Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
Many Christians want to faithfully read the Bible, but they don’t really know how to begin. Here I’m talking about daily reading, not an in-depth study of a book of the Bible. Some will decide that they want to read the Bible from beginning to end. That is an excellent goal, as you will see God’s grand story (creation, fall, redemption and consummation) displayed from Genesis to Revelation. Those who commit to this usually make a good start with the oftentimes familiar historical narratives found in the books of Genesis and Exodus, but then run into Leviticus, get frustrated, and many just give up.
Some prefer to read through the New Testament, ignoring the Old Testament, but that’s a mistake. It would be like reading just the last 25% of a great novel or mystery. Others may choose to read through the Psalms of the Old Testament or the Gospels of the New Testament. Some, like me, will choose to read through the Bible from beginning to end, and when finished with Revelation, go back and start again in Genesis. The scriptures are so rich, you will never get tired of reading God’s word. A lifetime of reading the Bible is not enough to mine all of the riches in its pages.There isn’t one perfect approach to reading the Bible, the key is just to commit to doing it on a regular basis, preferably daily. It’s also best to find a consistent time and place in your day that works best for you. It may be in the morning over coffee, listening to it on audio or in the evening before bed. For me, it’s while I’m on the exercise bike in the morning. Again, it doesn’t matter when or where it is, just that it works for you and your schedule.
Although the English Standard Version (ESV) is my favorite version of the Bible, in 2019 I will again use the CSB Spurgeon Study Bible, edited by Alistair Begg for my daily reading. I’ll supplement that with the book introductions from the Reformation Study Bible (ESV), for which R.C. Sproul served as General Editor. For your daily reading, choose a version of the Bible that is easy for you to understand, or you can certainly use a more accurate translation if you want to dig deeper for your Bible study if you would like. For example, NASB is translated word for word and NIV is a thought for thought translation. Bible Gateway is a great online FREE resource. It gives you many versions of the Bible to choose from including audio bibles, and also includes access to commentaries (Matthew Henry is outstanding).
Nathan Bingham of Ligonier Ministries has done us all a favor by gathering a number of Bible reading plans for consideration. It includes a chronological plan, which would be interesting. You can view his article here.
Don’t be overwhelmed: Tolle Lege! – just pick up and read! I encourage you to choose a plan and try to stick with it throughout the year, so you can know our great God and His story. You are part of that grand design!
Please share what reading plan you are going to use in 2019.