Just a few days ago, I mentioned to my wife that I've noticed a lot of people talking about reading through the entire bible in the new year. More than usual too.
What is most encouraging about this is that there is a hunger for people to know the Word of God, more than just to say they have read the entire bible from Genesis to Revelation, which is a great accomplishment for anyone, even if it is just once! I, on the other hand will be one of those people this year that will hopefully be able to say at some point that I have completed reading the entire Bible for the very first time. After all, as a Christian, this is the book we live by and it would behoove us immensely to know what God has said, from within its pages.
Here are just a few verse from Psalm 119 (ESV) concerning what the Word of God will do for a person:
- I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
- I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119:16
- Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. Psalm 119:17
- My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! Psalm 119:25
- My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! Psalm 119:28
- My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. Psalm 119:81
- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
- I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. Psalm 119:162
But once the Bible has been read once entirely, I doubt anyone could ever be satisfied with just that one complete reading of Scripture.
Another exciting perspective that will be accomplished through the reading of Scripture this year for myself, will be as the Reformers principle, principle of 'scriptura interpretans scripturam' -- 'scripture interpreting scripture' and this will be happening right before my very eyes as I read too, greatly aiding my ability to understand the Bible even more and to help others understand a passage that may have been used out of context to them.
After quite a bit of deliberations regarding which reading plan I would follow this year, I settled on following Professor Grant Horner's reading system. If you're unfamiliar with this reading system, just Google - Professor Grant Horner's bible reading system and the very first search result should be a link to a PDF file to read.
This reading system calls for reading 10 chapters per day, with each chapter being drawn from a different part of the Bible. This means that over the course of 2012 anyone who uses the plan will go through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the Old Testament wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the Old Testament History and Prophetic books about one and a half times.
Tim Challies wrote a post about this earlier in December and inquired to know who else might be interested in reading the Bible along with him, using this system format.
I tried to follow this system once before with my wife, before we were married and we both failed to keep up with the reading schedule, which is challenging - 10 chapters a day, everyday until the entire Bible has been read. This time however, I feel a greater hunger within me spiritually that needs to be satisfied. Dr. Horner says that after 30 days you'll see how much you've been starved of the Word, probably because so little was read before and now so much is being fed into your soul! Who wouldn't want that!
One of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions (April 17, 1723), which I don't believe he wrote at the end of the year, is number 28 pertaining to the Scriptures, which says he was, "Resolved to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same."
So, this is my plan for reading the Bible in 2012. There are numerous other plans to choose from, whether it is a canonical, chronological, historical reading plan or some other format. Many are listed on the popular website, YouVersion and you can view those reading plans here. Hopefully, you've decided on a plan to read the Bible this coming new year and that you will finish it too, if not, pick one and get started tomorrow, or even today! Maybe you will consider joining the 3650 Challenge group on Facebook to help you along.
Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for allowing me to share part of my life and ministry with you this year.
May the new year be filled with even more of God's richness and goodness in your life, especially through the daily reading of His Word in 2012.
Faithfully in Christ,