My Bible Reading Plan for 2012
After posting Justin Taylor’s helpful suggestions for Bible reading plans, I have been asked by multiple people what plan I am going to use in 2012. First, let me say that I have used multiple plans in the past. Some were helpful and fit the way I think/read better than others. And there were a few plans that were just too complicated for me to maintain. I have seen other people succeed at both the most ambitious plans and the simplest ones. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all approach.
The most success I have enjoyed has been the straightforward approach of reading three chapters a day from Genesis to Revelation. That gets you through the Scriptures in about a year. Call me simple, but this has been my favorite method.
This year I am going to use a modified version of Don Whitney’s suggestion. My plan is to read six chapters a day, two chapters each from three places in the Bible. Here is what it looks like…
The three starting places are Genesis, Job, and Matthew. So the first day will be Genesis 1-2, Job 1-2, and Matthew 1-2. Day two will be Genesis 3-4, Job 3-4, and Matthew 3-4. The scheme is to keep reading consecutively from those three points and finish the sections (Gen—Esther, Job—Malachi, Matt—Rev) about the same time.
For me, this keeps things simple and also includes variety. It has a pace of finishing the Bible in less than a year, but also includes the flexibility to shorten and extend the daily readings depending on time and length of chapters (ever compared Ps 117 and 119?).
I have learned a lot about myself in previous years of Bible reading. For example, I know there are days that I miss. I hope I didn’t just lose all credibility. When this happens it is important that I get back into the Word the next day and not worry about making up for lost time, but meeting with God in His revelation. With the six-chapter approach there should not be much of a problem reading the Bible through in a year if the missed days are only exceptions.
I’ve also learned that it is a rare day that I cannot read more than what is planned. Who says you have to stop where the plan says stop? I like to think of it as an appointment with God for a certain amount of time and filling that time with reading and prayer.
One more thing I have found is that sometimes you come to a verse or passage in the reading that is so profound and has such intense application for your life that you just need to stop there and not concern yourself with reading any further.
There is actually a dangerous part of having a Bible reading plan. This is the pitfall of becoming a slave to it rather than seeking it as a time for personal worship. It is better to read one verse worshipfully than multiple chapters dutifully.