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.
31 December 2013
Bible reading for the year ahead
How did your Bible reading go in 2013? I know of five dear ones who have been having a tilt at using a reading plan to get through the Bible in a year this year and I have been praying for each of you. Whether you made it to the end or not, my prayer now is that it has been a wonderful journey no matter how far you got and that you are spurred on to press on.
Probably you already have 2014 sorted, but if not...
If you started in on a plan but stumbled and fell, here are three wonderful options...
1. Start again.
2. Pick up from where you left off. This has the advantage that you will not be tied to calendar dates and that might take the legalism out of the exercise if that is a danger for you. And it gives you the space to slow down or speed up as time, need and want allows.
3. Choose a new plan and start afresh.
If you are looking for a new plan or a first time plan here is THE place to go. My three favourites are...
The Daily Reading Bible Plan - which takes you through the Psalms and New Testament twice and the rest of the Old Testament once. Three readings a day.
The Chronological Bible Reading Plan - affectionately known as the CBRP, which takes you through the Bible in Chronological order - three to four chapters a day.
Every Day in the Word - four short readings that take you through the Psalms twice in the year and Proverbs, the rest of the Old Testament (from front to back) and the New Testament once.
Each of these takes me about ten to fifteen minutes per day if I don't stop to linger.
If taking on the whole Bible seems too much, then I would suggest using either the first or third plan and just reading the New Testament and maybe the Psalms readings each day. The Daily Reading Plan will take you through those readings twice in the year. Everyday in the Year will take you through the New Testament once and the Psalms twice. This would be a great start to forming a life long, life giving habit.
Please let me know if you are going to use a reading plan. I would love to pray for you. And please pray for me too. Don't think for a minute that I have this all sown up. I love reading the Bible. Yes, yes, yes. But that doesn't mean it isn't a battle at times.
Oh, and how did I go in2013? I used the Every Day in the Word plan this year and kept pretty well on track until September or October, which is a bit of a record for me. I spent the last part of the year falling behind and catching up again, finishing yesterday.
This year I am back to the Daily Reading Bible Plan. I have been encouraging (some would say nagging) friends at church to read along with me this year and I think a few are going to join in. It will be great to spur one another on in this. And next year (yes...I already know what I am doing in 2015, God willing) I hope to do the same plan but starting at the beginning of the year in the middle of the plan - at the beginning of the New Testament and Psalms and in the middle of the Old Testament - because it will be time again to give the poor old Prophets the fresh end of the year and my attention. They were a little short changed this year...
Happy reading. Happy New Year.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.