Well, it seems my Valentines Day post will be about The Word – something I do love.
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2
I am collecting here some links and information on various Bible reading plans. I think all of them have a lot of merit and fit for different people or at least different times of life.
Ligonier has a plan in their monthly magazine Tabletalk. Plus you get cool daily devotionals and weekend articles to read.
Discipleship Journal has three reading plans depending on the amount of time you have to spend.
See this great blog entry by Tim Challies about the plan I am currently using that actually touches 10 different chapters a day in 10 very different parts of the Bible. I am enjoying this because I never feel like I’m falling behind, but I am staying in all parts of the Word. And I love seeing some cross-over. Once chapter early in Job was echoed very well in the Psalm I read that day. Then as I read Hebrews I was also reading about the same sacrifices in the OT. You can do just 5 chapters a day and just take 2 days to do all 10 chapters. Some chapters take more time than others and I don’t consider this my deep study for the day. This is the one that keeps me in the Word and remembering all the truth and promises through out.
This article talks about how hard it can be just to open your Bible and has a great suggestion for young moms who are just so busy at this time of life. There is also a link to a Bible reading plan that lets you do whatever you can do on whatever day you find time, but at least gives you some guidance so you aren’t just lost trying to figure out what to read.
Then there is a convicting post at Vitamin Z that addresses whether we need to read the entire Bible in a single year anyway. Perhaps there is a need instead for meditating more deeply on just a few verses. This post includes a link to a Daily Bible Meditation Guide (not a “reading plan”) with scriptures chosen for meditation. There is no Leviticus or Deuteronomy or Chronicles in here. I think there is still a need to revisit those parts of Scripture. I am actually finding 1 Samuel a very good read this time – partly due to the notes from when Pastor David preached through it last year. But the passages here will do you a lot of good and are worthy of deeper study than a plan to read the entire Bible in a year would give you.
Keep it secret, keep it safe
There is also a need to memorize Scripture. Jerry Bridges mentions it The Pursuit of Holiness. We need to be in the Word, and we need to have the Word in our hearts and minds so the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind when we need to hear it, to be convicted or reassured or reminded. NavPress (of Discipleship Journal and mentioned by Jerry Bridges) has a Topical Memory System that has been used for ages.
Another good program is the Fighter Verse program that Desiring God promotes. I am not fond of card systems for various reasons, mainly because I just don’t keep the cards handy. It is available right from the Fighter Verses website for free. And the iPhone app (now that I have an iPhone) is very handy (and reasonably priced). There are 3 verse collections: Legacy (the original collection), the new primary collection, and the Extended Collection that promotes memorizing larger pieces of scripture. Each is a 5 year program and the iPhone app is really well done. You have the option of KJV, NIV, and ESV. My current Bible is an ESV and I like memorizing in that format. But I recently read an interview with Joni Erickson Tada where she stated that she uses the KJV for memorization because the rhythm of the language made it easier. I find that makes sense. I can recite the 23rd Psalm and the Apostles Creed in the more formal language much easier and faster than trying to remember the more modern versions. Not sure if that is due to the years of repitition when I was younger or that it really is easier to recall.
Lots of ways to do it, but the point is to do it. Be in the Word. Read it regularly, study it and meditate on it. And memorize it. Funny (sad really) how easily it is pushed aside and crowded out by other things.