Originally published Friday, 20 January 2012.
With a new year comes new plans and goals and all varieties of resolutions.
While I’m not much of a resolution maker (though I do have a fun one up my sleeve I will be sharing soon!), one of the things that I have marked the new year with the past couple of years has been to use this fresh start to settle on a Bible reading plan that will guide me for the following months.
The past two years, I’ve used a chronological Bible-reading plan that takes you through the Bible more or less in the order that the events written about are thought to have taken place. (For more on this chronological Bible-reading plan and to download a copy, go here.) The goal of this plan is to walk you through the Bible in a year, which makes it not for the faint hearted because it does require a considerable amount of dedication to sit down with your Bible for an hour or so a day.
Because I work from home as a freelance writer (more on that transition here), I have the time to dedicate to that. Even if you can’t commit to reading as much as they recommend every day, I think that this reading plan has been so valuable for me to gain a much more intimate understanding of the Biblical narrative and storyline. You can easily stretch it out to span more than a year and read each segment in chunks more accommodating to your schedule.
But by reading events that are grouped together—say the Old Testament prophecies along with the historical records in Kings and Chronicles that explain what was going on at that time—I’ve been able to really wrap my head around how all those stories and segments fit together and think that is by far the greatest strength in this reading plan. To anyone who wants to better understand the Bible in context, I’d highly recommend this chronological reading plan and I wholly expect to read it again in the future!
For this next year, though, I think I am going to slow down and use the next few months to really dig into different Scriptures and to linger with them longer than I was able to when reading through them for this previous plan. There are books—starting first with that of Hebrews—that I want to back up and chew on, slowly and intentionally. I have already checked some commentaries from the library and downloaded some online resources to get more perspectives on these writings. As I pour over them, I want to ponder them, explore their cross-references, really know them.
To really know them. That has been the desire of my heart for my Bible reading over the past couple of years that I have been attempting to cultivate. And I am loving the fruit that it is bearing. So, as we inch into this new year, it seems as good a time as any to make an effort to explore this discipline of Bible reading.
Which is why over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some more Bible-study thoughts and resources that will hopefully aid you as you take this year not only to make resolutions to lose weight or save more or spend time better but to remember that which is most important: to get to know God better by committing to reading more of His Word.
Are you starting a new Bible reading plan this year? What kind of approach do you use for reading the Scriptures? I'd love to hear more in the comments!
Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."
Feel free to learn more at her blog, Life Blessons.