(Graphic is a freebie from Baptist Bible Hour -- a great source for gorgeous Scripture graphics)
It's January first, and I've just started again on my more-or-less annual trip through the Bible. I'm excited about the program I've chosen to read through the Bible this year. It's a method I've never tried before, and it's going to be interesting!
How about you? Have you ever read through the Bible -- all the way through? If you haven't, don't feel too badly -- you have plenty of company. It's unbelievable, but true: only about 5 percent of all Christians read through the entire Bible even once in their lives. So why not make this the year you begin the habit of reading through God's Word? It will make a wonderful difference in your life!
There are various ways to read through the Bible. One of my favorites is to use a one-year Bible. Mine is the KJV Daily Devotional Bible. Reading straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation may be done with the one-year Bible, where the readings are all planned out for you, or you may just use your regular Bible and read a number of chapters each day. The Reese Chronological Bible is a fascinating way to read through the Bible. I have read through this several times. If you do this, you may want to allow more than a year to get through the Bible. Another great approach is to read through a study Bible, taking time to read the notes and information about the different books and their authors along the way.
Or you can use any of a number of Bible-reading plans put out by various Christian organizations. One year I used a sort of topical plan where one reads from different categories of the Bible on the various days of the week. Sunday was Old Testament Poetry, Monday was the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Bible], Tuesday and Wednesday were Old Testament History, Thursday was Old Testament Prophets, Friday was New Testament History and Saturday, New Testament Epistles. I found this plan fascinating reading for most of the year, but it became unwieldy toward the end when many of the categories had been used up and I was slogging through the prophets for the longest time. Maybe there are other plans of this sort out there that are better organized. I hope so, because this method of reading the Bible is extremely interesting.
This year, I am trying something recommended by Nancy Leigh DeMoss in her book A Place of Quiet Rest. I'll quote from her book: "Some time ago, a dear, older servant of the Lord recommended an approach to Bible reading that I have found to be a great blessing. He suggested dividing the Bible into six major sections, beginning in Genesis, Joshua, Job, Isaiah, Matthew, and Romans. Each day, read one or more chapters consecutively in each of those sections. Mark where you end up in each section so you can pick up at that location the next day.
"This has been one of the most exciting ways I have discovered to read the Word. Though penned by many different authors over a period of fifteen hundred years, there is a unity and coherence in the Scripture that can only be supernatural. Invariably, I find that what I am reading in one portion dovetails precisely with what I am reading in another."
My own plan is to read just one chapter in each section every day. I began today and it was such a blessing.
In addition to reading through the Bible, I am also studying God's Word in greater depth. I'm several chapters into Cynthia Heald's Intimacy with God, a wonderful Bible study of the Psalms, and am getting so much out of that study. I'm also studying Elizabeth George's Finding God's Path Through Your Trials with my ladies' Sunday School class.
January 1st is a great day to begin your own Bible reading journey. Why not get started today?