Regardless of what you do in 2011, if you are a Christian, make sure you plan to get into the Word of God. It doesn’t matter if it’s a paragraph, chapter, or ten chapters, spiritual growth will only come by prayerfully reading the Scriptures. While the hardest part is just opening the book and reading, most people make it harder for themselves by not planning. A plan could be simple, it could be complex–just do whatever it takes to hear the voice of God through his Word, the Bible. Here are some plans that might help:
M’Cheyne’s Classic Reading Plan
Originally written for his congregation, this plan is made up of four readings a day. It will take you through the Old Testament once, and the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs twice in a year. D. A. Carson has been using this plan for years, and he’s also written some devotionals to go along with it. Get the plan here. Get Carson’s devotional in a free pdf format here.
Discipleship Journal’s Reading Plan
This plan has been around for a while and comes highly recommended by many. This plans offers four readings and will take you through the Bible in a year with days to spare each month for catching up or review. You can also adapt it to take you through the Bible at a slower pace.
Grant Horner’s Plan
The “Shock & Awe” of Bible reading plans. Horner’s plan has you reading through the whole Bible in about five months, ten chapters a day, from ten different books. Since the ten reading places are uneven, groupings of books, the result is a plan that is continually reconfiguring itself so you’re never reading the same ten chapters. The goal is a deepening familiarity of the Bible and a better grasp of how it fits together. Tim Challies and Bob Kauflin have both tried it and give some comments about.
A Chronological Reading Plan
Here is a chronological plan from B&H publisher’s Read the Bible for Life program. It moves individual verses around, intermixing the texts of different parts of the Bible. (HT: Trevin Wax).
Design Your Own Plan
Maybe none of these plans are to your liking. If that’s the case, check out YouVersion.com which is devoted to getting you into the Bible. There you can create your own reading plan.
Mastering the Bible Reading Plan
Justin Taylor has an amazingly thorough post on Bible readings that went up after this one. There he highlights a reading plan that I advocated earlier. What I didn’t know then was that an entire book had been written on it! Justin points us to Fred Sander’s blog, which highlights a method meant to get you into the Bible, book-by-book. Here the goal is not to simply get through a section in a year, but to get the Bible into you one book at a time, by reading and re-reading an individual book over and over again. Check out Sanders’ post here. Get Gray’s original book free from Google Books here.
However you do it–take up and read!