I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but I have always liked starting a new year. A new year, a new month, a new week… even a new day has always inspired me. I am not bound by what is past; there is always a chance for a new beginning. Every sunrise is a reminder that yesterday is past and I must not let the weight of what did or did not happen yesterday drag me down today. Every day God’s mercies are new, and I rejoice in that. Who knows what might happen today? Who knows what might happen in 2017? I don’t. But the awesome thing is that God does. God has a Plan, and He will accomplish His Purpose. Because I am His child, His Plan will be for my ultimate good… even if it hurts terribly right now. The question becomes, will I trust Him? Will I trust His Plan for 2017? Lord, I trust You, help me in my distrust.
All of that was not what I sat down to write. But there it is, and I will leave it.
What I sat down to write was about Bible reading plans. I love plans and planners of all sorts, and there are some good ones out there. The most important thing is to pick a plan that will work for you, in whatever season of life you are in. Do not be unrealistic in your plan! The important thing is to start reading and to stay in the Word.
Last year (I think) I started a read through the Bible in 2 (or 3) years plan. I picked it knowing I would not be able to manage it in the time allotted, but I liked the way it was laid out and decided to just mark chapters off as I read them. I have done pretty well, and am only a few months behind the scheduled date. What I have loved about this plan is that each day it has you read a few chapters in order, and then a Psalm or a Proverb. This has kept me in those books all year, and Psalms are definitely my sanity.
Last week I found a very pretty printable chart of all the chapters of the Bible. My plan is to continue the basic idea of last year’s plan, reading 2 chapters through the Bible on most days and reading a Psalm or Proverb each day, checking it off on this chart as I go. On early work days I might only manage 1 chapter or 1 Psalm. Other days I can do a lot more. The plan allows me the flexibility to do something different each day or each week, but encourages me to at least do something to progress each day.
If you are up to a challenge that will push you, pick a plan that requires that. There are several to choose from on Ligonier’s website. Several years ago I read through the Bible chronologically in a year. I won’t lie, it was a challenge. I forced myself to read 5 or more chapters each day, not allowing myself to stop and ponder single verses, which is my natural bent. In the end I had this wonderful sweeping overview of Scripture. I can hardly wait to be able to do that again, and I have this idea of designing a chronological Bible reading chart… but it is not going to happen while I am in grad school! So I will plod along at whatever pace each day allows, and keep myself in the Word. I wise man once told me, “Stay in the Word,” and that is the best advice for any difficulty you are going through, even if your difficulty is an overloaded schedule. As a believer, staying in the Word is your lifeline to God. Do not let your overloaded schedule, or anything else, take that from you.
Pick a plan, and stay in the Word!