Failed before we’ve begun?
One of the most common (and failed) new years resolution that have been made have been in seeking to read the whole Bible in a year.
We all know what happens, we start, maybe last for a day or two, maybe even a week if we really try hard. But it seems inevitable that we fail and fall so far behind our readings that we deem it impossible to catch up and eventually just give up and continually content with a mediocre effort in our personal devotional life.
Let’s make sure 2015/2016 is not one of those years. Let’s plan to succeed in our daily Bible reading. But before we get to Bible reading plans,lets think about how we should read scripture.
Reading the Bible
When we read Scripture we need to read it carefully, here are 4 simple points to remember when reading the Bible:
- Pray – It is a great place to start before reading God’s Word that you seek him in prayer, confessing sins, seeking guidance and asking God to help you understand the Scriptures (without his help, we would never ever be able to understand the Bible).
- COMA – A great Bible reading tip is to make use of the acronym COMA (Context, Observation, Meaning and Application).
- Context – This very simply can be understood as the 5 W’s (where, what, who, when and why). Context helps us to correctly interpret and understand what the book/letter/chapter/verse is trying to say.
- Observation – Being the detective in the passage, looking for words that stand out and words that blend in. Noticing how this whole story fits together and what the main point may be, possibly even summary statements of the passage.
- Meaning – Here you draw everything together to understand what message the passage is trying to convey. You should try to answer questions such as, “What would the original hearers of the passage understand by the passage?” and “What are the general truths of the passage?” or “How would you sum up the main message in your own words?”
- Application – When looking to about how to apply God’s word we need to remember to be humble as we apply his word, be mindful of the context when applying the text and be honest before God we applying the Bible to your life. If our lives require change because of what God desires for our lives, we should be humble enough to admit.
- Respond – Simply, we need to follow through with what the application may be from our study of God’s word. Remember, we should be merely be hearers (or in this case, readers) but also doers of God’s word.
Bible Reading Programs
There are a number of Daily Bible reading plans that a person can follow. All of these programs have various strengths and weaknesses, but all seek to cover the entire biblical story in the span of one year.
The Kingdom Reading plan
This plan focuses its reading on proportionality on the Old and the New Testaments along with the fact that it is only covers 25 days of the month allowing you time to catch up if you missed a reading.
You can download the KINGDOM Plan at (http://bit.ly/1CEu1qw)
Chronological Bible Reading Plan
Another great way to make your way through the Bible is by reading it chronologically. It is a great study to read the Bible and understand where and when events took place in the Bible.
You can download this plan here (http://bit.ly/1zy8n9P) and you can even add the plan to you calendar on your phone (http://bit.ly/1xCaMuw) or you can have the readings emailed to you each morning (http://bit.ly/1JbBgdI).
M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
This is an old favorite and is probably the most used daily Bible reading plan around. Each day of this plan highlights the Old and New Testaments, the Psalms and the Gospels.
You can download this plan here (http://bit.ly/1851f9n) and you can even add the plan to you calendar on your phone (http://bit.ly/1xCaMuw) or you can have the readings emailed to you each morning (http://bit.ly/1JbBgdI).
Children’s Bible Reading plan
Many of us may already be spending time with our children reading, whether it is after supper or before bed. David Murray offers Bible reading plans that parents can do with their children. Each week he posts new Bible readings for the week but he also has the past six months worth of readings in a single pdf. I really do want to encourage all parents to deliberately set time aside to read the Bible with their children and pray together as a family.
You can download the Bible reading plan for the six months here (http://bit.ly/1un5pht). Also here is a link to his blog if you wish to get the update readings each week (http://bit.ly/15vbuCx).
Often we need something else to help us along in our devotional times. D. A. Carson has written a daily devotional, titled “For the Love of God,” along with various daily Bible readings included. You can subscribe to it and receive each day’s devotional via email or you can simply use the app on iOS. Another great devotional is “Morning and Evening” by Spurgeon, you can download this via pdf or use the app on iOS.
You can subscribe to the “For the Love of God” (http://bit.ly/15dKWVS) and you can download the app on iOS (http://bit.ly/1GzU0py).
You can download “Morning and Evening” (http://bit.ly/1EvbWg8) and you can download the app on iOS (http://bit.ly/1EvbNcI) or android (http://bit.ly/1Ci84zq).
I hope and pray that there will be something for you in this post, more importantly, I pray that this is a year that we are devoted to reading and studying God’s word and changing because of it.