I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions (mostly because they tend to quickly fizzle out or are abandoned), but I AM a fan of developing good Christian habits. On that note, I was encouraged by the following blog post written recently by another pastor in our presbytery. He lays out 10 suggestions to help you grow in grace & knowledge in the new year. That, if anything, is a fine and God-honoring resolution. Check out the article here.
Also, I had intended to talk about this in Sunday school this past Sunday, but I was providentially hindered. So, let me share with you my current thoughts regarding Bible reading plans. First off, if you already have a good Bible reading plan that works for you and encompasses all 66 books of Scripture, then by all means, stick to it! If you have tried and failed a number of times with various plans, perhaps the plan is not the problem? Before you start any plan, ask yourself if you are fulfilling a duty or pursuing a delight. Endeavor to say along with the psalmist: “how sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
There are, in fact, some good plans out there to read the Bible in a year, or over some other period of time of your choosing. Melissa Kruger recently wrote an article offering up her suggestion of a very doable 5-day plan here. Also worth mentioning are M’Cheyne’s plan and Justin Taylor’s blog post offering up a variety of plans. These are all fine and recommended. However, if you struggle to keep up with various plans, often feeling guilty when you fall behind and failing in your attempts to catch back up, might I suggest to you an alternative?
My preferred Bible reading plan isn’t really a plan at all. What I do, what works for me, is to keep a checklist of every chapter of Scripture tucked into my Bible or some other accessible place. When I read a chapter, I simply check it off the list. Sometimes I read a large chunk of chapters every day, others I might only read one or two. Any progress feels like a success to me. With this “plan”, there is NO GUILT. Yet, I am keeping track of what I read so that I can be sure to read the whole Bible that year. By the way, it only takes an average of 4 chapters a day to read through the Bible every year. Can you read 4 chapters a day on average? If you are an average-speed reader, you ought to be able to read 4-5 chapters in 15-20 minutes. Do you have 15-20 minutes to spare each day for your spiritual health?
Please, whatever you do, for your own good, please delight yourself in the Word of God every day in 2016!