Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Finally A Reading Plan!

Most of you know that I am not a fan of annual Bible reading plans. I have struggled with the idea for quite some time now.

First - I am not opposed to reading the Bible. I am both convinced and committed to the fact that we can not and will not grow or mature spiritually without regular intake of God's Word.

Second - Many times Bible reading plans become a sort of noose around one's neck. They can become a "must do," "got to get through" requirement. 

It is difficult to stay motivated during the time spent in Exodus or Leviticus and especially the genealogies of the Old Testament. Often one becomes board, unchallenged, and unaffected. It is also frustrating to get behind in the daily reading. Playing catch-up is no fun and it does not lead to deep spirituality.

Third - I think that we should take less scripture and more time in order to think and meditate during our private devotions or quite time. It is hard to meditate and truly think through 4 or 5 chapters from 4 or 5 different readings. 

Fourth - I don't think that a paragraph or two each morning is enough either. In addition to our private devotions or quiet time, I believe that we should include in depth study as part of our regular spiritual diet. I don't think that we need to necessarily "study" everyday. 

However I think that 2 or 3 times a week we should make time and room to study a book of the bible, or a particular doctrine of the bible, or a character of the bible, or certain truths or principles of the bible. 

We need to study in an in-depth manner Luke, or John, or Romans, or Revelation. We need to study in an in-depth manner the Holy Spirit, or the Atonement, or Baptism, or even the end times. I think we need to study principles such as how to give, or how to put off sin, or what does God think of pride.

Fifth - I think we can also include reading through the bible with a plan that fits our life schedule and doesn't disrupt our devotional and study time.

By meditating on a paragraph or two daily and with regular in-depth study and with reading the bible we can expect to renew our mind (Romans 12:1-2) and we can grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18).

Well, I have finally settled on a reading plan for myself. I am excited about it for several reasons:

  • I don't think it will intrude upon my daily devotions
  • I don't think it will interfere with my in-depth study
  • I think it is both reasonable and realistic for me
  • I can accomplish easily at any time of the day and from anywhere
I am going to read the New Testament in 52 weeks every other year. This plan calls for me to read one chapter in the New Testament Monday through Friday. I can use Saturday and Sundays to catch up or read a Psalm or from Proverbs, or not read at all.

Then the following year I will read the Old Testament in 52 weeks. This plan calls for me to read from one to three chapters a day.

Following this reading plan I will be able to read the New Testament and Old Testament every other year. I don't have to read everyday and nor do I have to read 4-6 chapters a day.


Scott said...

Sounds good. I know folks can sometimes feel overwhelmed if they get behind in a reading plan, but I always remind folks not to worry about that, just keep in the word each day. If you make it in a year, great, if you get interested in a passage and stay there awhile, that's ok too. Just keep in the word!

Gregg Metcalf said...

Scott - very good advice! Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Very good plan Gregg. Made sense and a good post to read.