Reading the Bible in 2012!

Posted by Tanner Turley on

Yesterday at our service, we introduced our Bible Reading Plan for 2012 as an attempt to read through the Bible this year as a church. Though there is certainly no pressure to do so, it will be a great exercise for us to grow in the knowledge and grace of God as individuals and as a church. Let me introduce the plan and then provide a few encouragements.

We are going to use the "Through the Bible in a Year" plan. There are many options for reading through the Bible, but this is a simple approach that works straight through the OT & NT simultaneously. Here are some helps you can utilize to provide reminders, reading helps, etc. through various forms of technology. We will also have more copies to pick up next Sunday.

Through the Bible in a Year
Daily Old Testament and New Testament 
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Now, a few encouragements...

1) Is this doable? Reading the Bible in a year is a very attainable goal! You probably did not know that you only have to read just over 3 chapters a day to read the Bible in a year. There are 1189 chapters in the Bible. Divide that by 366 (Leap year, people) and it comes to 3.2486... to be exact. If you've never read through the Bible, don't worry, you're in good company. That is, if you count me good company! Though I have read through the Bible, I've never done it in a disciplined way throughout the calendar year. I'm game. Are you?

2) Is this profitable? What better discipline could you exercise in during 2012? The Bible is a light to our path (Ps. 119:105), our spiritual daily bread (Mt. 4:4), given by God and what equips us for life and ministry (2 Tim 3:14-17), and in the words of Moses, "our very life," (Deut. 32:47) just to name a few.

3) Is this only going to last for a few weeks? By God's grace, no! To avoid the typical New Year's Resolution effect with your Bible reading plan here are a few words of counsel:

  • Pray! Ask God to help you everyday. Ask God to help you understand & apply his word. Prayer will help keep your Bible reading gospel-centered. It will help keep delight in the discipline and guard you from formalism (where reading becomes a routine) and legalism (where reading becomes a way to merit favor from God).
  • Be Accountable. If you are really committed to reading through the Bible, find someone to encourage you and hold you acceptable. Preferably, this would be someone who is also reading through the Bible. If you need a partner, check with your Community Group or email me and I'll help you find a solution.
  • Work Hard! In the words of Lecrae... "Go hard or go home!" But...make sure you go hard in the power of the Spirit who provides grace for each day of the journey.
  • Persevere! There will be days, maybe even weeks, where you miss a scheduled reading. Find a way to catch up by reading a couple of extra chapters several days in a row or by carving out some extra time and knocking out a whole book in one sitting.

4) How should I execute the plan?

  • Find a Time to be Disciplined. Though some people work well without a schedule, most of us benefit from a disciplined time to read. Some may choose to read in the morning. Others may read a chapter or two in the morning and one or two at night. Still others may read during a 10-20 min work break.
  • Ask Questions of each OT & NT Passage. Here are four simple, but very helpful questions: What does this text teach me about God? What does this text teach me about fallen man? How does this text point me to Jesus? How should I live differently in light of this truth?
  • Use Resources. Try the above resources. You can even subscribe to a podcast and listen to the plan in audio. You might find it helpful to listen while you read or on your commute to work.
  • Remember, Reading is the Goal. Though there are many ways to absorb the Bible (reading, meditating, memorizing, in-depth study, listening to sermons, etc), the primary goal of this plan is reading. If you want to take time to answer lingering questions, grab a Study Bible (this is an excellent one) and go for it, but don't let it derail you from the main goal of reading.
  • Pray! Did I mention this already? Let prayer guide you into reading, and then let your reading guide your praying. Pray for the truths of the passage to be true in your life and in those you love.

Praying that God works in your life in huge ways during 2012!

Let's do this.

Tags: bible, christian life, spiritual disciplines