With a new year comes a good opportunity to evaluate our Bible reading habits.
Of course, “New Year’s Resolutions” are famous for not sticking, but for Christians this isn’t quite the same thing. We believe in a lifestyle of resolving to be more like Christ, on the basis of God’s resolve to make us more like Christ. The Bible, of course, is right in the middle of how God gets that done as a primary means by which He grows us in grace. And when it comes to a plan for reading the Bible, January 1 is a convenient time to resolve to start or recalibrate our current Bible reading pattern. On the subject of having a plan in general, John Piper has written a helpful article available here.
With January 1 approaching, here are a few options for daily Bible reading in the new year:
- Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, George Guthrie:
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,” available in Pdf form here.
- 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. The M’Cheyne plan 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.
- 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.
Whether you’re starting a reading plan for the first time, or reevaluating your current pattern, it’s important to remember why we read the Bible. According to David in Psalm 19, God’s words are “More to be desired. . .than gold, even much fine gold; [they are] sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” This is because, according to Psalm 19, God’s Word is sure, right, pure, clean, true, and righteous, and God’s Word revives us, makes us wise, enlightens us, and warns us of danger. That’s what we need, every day.
To help your heart to long for and love God’s words so that David’s words here are your words, listen to Ryan’s sermon from Psalm 19, “God’s Words–Better Than Gold!“