December 31, 20120 comments
The Bible is a big book. 66 individuals books. 999 chapters. Roughly 775,000 words. That is a lot of information. Where should you start? At the beginning? In the middle? New Testament? Old Testament? The questions could go on and on.
For many people, the sheer size of the Bible makes the thought of reading it overwhelming. And because they feel overwhelmed, they never actually make much progress in reading it. This is where a Bible reading plan can help.
A reading plan makes thought of reading through the Scriptures manageable. Instead of trying to make it through 999 chapters, you’re focused on 3-4 chapters each day (or more…or less). Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you know that you have a direction. And that helps you keep reading, which is the most important thing of all.
There are a number of Bible reading plans out there. Justin Taylor recently listed several different plans. Most of them are focused on reading through the entire Bible in one year. I think that is a great goal, and for many people, that sort of plan works very well.
But reading through the Bible in one year is not the only plan. In fact, when it comes to reading plans, the best idea is to find something that works for you. If that means it takes you 3 years to make through the entire Bible, then that is great!
For the past several years, I have followed a reading plan that immerses me in individual books of Scripture for an entire month. Basically, I read the same book as many times as I can during the assigned month. So, for example, in January, I might read through 1 Peter. There are 5 chapters in 1 Peter. So, I might be able to read the book 5-6 times before the month is out.
That might seem redundant or even boring. But by the end of January, I know 1 Peter really well! I even find that I have memorized sections of the book, or that I can easily talk through some of the passages with a friend or co-worker. In just one month’s time, I gain a surprising amount of insight and knowledge about one book in the Bible.
Most importantly, I find that 1 Peter begins to shape my life more and more. This is the goal of any Bible reading plan – to get God’s Word into our hearts and minds so that our lives are shaped and defined by God’s truth.
So, find a plan that works for you. Stick with it. And be prepared for how much God’s Word will begin to shape and define your life.