Happy New Year!
I have a friend who says that she always chooses ten different challenges to take on each year. She said that she had been doing this since she was a child. So I think I will be a copycat. I am going to choose ten different challenges for this year.
The first challenge that I have selected is in tandem with friends, reading through the bible in one year using the same plan, but different versions of the bible. We will embark on this journey in tandem with one another, exhorting and praying for one another as this journey unfolds. We are a diverse international group, connected by Facebook, open to any and everyone who cares to join. The reading began on New Year’s Day, but there is still plenty of time for anyone to join. The name of the group is Read Through the Bible in 2012.
There is another app that I have joined along the same lines on Facebook: it is Once A Day: Read Once a Day. On this app, you type in your reading for that day, and it posts on your Facebook wall.
This will be the first time that I have followed someone else’s plan in my bible reading. The last time that I read the bible all the way through, I did it one book at a time. The plan that our group is using has a morning and an evening reading. The morning readings are in Genesis and the evening reading is in Matthew for now.
There are many different ways to study and read our bibles. The main thing is that we all find the way that works for us. What works for one may not be successful for another. Here are some suggestions of different ways to read.
1. Read 3 chapters a day. I don’t know whether or not this will get you through in one year, but it will be enough to keep you engaged, and not so much that it is daunting. If you feel compelled to read more on a particular day, do it. If you don’t feel like reading one day, do it anyway. That may be the day that your blessing awaits. For a story about this read, A Gift From the Lord.
2. My Pastor, Jim Sweet told me about a discipline that he uses: he reads one chapter a day in the gospels. He starts with Matthew. He reads one chapter a day in addition to his other reading. He finishes before the end of the month, then he waits until the first of the month and starts the next book. That way, he reads each gospel three times a year. Great idea! I will be following this plan in addition to my daily reading with the Facebook group.
3. Pastor Jim also shared with me that he listens to tapes of the bible while doing mundane chores like shaving in the morning and cleaning house. Another great idea. The bible can be put on an MP3 player or Ipod and listened to during exercising. This is good for helping to increase faith, following the scripture in Romans 10:17 that says, “…faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
4. A former pastor, Tim Morgan of Andalusia Bible Church once told our congregation that if we got bogged down by the “begats”, to turn the page. Don’t get bogged down and quit.
5. Of course, feel free to join our Facebook group and follow the plan that we are following. We would love to have you! One of the ladies in the group, Carmen Elena Lopez, who said that she had heard a pastor on Moody Radio preach that whenever we read our bible, there are three questions that we need to ask while reading. These are:
1. What is this passage teaching me?
2. Is there a promise in this passage I must believe?
3. Is there a command I must obey?
These are great guiding questions!
Do you have a specific discipline for your bible reading and study? I would love to hear from you about your plan.