Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Read the Word

I have just read an excellent blog by R T Kendall urging people to read the Bible more. There are many Bible reading plans available and a good list can be found here . I would like to suggest one more scheme, one I have used for many years. It works like this:

Split the Bible into three sections:
  1. Genesis - Esther
  2. Job - Malachi
  3. New Testament

Put a book mark at the start of each section. The bookmarks can be physical bookmarks in a physical Bible (remember those!), or, as I do now, you can use bookmarks in YouVersion or some other electronic source.

Then read one chapter each day from each section, advancing the bookmarks one chapter.

When a bookmark reaches the end of a section, just put it back to the beginning.

I have used this for several years, starting with physical bookmarks, not using the digital version! There are several advantages to this scheme, including:
  • You have a variety of types of reading each day, eg narrative, prophecy, gospel. This helps when you encounter the "boring" bits. I know we shouldn't find the Bible boring, but there are some parts which are easier to read than others. However, we should persist with the difficult bits, one day you will be surprised and find that a light suddenly dawns.
  • You will get through the whole Bible in a little over a year. You can of course read two or even more chapters per section per day if you wish.
  • If you read  from different parts of the Bible you will sometimes be amazed at the connections.
  • The sections are not the same size, so you can keep using this plan forever and each time you go through it the different sections will be at different stages, so it will never repeat.

Here is some practical advice as well. The Bible is the greatest book there is and there are sometimes when we read it that we have the most amazing encounter with God, something really hits us. However, there are times when I read it and afterwards wonder, "what good did that do?" Most if the time it is somewhere inbetween the two, and most of the time I do feel edified, built up, by reading the Bible, but sometimes I don't. This is normal. When we encounter such times just press on. Even when we don't "feel" the word doing us any good it still builds us up, and days when we feel the benefit will arrive again.

Whether you follow this plan or one of the many others, read the Bible!

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