Resolving for 2010
One of the best decisions I ever made was to start reading my Bible every day. It was January 2002 and I was having a pretty miserable time of things, so I decided to get a Bible reading plan and get to work on it. A year later, I had read the whole thing, and I haven't stopped since.
Loads of intertwined blessings have come from this:
- I get God's living, active word inside me, where it will do me good.
- A huge part of this goodness is knowing God better and hearing from Him more frequently.
- Discipline in one area seems to lead to discipline in others.
- Our world in general and our lives specifically are part of God's story; reading the story as described in the Bible helps me see this.
Reading a book as huge and potentially complicated as the Bible can feel like a near-impossible challenge but God will give you grace for it if you ask Him. One of the ways he does this is through the hard work of others who have prepared reading plans that we can follow (see below). Back in 2002 I followed a plan that went through the Old Testament and New Testament at the same time. Since then, I've made my own way through the whole thing, alternating books from the OT and NT and just reading one chapter a day, rather than the four a day average that reading it all in one year requires. I've also used study notes to dig a bit deeper, and written down what each chapter has taught me about God, what has stood out to me, and what I need to apply to my life.
For 2010 I've decided to do things a little differently. I'm going to follow a plan that arranges the text of the Bible into the order in which we think things happened (i.e. Job seems to live in a time before Abraham so I'll be reading that between Genesis 11 and Genesis 12). I think it could be an interesting way to do it.
There are loads of different plans that you can start (YouVersion, the ESV Bible team, and Justin Taylor all have a bunch you can browse), or you could try Scripture Union's WordLive program. Several of these can be set up to be emailed to you, sent to your mobile, or subscribed to by RSS like a blog. I'm going to print mine out onto paper. Whatever, however you do it, please get God's word into you in 2010.
UPDATE: Justin Taylor has highlighted another kind of plan, "for shirkers and slackers". If you don't want the pressure of date-specific readings this could be for you.