It’s not too late to start a Bible reading plan…
What the coming year is to bring forth, who can tell? . . . Those believers will stand firmest who have no dependence upon self or upon creatures, but upon Jehovah our Righteousness. We must be driven more to our Bibles, and to the mercy-seat, if we are to stand in the evil day.
Robert Murray M'Cheyne wrote these words as part of an encouragement to his congregation to read their Bibles more. He devised a reading plan which, unbeknown to him, would turn out to be used by Christians throughout the world.
Would our faith strengthen and mature if we were to make Bible reading a habit? Would we know God better in 2019 if we were to read His Word more? Countless Christians can testify to having benefited from using Bible reading plans. Without some sort of plan, we are likely to ignore certain portions of scripture and struggle with continuity. A reading plan helps us to be disciplined and enables us to read the entire Bible within a year, two years or three years.
There are dangers with a reading plan as M’Cheyne points out:
formality (in which Bible-reading degenerates into a lifeless duty)
self-righteousness (we pat ourselves on the back for doing the daily reading & box-ticking)
careless reading (we read fast to get it done and don't tremble at the Word of God)
it is possible that the Bible-reading plan can become a yoke too heavy to bear
These are real dangers, but the answer is not to neglect regular reading. Regular reading should be a joy and source of strength for the Christian. For those who read the Bible in a Community Group, those passages that you read in your community can be ticked off on your reading plan (or even substituted for that particular week’s reading).
Bible in three years
Here is a plan that takes you through the Bible in three years. You read a chapter a day staying in the same book for a period of time. You won’t go long without spending some time in the New Testament.
Bible in two years
This reading plan will take you through the Bible in two years but in that time, you will read through the Psalms and Proverbs four times. There is a ‘catch up day’ every week where no reading is assigned.
Bible in one year
This reading plan will take you through the Bible in a year. Each month has 25 readings allowing time to catch up on missed readings (or time to go back and meditate on or study passages you’ve read). Each day has a short New Testament passage.