Over the years, I’ve tried several Bible reading plans, meeting more success with some than with others. Some take you through the whole Bible in a year chronologically. Others choose a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Psalms every day. In fact, here is a brief list of some you might check out:
You Version – The most versatile online program with multiple versions, plans, social networking tools, and an app for most mobile formats.
Discipleship Journal – These are the plans that we have used at our church in the past.
Bible Plan - Several different options listed on one page. You can go online to read or have the daily reading emailed to you.
For me, I’m going to try something different. Last year, I used a chronological Bible to read the whole thing through in one year. While I found it really beneficial and encouraging, there was one thing that bothered me. I was in my daily reading finding myself in an entirely different part of Scripture than what was being preached at church on Sundays and then discussed in our community group on Wednesday evenings. While variety is good, I found myself thinking about how much I would enjoy having all areas of life be centered on a few key verses each week.
So this year, I’m going to do something new and try to integrate my personal devotion time with the community of faith where our family worships. I think this makes sense for a few reasons:
- It is anchored by the belief that there is something vitally unique and important about the preaching of the Word in the context of God’s people. This will hopefully list up that time of preaching in my mind and heart to the place it should be.
- It will allow me to meditate more fully on a single text each week and ask the Holy Spirit to deeply affect me with those truths.
- It will focus my mind and my heart in a single direction for a sustained period of time.
- It will aid my Scripture memory, allowing me to choose a single key verse from the weekly passage to continue to practice each day.
If any of the above reasons resonate with you, then maybe you’ll want to join me. Obviously, this approach will work more cleanly if you’re in a church that practices systematic expositional preaching because you’ll know what’s coming week after week. So if you’re interested, here’s what I would suggest as a starting point:
- Contact your pastor or church office to see if you can get an outline of the upcoming texts.
- Buy a journal so that each day you can reflect deeply on the single passage that you are reading over and over again.
- Buy a commentary on the book of the Bible you will be in for the beginning of the year so that, once you have read the text several times, you can dig in further and study it in greater depth.
Here’s to 2012 – another year of studying, meditating on, and internalizing the Word of God, and putting into practice the belief that the community of faith is vitally important to the people of God.