Normally, I read through the Bible using a resource called “Read Through the Bible in a Year in Chronological Order” by John R. Kohlenberger III. I love reading in context as I am guided to read the same encounters in all the books that mention it (Samuel, Kings & Chronicles together with appropriate Psalms and Prophets interspersed with the associated events, etc.). Over the years, I have had to repurchase this resource more than once because my markings keeping track of progress make it hard to use for a new year. I tend to get ahead of and behind schedule and don’t often get to use the calendar list included. Also, I choose different Bible translations each time to give me fresh perspectives and the joy of marking on clean pages what God highlights in my heart as I read and journal.
A dear friend recently posted a recommended a daily reading plan written by her friend and I purchased it, deciding to use a different format. While I have greatly enjoyed reading the Bible in general order, I was ready for a break. This year, I am using “Woman’s Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year: A Life-Changing Journey Into the Heart of God” by Diane Stortz.
One thing I immediately noticed was that I would not be flipping around the pages, thus making it easier to simply read devotionally. This should help to keep my “inner teacher” from chasing geography, people, word studies, etc. and simply spend time with God’s word. Also, with this plan, I will be jumping between OT and NT passages throughout the year. Those who know me will understand how much of a change it will be to do things “out of order.”
However, I am enjoying the process of simply reading to get to know God rather than to study for teaching about God.
This “planned randomness” may become my new normal.
One of my goals for the year is to appreciate the individual events and be more present in the process instead of chasing some distant achieved goal–to zoom in from the overall view of the total to the individual contribution–more of a crossword puzzle than picture puzzle. Each book of the Bible contributes to the overall story, but has its own answer also.
Yet, they connect through shared aspects or themes, much like words connect by shared letters.
I think God will use this study plan to help me achieve a slower, more reflective pace.
Do you have a plan for reading or studying the Bible? Share what works for you…maybe I’ll try it next.