Archive for December, 2016
The original title for this post was, “Reading the Bible in 2071.” I mistyped the date. But then, that’s actually how some of us might approach Bible reading. It’s something we’ll get to later. A reading plan can help with this procrastination.
Remember Jesus’ words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He was talking about himself! You don’t need to read the Bible in a year, but in 2017 you can certainly read the Bible regularly if you haven’t. The New Year is a great opportunity to decide how you’ll do that.
If you’re looking for a Bible Reading plan, here’s Justin Taylor’s post from last year: “Reading the Whole Bible in 2016.” If you’re looking for more of a pattern for ongoing reading rather than a plan to read the Bible in a year, here’s a simple plan by Drew Hunter summarized in his recent Tweet: “No check-box, no guilt, Bible-reading plan: two Old Testament, two New Testament chapters per day. Finish a book, pick another.” It just might be for you.
While a read through Justin’s post should surface a good plan for you, here are a few plans to consider:
- Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
- The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
- Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
- Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.
- A Plan for Following God’s Redemption Plan: The Bible Eater is a simple one-page print out with a list of every chapter in the Bible of you to read on a certain rhythm and check off as you go. This plan highlights the Bible’s chapters that are especially significant for grasping the Bible’s storyline centered in Christ.
If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?.” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out the previous DSC post, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”
If you’re reading the Bible, you can’t get away from it: light is everywhere.
The Bible opens with creation when God turns on the lights with the words, “let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). The Bible ends in a world without a sun, “for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Rev. 21:23). In between is a story about light and darkness. When God promised a Messiah, he said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isa. 9:2). Israel walked in darkness instead of the light, but this Messiah would be a “light to the nations” (Isa. 49:6). Speaking of the salvation of his people, Isaiah wrote these climactic words: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you” (Isa. 60:1). And, today, what God did in creation he is doing in our hearts: “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Jesus, the light of the world, shines on us and through us to the world (Jn. 8:12; Mt. 5:14).
From December 18 through the month of January we’re going to work through a series of sermons on the biblical theme of light. Ryan and Trent will tag-team on this series. Here’s where we’re going:
- December 18: Genesis 1:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:4–6
- December 24: John 1:4–9
- December 25: Light in the book of Isaiah
- January 1: 2 Corinthians 3:12–18
- January 8: Ephesians 5:8–14
- January 15: 1 John 1:1–10
- January 22: Matthew 5:14–16
- January 29: revelation 21–22
That’s the plan, though we may fiddle with it a bit.
Invite your friends to a service this Christmas season. Remember that we have two services on Christmas Eve—4PM and 6PM. Join us at 6PM if you’re able to free up space at the more heavily attended 4PM service. Then, on Christmas Day, we’re looking forward to one full single service at 10AM.