The Bible isn’t assembled in time order. I know…it shocked me too.
BUT…reading the Bible in time order really put all the bigger pieces in place for me. I’m one of those guys that needs to know how stuff fits together in the grand scheme of things. This is why it can be annoying to watch a sitcom or a movie with me. Just stuff to keep in mind.
I followed this Chronological Bible Reading Plan in 2009, and I intend to follow it in 2010 too. I even started a small movement at our church to get folks to read all the Bible in 2010. I know, right?! How crazy would it be if Christians READ their Bibles?!? 🙂
With that in mind, allow me to make a few suggestions for a successful Chronological Read in 2010:
- PRAY: Before I crack the Bible, I pray. There isn’t a person on Earth that completely understands every single line in the Bible – we need the Holy Spirit’s help to understand. Pray out loud to God for understanding of His Word.
- Get your mind in the right frame: I read a poem each day from The Valley of Vision. That book will definitely put you in the right frame of mind before a Holy God.
- Give yourself enough time: I’m an early bird, so I like to get up way before the sun and dig in. However – you’ll be reading like 5 chapters a day on this plan, so plan accordingly. I found that about 30 mins each day just for the reading part sufficed. Also, if you read other books, realize that you will need even more time for supplemental reading…plan to give yourself more time there too.
- Read quickly, but… have an outlet to meditate and expand on the stuff that hits you in the forehead. I have this blog when something really hits me hard – and I also have index cards on my desk that I write down the verses that jump out at me so that I can meditate/memorize them later. God’s word is DEEP – you can’t get it all in one sitting – chew on it. Yes, you can get a little bogged down in the book of Numbers, but keep going…and seek to understand how this text is important in God’s plan of salvation thru Jesus.
- Get a good Bible: I can’t stress how much this helped me. I see Christians struggling to understand scripture, yet they don’t take advantage of the latest Bibles that are out there. They have no cross-references, no study notes… Do yourself a favor – get a good study Bible with cross references, a solid concordance, and good study notes. I totally LOVE the ESV Study Bible and highly recommend it. It has lots of very helpful articles as well as a great section called “The History of Salvation” in the back that explains how the OT points to the cross. When you read the OT in light of the cross and the gospel – it comes to LIFE big time.
- Use other resources on the web. Want to dig even deeper? BibleGateway.com and BlueLetterBible.com are two of my favs…in addition to DesiringGod.com of course.
- Work thru what you are reading with others. This is also huge, and presents a great opportunity for those nosey folks who want to stir each other up and ask you that question “So…what have you been reading in the Word lately?!?” It also allows YOU the chance to ask THEM that question. If you are a worship leader, this will definitely make its way into your song choices and exhortations…trust me. Talking thru the verses you read with others builds your confidence, understanding, and your faith all with the Holy Spirit’s help of course.
- Let others see you reading. If you are a parent, this is also huge. Your kids will see your daily discipline in the word and that will speak volumes to them. Also, when I’ve been traveling for business, settling in on the plane and then busting out the phone book sized ESV and keeping up with my plan is a very powerful witness indeed!
- Be consistent and think ahead. Keep at it. If you miss or don’t complete the reading, plan ahead for later that day or the following morning to get caught up.
- Stay encouraged! You are reading the very Word of God! God will bless your pursuit of Him. He calls on us to increase our knowledge of Him. (2 Peter 1:5)