Last Sunday, the sermon was on 2 Timothy 3:14-17. It is strategic that we focus on reading our Bibles on the last Sunday of the year. We want to make use of every means available to facilitate our growth in Christ. We have been given an immeasurable gift. We have been born in a time and place where we can all have a copy of the Scriptures of our own. In order to further resource you in your study of the Bible, I am re-posting a December 31st blog post from Tim Challies that is helpful for thinking about Bible reading in 2020. Challies’ blog post is between the lines below. I will be back after. 🙂
In general, there are two approaches to daily Bible-reading: reading for intimacy or reading for familiarity. Intimacy with the Bible comes through slow, meditative reading that focuses on small portions—deep study of key books, chapters, and verses. Familiarity with the Bible comes through faster reading of much larger portions—the entire sweep of the biblical narrative. Both are fine approaches to the Bible and Christians thrive on a healthy mixture of the two. There is great benefit in knowing the Bible as a whole (familiarity) and in knowing the most important parts in detail (intimacy). (SeeIntimacy or Familiarity)
My favorite daily Bible-reading plan is the 5 Day Bible Reading Program. I used it for several years in a row before deciding to try something different for 2019 (a decision I soon regretted). I’ll be back to it in 2020. It has several features I love:
It is a familiarity plan that covers the entire text of the Bible over the course of the year. Between January 1 and December 31 those who follow it read every word of the Bible.
It is a pseudo-chronological plan that covers the text of the Bible in the order the events happened. Thus, for example, the Psalms come at appropriate moments in the life of David, the books of Kings and Chronicles are read in harmony, and so on. This helps set the events in their historical context. Yet even though it’s chronological, it’s only pseudo-chronological. There are Old Testament and New Testament readings each day and the gospels are interspersed through the year. I find this an ideal compromise over a strictly chronological program.
It is a 5-day plan. A benefit of a 5-day plan (as opposed to a 7-day plan) is that there is less chance of falling far behind. At 5 days per week it is far more doable than at 7 days—there is always a chance to catch up. Also, it allows a day or two of reading something different for those who, for example, like to read and ponder the sermon text on a Sunday morning (or for those who don’t do personal devotions on Sunday).
It is a free plan. It’s free for the taking! They’ve got a nice little print-out you can download, print, fold in half, and put inside your Bible. It’s got boxes to tick as complete each day and each week. Or you can use the ReadingPlan app to organize the plan even while reading through Logos, the ESV app, or a printed Bible.
The 5 Day Bible Reading Program is a free download. I echo their hope for the program: “God’s blessings rest with those who will read, understand, and live by His Word. May this guide help you to that noble end. ‘Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path’ (Psalms 119:105).”
I (Pastor Charles) will continue to use the Bible-reading plan provided by the Read Scripture App by Tim Mackie, and we will continue to memorize Scripture with the Fighter Verse program published by Truth78. Whatever you choose to make use of in 2020, I pray that God will grant to you the power of the Spirit to be self-controlled in your habits for the purpose of drawing near to God in Christ through His Word.
In Christ Alone,