With the New Year come new goals and new opportunities to build solid habits into our lives. This year, I worked to customize my Bible Reading Plan to what I really need to be focusing on in my daily walks through God’s Word. I used the Logos Bible software to draw up a plan that seems to be wise and fruitful for me (Note: Creating the plan is the easy part, following it is the challenge 🙂
This software lets you customize what you want to read through the year and will even tell you what to read each day. Last year, I worked through the Psalms, Old Testament, Gospels and New Testament one time. I also read a Proverb everyday, which let me read through this book once every month. Please do not be impressed by this. I’m embarrassed by how relatively new this discipline of consuming the Word of God is over the course of my life.
For 2006, I’m taking up a greater challenge and making some changes I’m excited about. Thus far, I’ve been doing all my readings in the English Standard Version. This is a very readable translation (much like the NIV or RSV; which are both good as well), but is more accurately translated from the original Greek texts. The ESV is simply the most accurate translation which is also easy to read and memorize. I will read God’s Word almost entirely from the ESV this year.
But this year I’m also planning to read and pray one of the Psalms everyday from The Message. Eugene Peterson started The Message project from within the Psalms (specifically the fifteen Songs of Ascents: Ps. 120-134) in order to encourage people to start praying them again. Throughout most of church history, the Psalms have been the prayer book of the church. Some traditions didn’t even think it was necessary to pray anything outside of the Psalms. But for me, I just desire to begin to let the Psalter impact my prayer life more and more each day.
So, my personal plan for 2006 is to read through the Old Testament (excluding Psalms and Proverbs) once, the Gospels twice, the rest of the New Testament twice, the Proverbs twelve times (I need the extra wisdom), and also to read and pray a Psalm everyday (don’t call me on Ps. 119 day 🙂 I don’t say this to boast. If you only knew how difficult and challenging it will be for me to make it through the first week alone.
But I do want to challenge you all to set a plan and discipline yourself to keep at it. Interesting how no one is setting goals to eat enough meals in 2006. No one anticipates accidentally starving to death physically, but if we aren’t careful about reading God’s Word everyday, we will surely starve our souls (which are forever).
Here’s a sample of what my plan looks like:
Sun, Jan 1 Genesis 1:1-2:25; Proverbs 1; Matthew 1:1-17; Acts 1:1-26; Psalm 1
Mon, Jan 2 Genesis 3:1-4:26; Proverbs 2; Matthew 1:18-2:12; Acts 2:1-13; Psalm 2
Tue, Jan 3 Genesis 5:1-6:22; Proverbs 3; Matthew 2:13-3:12; Acts 2:14-36; Psalm 3
Wed, Jan 4 Genesis 7:1-8:22; Proverbs 4; Matthew 3:13-4:17; Acts 2:37-3:11; Psalm 4
Thur, Jan 5 Genesis 9:1-10:32; Proverbs 5; Matthew 4:18-5:12; Acts 3:12-4:4; Psalm 5
Fri, Jan 6 Genesis 11:1-12:20; Proverbs 6; Matthew 5:13-32; Acts 4:5-22; Psalm 6
Sat, Jan 7 Genesis 13:1-15:21; Proverbs 7; Matthew 5:33-6:4; Acts 4:23-5:11; Psalm 7
If you’d like me to send you a copy of this or plug in a different personal plan for you, email me what you’d like and I plug it into my program. I’d love to serve in this way.
One word of caution would be to not set up a plan for the purpose of impressing God or other people. The Word of God is the place we meet and hear from God. I’m convinced He’s much more concerned for us to become “doers” of the Word, then to be sophisticated in merely reading it. Therefore, let us read the Word of God diligently in order to do all He requires!!