Posts tagged reading plan

Thoughts on Completing a Year-Long Bible Reading Plan

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By Guest Blogger: Mitch Claborn

finished

Just the other day, I completed a year long Bible reading plan, using the Bible Study App from Olive Tree.  For this trip through the Bible, I used the M’Cheyne reading plan.  Each day, there are 4 reading selections.  Upon completion of the plan, one has read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice.  Here are some of my thoughts as I look back on my year-long journey through God’s Word.

God’s Word is Consistent

Some people don’t or won’t read the Bible because they claim that it is inconsistent.  These are people who have never read through the Bible completely, or who take small passages completely out of context in order to support their claim.

The truth is that God’s Word, expressed in written form in the Bible, is wonderfully, marvelously consistent.  From start to finish it is a story of God’s love for humanity.  Throughout the story, mankind rejects God again and again yet His love for us never fades nor falters, never dwindles nor diminishes.

Again and again in the Old Testament, God sent prophets to try to talk some sense into His people.  In most cases the prophets were ignored, or even persecuted and killed, but God never stopped trying to get Israel’s attention.  (See 2 Chronicles 36:15 – 16.)

Finally, when the time was just right, God sent His son Jesus.  The Law, with its system of ritual and sacrifice was inadequate for salvation, but Christ was the perfect substitute.  Christ’s coming to earth, His death on the cross for us and subsequent resurrection from the dead remain the ultimate demonstration of God’s love.  One simply cannot read through the Bible without seeing God’s love in action, demonstrated time and time again.

A Process, Not a Task

There was a point in this past year, about midway through the reading plan, where I started treating the reading as a task to be completed.  For a while, I started reading two days’ assignments every morning, so that I could finish sooner.  The Holy Spirit was quick to point out the error in my thinking.

Reading the Bible should be a process to experience, not a task to complete.  It it the process of reading God’s Word that is valuable, not the completion of the book as if it were simply a novel or a historical piece.  The value is in the journey, not the destination.  I will never be finished reading the Bible.  This is an especially difficult lesson for me to learn, as I am a very task oriented person, but I’m getting there.

Daily Reading is Crucial

In the middle of Job’s excruciating trials, he didn’t fail to place a high value on God’s word.  Job 23:12b I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.  For a Believer, God’s word is spiritual sustenance.  It is absolutely crucial for Christians to feed every day on the wisdom found in the Bible, to absorb into our minds and our hearts the truths that await us there.  Reading God’s Word should be as much of a part of our daily routines as eating breakfast (or whatever meal it is that you never do without).

Knowing That I Don’t Know

As I read God’s word, I constantly discover things that I’ve never noticed before, even in passages that I’ve read many times before.  Grasping a previously unknown truth brings a joy like no other.

This in no way implies that I understood everything I read as I went through the Bible this past year.  There are many places that I read through more than once trying to understand just what was going on, and some of them are still a mystery to me.  This might seem like failure to some, but I consider it a blessing.  The more I read and understand about God’s Word, the more I discover that I don’t know.  I’m perfectly OK with this.  On my next trip through the Bible I’ll understand more and find yet more that I don’t yet understand.  Comprehension of God’s Word is a continual, ongoing process.

What’s Next?

More Bible reading.  And after that, still more reading and studying of God’s Word.  I plan to go though some of Olive Tree’s shorter reading plans, starting with “14 Days on Love”, and then start up another long term plan, probably Prof. Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System.

Keep on reading!

 

I am an IT nerd by trade, a husband of one, father of four and grandfather of six.  I drink decaf coffee and work in various ministries, in and outside of the church.  You may find more of my writing on my blog: http://www.mitchclaborn.com/ or follow me on Twitter @MitchClaborn.

Discipleship Journal Reading Plan

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Thanks to our friends at NavPress there’s a great new reading plan available for download in The Bible Study App.

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan offers special features that aid you in your journey through the Bible. By reading form four separate places in the Scriptures every day, you should be able to better grasp the unity of the Scriptures, as well as enjoy the variety of four different viewpoints. To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only 25 readings. Since you’ll have several “free days” each month, you could set aside Sunday’s either not to read at all or to catch u on any readings you may have missed in the past week.

If reading through the entire Bible in one year looms as too large a task, you an alter the plan to meet your needs. For example, you could read gospels and the wisdom books this year, and the other two categories next year. In the year ahead, ask God each day to speak directly to you from the Scripture portions you read. Be expectant, and let your continual exposure to God’s Word reshape your attitudes and behavior as you gain a better understanding of every part of His written testimony to us.

You can find the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan under My Stuff> Reading Plans> Get More Reading Plans.

 

 

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