Typical Bible Reading Plans

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In this postmodern age, despondance is an increasingly common response to the question, “So, how are your church services going?” So many people to whom I have asked this question have felt uncomfortable with it. And the fact is, I think I know the reason why. We have been sold a lie about “what” is a good Bible reading plan. Here it is: read a few chapters every day or read the Bible from cover to cover.

Have you ever tried this? Do you read the Bible so mindlessly?

Great, if you have. Bravo! Have you received any extra grace from the Lord?

Maybe you are a little tired now, if you have been faithful to your Bible reading plansas they have been for you.

 But consider the following:

1. the Bible reading plan promotes a legalistic view of devotional time;

A certain amount of the Bible must be read to meet the criteria. Quantity is fine as long as one has the time to accompany the Holy Spirit who will prompt us to delve into a verse or even a word of the text. Following a Bible reading plan can sometimes prevent this freedom.

2.  As we graze chapter by chapter,

 Does any part of the text we read penetrate our minds deeply enough to penetrate our hearts and change us? Ministry is transformative in nature. We stand for growth in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit breathes through us because of the time we spend in the Word and the time we spend meditating on the Word between devotions. If we are following our Bible reading plan and yet feel that we are not making progress, then perhaps the Holy Spirit is revealing something to us.

3. Choosing one book from the Bible-

Or even one chapter-and following it for months or even a year or more can be a healthier discipleship of God’s Word and lead to real spiritual growth, emotional stability, and mental anchoring. The greatest period of growth in my life came from studying the book of Proverbs – one chapter a day – all 31 chapters each month – over a period of eighteen months. I had never intended to study that long; the Spirit of God drove me to it.

The last thing I studied was the Sermon on the Mount. And it’s not just the Word. I’ve been reading commentaries, listening to sermons on the subject, delving into the virtuosity of Jesus’ most famous teaching. And I have been both challenged and greatly encouraged!

4 If you’ve ever tried to stick to a Bible reading plan and failed, you know the inner shame that can cause. This inner shame does not come from God, but from Satan. It is God who makes our lives of devotion easier and more manageable – if only we have a heart for it. Satan, on the other hand, wants to complicate every good thing and make our joy invalid.

I am not saying that Bible reading plans are bad. They work for some people, and even for many. But for many people they are not a panacea, and the best growth takes place when we are free, when the Holy Spirit Himself guides us.

My advice when it comes to reading the Bible is to fall in love with it and grow with the Holy Spirit where He leads you.