Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

28 December 2009

My Bible Reading Plan for 2010

Ever since I became a Christian I have endeavoured to read through the Bible once a year. I became more convinced of the importance of doing this in 2001 when I took a year off work to do some study at a theological college. While at college the principal commented that he reads through the Bible each year because it is his major tool of the trade. Now I am not the principal of a theological college, although one might argue that being a mother makes you the deputy principal of your own little theological college at home. But whether I am a principal or a mother or anything else, I think it's important to keep reading the Bible in a systematic, organised and disciplined way and my personal preference, at least for daily devotional reading, is to keep sweeping through the Scriptures year by year.

In terms of being systematic and organised, I have used various reading plans, some written by me and some written by others such as:
  • Starting at the beginning and reading through to the end
  • Alternating an OT book with a NT book
  • Systems that get you through the OT once and the NT twice, book by book
  • A plan that did OT book, NT book, a few Psalms, a gospel and then repeating the cycle - designed to read through the gospels many times in order to really get to know Jesus. This one was a two year project.
Now I said that I have endeavoured to read through the Bible each year. Some years have been successful and some have been anything but successful - if the measure is to get to the end of the plan by 31st December each year. There is always benefit, as long as the Scriptures are read but I have certainly floundered these last few years to get all the way through any plan I find or devise. And I always get bogged down in the same spot. Yes, you know which spot it is. Those prophets! And it has become SUCH a problem that I knew I needed to do something drastic about it in the new year.

So I have been praying about an approach to take in 2010. At the time I was praying about this, Jean wrote a post at Equip where she linked to Justin who provided this LIST of Bible reading plans in this post. (I know, too many links there! THE link to follow is probably the one in capital letters. Thank you Jean for finding this really helpful resource. Praising God for you again and again.)
In surveying the possibilities, I have decided to head in a different direction and use THIS reading plan for the year ahead. Rather than go through whole books at a time, it provides a portion of OT, a portion of NT and a Psalm every day and in the year gets through the OT once and the NT and Psalms twice. The OT and NT books are covered in sequential order so it isn't a wacky, all-over-the-place reading system, but it does break up the books each day which means that I won't have to fear wading into the Prophets for weeks and weeks on end, which does my unfit brain and timid heart in every time.
I haven't read the Bible like this in years. I'm looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it goes.


Mrs. Edwards said...

Thanks, Meredith! I choose the M'Cheyne plan and subscribed to the iCal calendar and also sent the mobile phone link to my husband. I really like the plan I've been using for three years (The Victory Bible Reading Plan) because it has the OT chronologically, a NT reading, and a Psalm or Proverbs reading each day. Reading the OT chronologically has been a significant help to understanding the prophets. HOWEVER, I am very intrigued by these plans being put into iCal or ready on a mobile (something that could really be useful to my husband in a job that has some unavoidable downtime).


Meredith said...

Hi Amy,
I'd be interested to hear how the M'Cheyne plan goes. It gets mentioned in lots of places so i'd be keen to hear how you find it. May God bless you richly in your reading this year, especially as you welcome your new baby into your home, continue to home school and generally keep house and home too. I pray that He will really encourage you and strengthen you through His Word.