Many folks have wisely made New Year’s resolutions related to reading the Bible. Most of the resolutions include some sort of plan for reading the entire Bible in the year.
I have done this in the past, but am not resolving to read the entire Bible this year. I have used some of the reading formats which dictate a particular number of chapters per day for the 365 days of the year. In fact, in 2013, I finished reading from Genesis to Revelation. It was a very rewarding experience.
If you approach your Bible reading plan with a genuine desire to hear from the Lord, just about any plan will be edifying. However, the check off the chapters method does have some inherent dangers involved. The first danger is to read your Bible simply to check off a to-do task. That isn’t the best motivation.
The other danger is that guilt quickly arises if you fall behind the plan. Humans tend to respond to this kind of guilt by giving up altogether. That certainly is no good.
The plan I began a few months ago is the one that I am continuing into and throughout 2014. I plan to focus in on one particular book of the Bible at a time. Each day I read at least one chapter from that book. If the book is only a few chapters, I will try to read the entire book in one sitting.
At the end of one of those smaller books, I may move on to another book the next day, or I may camp out in that book for some time. Earlier this year, I camped out in Ephesians for several weeks. Many days I read all six chapters. At other times, I would read three chapters one day and the other three another day. At other times, I took one chapter a day. By the end of the Ephesians reading, I had soaked in so much of this book.
I have created my own plan to guide me to the next book of reading. Right now I am about to finish up with Genesis. I will then follow my guide to move to another section of the Bible. I have divided the Bible into various sections and move from the Old Testament to the New and then back to the Old. Over the course of time, I will spend more time in the gospels than anywhere. The next most frequent sections will be the other New Testament books.
Here is the plan I have created by moving from section to section.
- OT1 – History (Genesis – 2 Chronicles)
- NT1 (Matthew – Acts)
- OT2 – Writings (Ezra – Song of Solomon)
- NT2 (Romans – Colossians)
- OT3 – Prophets (Isaiah – Malachi)
- NT3 – (1 Thessalonians – Revelation)