Bible Reading Plan 2009

Bible Reading Plan

I know a guy that reads through the Bible each month. It’s crazy, but God uses him in great ways. I have tried a couple of times just to read the Bible in a month and have never made it. This year I got a head start and I have read about 15% of the Bible before January so I am hoping to get through the rest in the month of January. I purchased an ESV with journal portions on the side. I am not sure how I feel about this Bible translation yet since some of it seems to be so literal it makes it a bit funny to read but I know that I hate the 7.5 size font so I’ll only be reading and praying through this particular Bible one time and then putting it up on the shelf.

Reading through God’s word is probably the most important thing that you can do as a Christian to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. It really is easier than you think to read through God’s word and the benefits are probably a lot greater than you are aware of. To read without getting behind just read as much as you are able on a day and if you don’t get to read for a day or two don’t sweat it. Most people can easily get through the Bible in six months.

I have tried reading through in a chronological Bible, setting up a certain number of chapters a day to read and many different methods but the only one that has really worked for me is just creating a list like the one above with every chapter of the Bible and marking it off as I read along. That way if I don’t get to read one day I am not behind. Also there are days where I have extra time and read more than I normally would so it evens out. Sometimes I feel a little bogged down in the Old Testament so I will take that day and read in the New Testament or even read from a few different places.

Some of you that are very, disciplined might enjoy better a specific reading plan but I think most of the population does better with something like this. May I present a challenge to you? Shoot to read through the whole Bible in less than 6 months. You will find that you grow in ways that you never expected as you read through God’s word in this way. You might want to challenge a friend to read through the Bible as well and that way you can get together once a week or so and share with each other what God has been teaching you as you read through his word.

How to Read through the Bible and keep your reading fresh and life giving instead of a drudgery.

1. Read to hear from God. Don’t read to read.
2. Reflect on what God speaks to you about. When the spirit of God highlights something for you make sure you highlight it, underline it or somehow note it. Sometimes I stop right then and reflect. Other times I look over the two or three things the Holy Spirit has brought to the front of my mind and I reflect on those things.
3. Record in a journal, the back of your Bible or somewhere.
4. Respond to God in prayer and worship.

Bible Reading Plan 4X6 Index Card

You can also go to Bible Reading Chart to get the bulk of this post and the chart in a 8 1/2 by 11 printable format. If you can’t print the Index Card for some reason and would really like one to tape to your Bible email me with your mailing address and I’ll send you one. I hope and pray that 2009 is a year that will help you to become more like Jesus.

Biblical Meditation and Prayer

Andy Davis had a great talk on Biblical Mediation and Prayer that you can listen to courtesy of the Resurgence website. It’s definitely soul food. After listening to it this morning I spent some time meditating on Psalm 119 and was really encouraged. Hopefully it will bless you as well. One warning. It’s really long. Maybe 75 minutes. [podcast]http://assets.theresurgence.com/files/audio/andy_davis_2007-05-23_cultivating_biblical_meditation_and_prayer.mp3[/podcast]

Scripture Memory-A Dead easy way to soak your mind the Word

One time in college I had been working on memorizing James Chapter 1. At that time the phone was in my name so I was responsible for figuring out who made what calls and then totaling up the calls and adding the tax and then collecting the money from each of my suite mates. One month there were a number of calls that I was fairly certain belong to a suite mate of mine but could not prove it so I ended up eating the cost of the phone calls. The next month there were again some of the same unclaimed calls that I knew had to have come from this person.

 

After reading the bill, I remember leaving my room ticked off, my pace and heartbeat quickening as I entered the hallway. At the base of the stairs I jumped up to the third stair. In Mid air this verse hit me. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Knowing that I had quickly become angry I turned around in mid air and went back to my room. OK. I didn’t really turn around in mid air but I did turn and go back down the stairs so I could cool off.

 

The times when God has brought to mind something from his word to challenge, motivate or encourage me are too numerous to count. God’s word is powerful and active. It’s living. It changes and shapes who you are. What better to be shaped by than the word of God?

 

I would like to share with you a simple method for allowing God’s word to sink deep into your own life and to be always a part of you so that if God chooses to speak to you, you will be ready to hear it. I call it the 1-2-3 Scripture Memory Method. Because you will have three steps for the verse before you have it memorized.

 

Preparation Step 1. First take out the top four cards and write: Daily, Twice a Week, and Weekly, and Memorized on one card so that you now have four cards.

 

Preparation Step 2. Write out any verses you already have totally memorized. These you can place in the memorized pile. Though it doesn’t take much time if you don’t review a verse that you have memorized once in a while you will forget it.

 

  1. Work on a verse each day (at least 5 times during the week) until you feel that you have it down pretty well.
  2. After you can say it without looking for two days transfer it to the 2 times a week pile and continue to review the verse. This will stretch your retention time and continue to allow you to work on it. You may want to pick two specific days like Tuesday and Friday.
  3. Finally move it to the weekly pile. This will further stretch you retention time and help you to know if you really have it memorized. Don’t hesitate to move a verse back a pile if you come to realize that you didn’t know a verse as well as you thought.

Is Reading Your Bible a Downer?

If reading your Bible is a downer I am guessing that one of two things is happening in your life:

1. You are on some sort of reading plan and you are behind and you feel pressure to catch up but you never seem to quite catch up.

2. You aren’t in the word frequently enough or long enough to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to you.

I have started writing a book for students on getting into God’s word but I wanted to post a summery here for anyone that is making disciples and would like to use it.  I know there have been times in my ministry where it seemed like it took effort to read the Bible for my own personal benefit and not just to teach.

Here are 4 steps I learned from a Pastor named Ralph (don’t ask me his last name because I couldn’t tell you even to rewind the clock so the Yankees could beat the Tigers) to keep reading the Bible fresh.

1. Read to hear from God. Don’t read to read.

2. Reflect on what God speaks to you about. When the spirit of God highlights something for you make sure you highlight it, underline it or somehow note it. Sometimes I stop right then and reflect. Other times I look over the two or three things the Holy Spirit has brought to the front of my mind and I reflect on that.

3. Record in a journal, the back of your Bible or somewhere.

4. Respond to God in prayer and worship.

You can download a Bible Reading Chart here that lets you go at your own pace and will probably help you accomplish reading it quicker than if you had a certain amount to read each day.  It also has a reminder of the four points above.