The Importance of God’s Word
Psalm 119 is essentially an extended meditation on the power of God’s Word. Whether the Psalmist is talking about “the Law,” “precepts,” “statutes” or “commandments,” he is talking about the Word of God. The shocking thing to notice is that in basically every instance you could replace the word used to describe God’s Word, with the name of God, and the verse still makes sense.
Take verse 16 as an example. Here is how it reads “I will delight in your statutes;I will not forget your word.” Now here is how it reads with the words substituted “I will delight in God; I will not forget God.” What we see again and again is that to hear the Bible in faith is to hear the voice of God. To trust in what the Bible promises is to trust in what God promises. To believe what the Bible teaches is to believe what God teaches. The Bible is the product of God’s breath and is given to us so that we can know Him. For followers of Jesus there is no substitute.
Reading the Whole Bible
That is why now, at the start of a new year, is a great time to consider beginning a Bible reading plan. You may have a long list of New Year’s resolutions, but if you are a follower of Christ reading the Bible should be on your list. Man does not live on bread alone but by the very word of God (Deut 8:3 & Matt 4:4)!
Maybe you’ve tried a Bible reading plan in the past but got discouraged or gave up. You missed too many days and it felt pointless to keep trying. Give it another try! Some time in the Bible is better than no time in the Bible. You can do it!
Reading through the whole Bible in a year takes as little as 20 minute a day. Perhaps the plan you picked in the past was not the right fit for you or perhaps you didn’t have a Christian friend holding you accountable. Find a friend and find a plan and go for it! There is not much I can do in helping you find a Christian friend (try going to church), but I do wanna help you find a Bible reading plan.
Picking a Bible Reading Plan
Some Bible reading plans fail because you find yourself slogging through Levitical Law month after month. To help remedy that many Bible plans have you reading in multiple places all at one, so that you can take in multiple portions of Scripture that all feel a bit different.
1.) The Bethlehem Baptists Church Bible Reading Plan (NavPress)
The pastors at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN developed this plan in conjunction with NavPress. This plan is great because it uses four bookmarks that have you in four different places in the Bible at any given time. It has 25 readings for each month, so it gives you the freedom to miss a few days each month but still stay on track. These four bookmarks can be easily printed of and put in your Bible. I have personally done this plan before and found it really helpful!
Here is a PDF version of this plan. Bible Reading Plan – Bookmarks Nav Press
2.) The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
This plan was developed some time ago by the Scottish minister Robert Murray M’Cheyne. With this plan you will be in four different places in the Bible at any given time. However this plan will take you through the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year(!) and the Old Testament once! Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the effort.
An added perk of this plan is the fact that D. A. Carson has written a devotional book (For the Love of God – Vol. 1 & Vol. 2) that corresponds to the daily readings. With the insight of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, he offers a brief meditation on one of the daily passages.
Here is a PDF version of this plan. The MCheyne Bible Reading Plan
3.) The Five Day Bible Reading Plan
This plan is exactly as it sounds, you spend 5 days of your 7 day week reading the Bible. This plan will have you in the Old Testament and the New Testament at the same time. However, a unique feature of this plan is that the Old Testament readings follow a roughly chronological arrangement. What that means is that you may read about a story of King David in 1 or 2 Samuel, and then read the Psalm he wrote during that story! This is a really fun way to read the Old Testament and it really offers great context to a number of the Psalms!
Here is a PDF version of this plan. Bible Reading Schedule 2023
4.) The One Year Bible
This plan is a specially designed Bible that takes you through the Bible in one year. This Bible is described as “Setting and maintaining a goal of reading through the Bible in a year can be tough in the busyness of everyday life. The ESV Every Day Bible was designed from the ground up to be an inviting daily-reading Bible, to help readers achieve their goal of reading through the Bible in a year. Each daily reading presents a passage from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in an attractive double-column typesetting printed on high-quality Bible paper.” If convenience is a priority for you, and if you would rather do without clumsy bookmarks, this may be the plan for you.
Here is a link to purchase this Bible from the Westminster Bookstore. ESV Every Day Bible: 365 Readings Through the Whole Bible
A Final Word about the Word
My hope and prayer is that one of these Bible reading plans will help you read God’s Word in 2021. The best Bible is the one you read, and the best Bible reading plan is one that helps you read the Bible. Pick a plan, trust the Lord and ask God to open your eyes that you might behold wondrous things out of His Word (Psalm 119:18).
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden – LINK