Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bible Reading Plans: Quantity Time with God

I decided long ago that I wasn't a Bible Reading Plan Guy. Most plans have you march through about 4 chapters per day, in order to read the entire Bible in a year. I think reading the entire Bible in a year is a wonderful goal, yet personally... I like to slow down a bit.

When I was a young man and young Christian, I would sometimes spend hours each morning in prayerful reading of God's word. Yet even then, I think I only made it through a couple chapters each day. It doesn't take long to read 3 or 4 chapters, but it does take a long time to ponder them. When God says that we grow not through simply reading the Bible but through meditating on it, I take this to mean that we need to read slowly--and take notes, too.

Another reason I kept away from reading plans is because I like the flexibility of choosing which book (or section of the Bible) to study on a roughly month to month basis.


I think the time has come for a change. The pendulum has swung. I'm somewhat satisfied with the quality of my time in God's word, but not satisfied with my progress through the different sections of Scripture. I want to read through the entire Bible in this coming year.

So yesterday I test drove a reading plan. It was a nice model, especially given that I'm starting this in April rather than January. This one picks up at the beginning of Mark, 1 Corinthians, and Joshua in April - so I'm not landing in the middle of those books. It also picks up at Psalm 72, and it just so happens I read through the first 71 psalms this year already.

It looked like a winner. But you know... I'm not so sure. It was very distracting to try to read 8 verses of Mark, 17 verses of 1 Corinthians, 2 chapters of Joshua, and then a psalm to boot. What am I going to sink my teeth into?

So, great. That lasted one whole day.

So now I'm thinking this way. Most plans are roughly four chapters per day. And if you do that, you can have 5 catch-up days per month and still read all 1189 chapters of the Bible within a year. So I might just choose which 100 chapters to read each month, and just keep ticking off which books of the Bible I've read until I finish up next March. So for example, this month I could read Job (42 chapters), Mark (16), Philippians (4), and 38 more psalms. We're teaching in Job, and preaching on Philippians, so that's the reason for those two choices.

It will be interesting to see which is the last book standing next March...

If I get that far!

(Hope I do, though.)

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