Monday, January 01, 2007

Bible Reading

One year ago today I posted what I'd chosen as my Bible-reading schedule for the year. I like to try to read my Bible through each year, just because it's a nice measurement of time and gives a manageable amount of daily reading. Well, I made it! Did I stay caught up? No! Some weeks I would be ashamed for anyone to know about! But I caught up when I got behind and managed to finish reading the Bible all the way through yesterday. Last year I used a topical plan, reading from a certain portion of the Bible on certain days of the week. I must admit, Wednesdays were my favorite days, because those were my Psalms days, and Psalms is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I also enjoyed Saturday and Sunday too, because they were in the New Testament. I had to drag myself kicking and screaming (nearly!) to read on Fridays - the Prophets! And do you know I found some good little gems in those prophetical books?!! Amazing!

When it came time to choose another plan this year, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Wes printed out several different plans for the folks at church to choose from, ranging from The Gospels and Acts through the same topical reading I did last year. The Gospels and Acts would be great for children to read or for family Bible reading, I thought; it's about 20 verses a day, if I remember correctly. That's a manageable amount of verses for my elementary-aged kids, and those books are full of exciting stories and the Gospel. I also liked the regular read-through-in-a-year schedule because it began with the New Testament, then began the Old Testament after finishing the New. I thought that was fun, because how many times do we start in Genesis 1 on January 1 and fizzle out before hitting Deuteronomy sometime around May? Wes and I joked that we have Genesis memorized from reading it every year of our lives!

The one that caught my eye this year is the chronological schedule, which is reading through the Bible in the order that the events happened. I've seen these schedules, but never used one, so I decided this was the year to try it out. As I've looked over it this morning, I started getting excited, because it's not just reading straight through. On January 4th, I get to read from Genesis and I Chronicles - no reading I Chronicles in July, 6 months after I've read the same genealogies in Genesis! Genesis has lots of interaction with I Chronicles! Then comes Job, then the rest of the Pentateuch (first 5 books of the Bible, which Moses wrote), then in Joshua and Judges I get to run around in the OT a bit and tie some events together. I guess I'm a little goofy, but I'm so excited to get to see how everything fits in together without having to run the references myself!

Do you have to read your Bible through in a year? No, indeed! You can stretch it out longer, or you can do like Mrs. R did last summer and read it through in just a month! There is nothing in the Bible that indicates we have to read a certain amount or within a certain amount of time. The important thing is that you're reading God's letter to you. He has preserved His inspired Word just for you! There are things in His Word that He has for you, to encourage you or to lift you up or to teach you or to convict you, but they won't just jump out at you; you have to read it to find what He has for you! So let me encourage you to find a plan that you feel will work for you - pray about it and God will guide you to one - and then purpose to regularly spend time in God's Word, nourishing your spirit. You will never regret it!

9 comments:

  1. Can you share a link to read through the Bible chronologically? If I missed it, I'm sorry. I'd love to see how it's laid out.

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  2. What an encouraging post Susan! I have never seen a chronological reading plan...but I like the idea alot. And I can *so* relate to knowing Genesis REALLY well. LOL

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  3. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for reminding us how important reading the bible is and how we should enjoy reading it. Also for stressing that bible reading isn't about reading a certain amount in a set amount of time.

    Take Care,

    Trixie

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  4. Very encouraging post, Susan! I am doing a topical reading schedule this year; a first for me.

    We own the Reese Chronological Bible (KJV) and I have read through it several times. It's really neat to read through the Bible chronologically and see how events all fit together.

    Yes -- so true -- it is not all about reading through the Bible in a year (although that's great) but rather on reading through it and enjoying it as we learn more of God and His ways and plan.

    God bless,
    Mrs.T

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  5. They all sound like neat plans. It was a yr ago that I got into reading the Bible from an actual Bible & every nite before I went to bed. A few yrs ago I felt convicted or realized that I wasn't reading my Bible every day like I should. I found on the internet some sites where you could get the Bible readings in your e-mail. I thought you can run but you can't hide lol. So I decided to try those. I did good at first but after awhile I got bogged down & would end up speed reading the e-mails or worse yet slipping them & then coming back to them later only to be all piled up & too hard to catch up.

    Hope no one minds me mentioning new Bible version since ya'll are KJV only but they're a part of the story. Around Christmas of 2005 I saw a Message Bible in a bookstore& really liked it. I figured if I had it I could read out of the Bible at nite before going to bed. So I asked hubby to get it for me for Christmas. It was on sale too. He got it for me & I started reading a chapter a day out of it each nite.

    After awhile I began wanting to read more so I decided I'd like to have another version to do more reading out of. I came across on a Christian website where they were giving away free cards with Bible reading plans on them. I saw a Gods Word Bible on sale or $5 or $6 so I had hubby get me that one & did the reading plan out of that one along with reading out of my Message Bible. That got me into checking out other translations of the Bible & looking at them & finding some I really liked. I wound up getting ones like the ESV (English Standard Version), Holman, New Living Translation, Sword Easy Reading King James Bible, New King James etc. & doing different reading out of them. Most of them my hubby got for me except for someone else getting me another Bible & a couple I got myself. I had hubby get me pocket size versions of most of them except my ESV & NKJV cuz those are easy to carry thinline Bibles.

    Anyway I started doing a number of readings from different plans including the ones in the daily bread booklets. I even took several of my Bibles with me on trips like our annual 2 weeks trip to visit hubbys sister & her family in Ohio so I could do my readings as I was doing each reading out of a different version.

    I was doing about 8 different reading each day. When we went to the reunion in the hillbilly area of KY Mike is from we went to a Bible Bookstore there. I found for sale there a card with a Bible reading plan on it. So I bought me one so si could do it & an extra one incase I lost that one. I read at nite before I go to bed as that works best for me due to me not being a morning person & if I have to go somewhere, then when I get up I am too rushed to read.

    Eventually after awhile I got overwhelmed & bogged down cuz I was doing so many readings. I didn't want to get too overwhelmed that I ended up giving up on it. So I decided that if I got overwhelmed & couldn't do all my readings that I wanted to do then at least I'd do whatever of the readings I could handle even if it was just one. I wound up doing the readings off the Bible reading plan card I got in KY. I'd do the old testament in my ESV Bible & the new testament in my Message Bible. I had come across something online saying the Message was a paraphrase. Since I normally don't care for paraphrases but since I did like the Message, I decided that if I read of out my Message Bible I would also read out of another regular translation so I'm not reading out of just a paraphrase. I was also reading a Psalm a day out of my Sword KJV Bible. I also did reading thru Revelation twice out of my Sword & AV7 KJV Bibles & read Daniel & Ezekiel thru once out of them. Cuz I had seen Jack Van Impe on tv talking about how Daniel related to Revelation & felt led to read the other 2 after that.

    Eventually got bogged down & rather than not read at all started reading a paraphrase. I was also reading a Psalm a day out of my Sword KJV Bible. I figured a Psalm a day is better than nothing at all. It's the lazy persons Bible reading plan lol.

    This Christmas my hubby got me a NKJV read thru the Bible in a yr bible that I wanted so I am now doing the readings from that & a Psalm a day reading. I hope to add to those readings the readings off the Bible reading plan card I got in KY & maybe a chronological reading plan. We'll see how many actually get done. The main thing is I am now reading before I got to bed at nite & I feel so much better for it. I have learned so much too. Didn't mean to ramble on so much but wanted to share my story of how I stuck with my Bible reading for a yr. The main thing is if you get bogged down or overwhelmed, read at least something each day even if it's just a little bit. It is better than not reading at all & you will have done your goal of daily Bible reading... :)

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  6. Wow, Cheryl, you've gone through quite a lot of readings and stuff, haven't you! I do indeed use only the KJV, and one of the reasons I do is because things that are different are not the same, you know? If you're reading so many different versions and paraphrases, you're going to get bogged down and confused, because they're all saying different things at some point or another.

    I would suggest using just one - I would recommend the KJV, of course - and just following one reading plan, instead of trying to do so many plans at once. Maybe make one reading plan your goal for everyday Bible reading, the one that you purpose you will stick with for the year. Then the things that catch your attention, like reading Daniel and Revelation together, could be done as an extra goody, like frosting on the cake, so to speak, whenever you have the time and inclination for something extra. That way you aren't hopping around so much and getting bogged down with SO much that you feel you have to do.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I pray that you'll have success in consistently reading your Bible every day. Let me know how it goes for you!

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  7. Thanks for the info. One of my favorite Bible is my Sword Easy Reading King James Bible which is put out by IFB's. I love it cuz it is a good old time KJV Bible but without the Thee's & Thou's. The Thee's, Thou's, Thine's, Ye's, Eth's & Est's have been changed to their modern counterparts but without one jot or tittle of scripture changed otherwise so you can read the oldtime KJV easily. And it also lists next to the verses what the old time words mean. It makes reading the KJV so easy and understandable. It's a nice large print but it's a little too big for reading in bed. So I've been using in my reading in bed my pocket size Sword Easy Reading KJV Bible. The prints kinda small tho. From what I understand they are gonna put out a midsize version of it & I told hubby when it comes out I want him to get me one as that'll be my main KJV bible. He want's one too when it comes out. I got him for Christmas a giant print KJV bible he wanted. It's a nice one cuz it also lists next to the verses what the old time words mean like the Sword does. I also like my King James 2000 Bible as that is like the Sword except there is not in it a listing next to the verses telling you what the old time words mean and it is paperback. I like the leather like Bibles best as they seem to hold up better but sadly there are no plans for the KJV 2000 to be put out in leather like. I don't mess with the Revised Standard cuz a read yrs ago & also awhile back where it left out stuff about the blood. I read something similar about the Good News For Modern Man so I don't mess with that one anymore. I heard an IFB Baptist preacher say on the radio last yr that the NIV is wrong cuz they left out over 40 verses of important stuff. I sure don't want to read something with verses left out so I no longer read the NIV anymore. I hadn't read it in along time as I left it at my folks house when I got married. Sometimes I'll compare stuff from one of my other versions with the KJV to see the differences so I can sort out what is the right meaning etc.

    My hubby may get me a read thru the Bible chronologically in a yr New Living Translation Bible that's on sale at one of the Bible book stores here. I may do that plus my NKJV read thru the Bible in a year and then do a Psalm a day outta my Sword KJV Bible. I may add reading something outta my ESV. The main thing is I wanna keep on reading & not give up & read at least something even if I am tired.

    My hubby Mike is a spiritual inspiration to me. He reads his Bible & prays every day & is such an inspiration to me. He is legally blind due to diabetes & has to use a magnifying glass to see & yet he faithfully reads. My folks do a daily devotional plan. My mom reads from the Daily Bread booklet to my dad & then reads to him from the Bible.

    Thanks again & best wishes to ya'll with your Bible reading plans...

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  8. What an inspiration your husband is, Cheryl! I hope I'd have that kind of determination if I couldn't see very well to read. Keep up your Bible reading!

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  9. Thanks! I know I couldn't handle what he's gone thru as well as he has. Here he is with diabetes, legally blind from it & only surviving on Social Security and yet he has such deep faith. I'll hear him pray outload sometimes & it sounds like he's preaching to himself. He tries so hard to read so I have gotten him some giant print Bibles to make it easier on him. What a blessing he is to me... :)

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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