IN LAST WEEK'S POST we discussed the importance of family meals and using the Bible for family devotions. This week I want us to think about Bible reading plans, of which there are many. Navigators, Robert Murray McCheyne, Crossway, Ligonier, and many others have assembled helpful plans. (For more examples go to www.biblereadingplans.com . Some take you through the Bible in 90 days, some in one year, some longer. But for most Christians a Bible reading plan of some sort is essential.
When thinking about a Bible reading plan several principles are important. First, pick a plan and stick with it. “Sticking with it” is the hard part. Second, don’t be a slave to the plan. I would rather read the Bible slowly, study it, and think hard about it than be forced to hurry through it in 12 months just to meet a self-imposed deadline. I read through the Bible about once every 18 months, but I am in no hurry. If it takes more or less time I am OK. The important thing is reading and thinking hard about God’s Word.
Why a plan? Without a plan we just tend to read our favorite parts of the Bible over and over. A plan forces us to regularly read books we find less exciting. For me that would be Leviticus, Job, Ecclesiastes, and some of the minor prophets. For you it might be different. However, Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1). That means that it is all—even your less favorite books—part of his revelation to fallen humanity, and it needs to be faithfully read. Besides the more we read the unpleasant books the more pleasant they become.
The important principle is this. Read the Bible! It is the Word of God. It raises the dead. It is a message from heaven. In fact, it is God’s thoughts. The less you read it the less you will want to. But, the more you read it, the more you will want to. So, get involved in a Bible reading plan!