From my young adult years, I never knew quite how to read the Bible. I used to just open it up and see where it landed, and would consider that my reading for the day. I have also tried the various “reading through the Bible in a year” plans. Guess what? I always failed. I never could be consistent enough.
Actually, there were great periods of time when I did not even read my Bible daily. GASP! How could I call myself Christian? I did listen to Christian radio sermons while in my car. But I now admit, that’s not reading the Bible. That’s not listening for God’s voice, learning his statutes.
I had never read through the Bible Genesis through Revelation. What I have done, was read different books of the Bible, not necessarily in order, nor in a certain time frame.
However, my most rewarding plan has been reading through the Old Testament and the New Testament. I read in order, one chapter of the Old Testament beginning with Genesis, and one chapter of the New Testament beginning with Matthew everyday excluding Sundays. (That’s my plan.) I actually started this in January 2015, beginning with Old Testament only at Genesis, but as I was finishing the book of Exodus, I decided to add the New Testament.
So far with this reading plan, I have already finished the New Testament once and was again nearing Revelation, when I decided to pick up my Bible’s reading plan starting from Psalm 119, which where I was in my own plan, so that I can now finish both the Old and the New at the same time.
I will return, however, to my old plan starting with Genesis and Matthew again, which means, I will probably read through the New Testament 3 or possibly 4 times before I finish the Old Testament, and to me, that’s okay.
I have found reading through the books of the Bible is helpful because it gives you context to what perhaps you may have heard in a sermon, now you are seeing how God dealt with his people, you witness his power, his grace and mercy, especially through the Old Testament. Reading the Old Testament is like watching a movie. Really. You are an eye witness to his providence, how he unfolds his purposes. In the New Testament, you see Christ, how he lived in complete obedience to the will of his Father. You see how the many prophecies are fulfilled in Christ, and learn how to live in this life through the epistles.
What I’ve learned from reading on my very slow track through the Bible is context is important. Who is the author? Who are they writing to? What is the message? What can I learn from it?
“Open thou my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18 KJV
What’s your Bible reading plan? I don’t think that there is a one plan fits all, but I do know that it should be our daily diet.
“I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12b