Well, another new year is here, and perhaps you need a plan for reading your Bible this year. You may already have a plan, or you may be continuing right where you left off on December 31, 2012. But daily Bible reading, study, and perhaps most importantly meditation, is essential for the Christian to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. (Meditation is a lost discipline; hopefully I will address this in a future post). If you need a plan, there are many excellent ones from which to choose. I was going to compile a list, but thankfully others have done it for me.
But first of all, consider these wise words on how not to read your Bible in 2013:
- Don’t Overextend. “It’s better to read one chapter a day, every day, than four a day, every now and then. Moreover, the value of meditation cannot be overstressed. Meditation isn’t spiritualized daydreaming; it’s riveted reflection on revelation. Read less, if you must, to meditate more. It’s easy to encounter a torrent of God’s truth, but without absorption—and application—you will be little better for the experience.”
- Don’t Do It Alone.
- Don’t Just Do It Whenever. “It is imperative, then, to set a specific time each day when you will get alone with God. Even if it’s a modest window, guard it with your life. … If your basic game plan is to read your Bible whenever, chances are you’ll read it never. And if you don’t control your schedule, your schedule will control you.”
- Don’t Live as if Paul Lied. “”For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Rom. 15:4). …Whenever you open your Bible, labor to believe that God has something here to say to me. Whatever I encounter in his Word was written with me, his cherished child, in view. So pursue God’s graces on the pages of Scripture this year. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow everywhere await.”
- Don’t Turn a Means of Grace into a Means of Merit. “Your Father’s love for you doesn’t rise and fall with your quiet times. If you are united to Jesus by faith, the verdict is out, and the court is dismissed. You’re as accepted and embraced as the Son himself. Period. …So as another year dawns, commit yourself anew to becoming a man or woman of the Word. But don’t overextend, do it alone, just do it whenever, live as if Paul lied, or treat means of grace like means of merit.Your Bible is one of God’s chief gifts to you in 2013. Open, read, ruminate, and obey.”
The folks at Ligonier have complied an excellent list (and pdf downloads) of Bible reading plans.
Here is the strangely-named Bible Eater Plan at the Gospel Coalition.
The website and mobile apps YouVersion offers not only free Bibles for your mobile devices, but also numerous reading plans that you can track online and sync with your devices.
May God give us a hunger and thirst for Him in 2013, and may we be fully satisfied in Him as we feast on His Word.