Monday, September 17, 2018

The "NOT A PLAN" Bible Reading Plan

I don't use a Bible reading plan. I plan on reading my Bible daily. I welcome structure and discipline. (Some might say I thrive on structure.) But when it comes to reading the Bible I am all for projects.

Choose a Bible. This first step seems the easiest but is actually the most difficult. It seems easy because there is no wrong answer. It is difficult because there are always a dozen factors I'm trying to keep in mind. Translation. Font Size. Red letter or Black letter? Does it lay flat? How heavy is it?

Create a routine. The good news is that once a routine is established, it is almost impossible to break. Once in the habit and routine of reading your Bible at a specific time of day in a specific place, it becomes second nature. At the same time, don't be afraid to adapt and be flexible. It's okay to have a routine in place for weekdays and a routine in place for weekends.

Have an approach for reading the Bible. I always begin with Genesis and end with Revelation. That never, ever, ever, ever varies. How I approach the other sixty-four books does. Often.

The whole Christian needs the whole Bible. Don't be timid or intimidated. Read all sixty-six books. Even if you're scared of meeting Ezekiel. Even if you think you'll get nothing out of Leviticus.

Know yourself. Are you a reader? Do you read a lot of books each year? Do you rarely read? Is it a miracle if you read one book in a year? Do you think of reading as a pleasure or a burden? Do you read fast? slow?

I am a reader. I am a book glutton. I know that I'm going to read through the Bible several times a year. That I can finish the Bible every two to four months--depending on if it's text only or a study Bible.

Only you know you. You don't have to be like any other person.

Bible reading plans often assume several things: a) you are a slow reader, a reluctant reader b) that you are only capable of reading as little as one chapter a day or as much as three chapters a day. c) that you will struggle to find time to do even this. d) that you will never get swept up, up and away in the text and want to read even more. e) that your spiritual appetite will stay the same year after year after year. If these statements are true for you, then there is nothing wrong with that. Use the plan and be blessed. But it's like assuming that every single person wears a size small T-shirt. Some people do indeed wear a small or even an extra small. But most people couldn't squeeze into a small.

If I use a Bible reading plan, I always, always, always change it and make it personal. Fifty-two week plans become fifty-two day plans. Ninety day reading plans become forty-five day plans.

Always challenge yourself. Don't be content having a breath mint's worth of Scripture a day when you're at a FEAST. You will never have a healthy spiritual appetite if you don't partake freely and frequently at the FEAST. Bible reading plans assume that your appetite is small and will stay small.

Don't be afraid to try something new now and then with your project(s). For example, making your own Bible promise book. Write out verses--by hand--as you read Scripture. OR journaling. OR meditation. OR Scripture memorization. OR Bible study. My current project has me answering a set of study questions after each day's reading. Writing out my observations is taking me out of my comfort zone in a good way. Your something new might be approaching Scripture chronologically. OR it might be reading whole books at a time.

Read to fall in love with the author. Seriously. Never forget why you're reading--to get to know God himself. It is God speaking. You can't love a God you don't know. And you can't know God without reading His Revelation. You can love a God of your own making. But you can't love the God of the Bible unless you actually read the Bible.

I am a BIG, BIG, BIG believer that every Christian should read the Bible in 90 days at least once. This approach is amazing in rewiring your mind and giving you a hearty appetite for the Word of God. It not only gives you an appetite but it helps build routine as well.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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