year, let’s spend more time in GOD’s Word…and grow. I’ve given you some resources for doing it!