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!