Reading the Bible ThroughBy Dan Vis
February 12, 2017
We're well into 2017, but it's never too late to get started on a plan to read through the entire Bible. And it's a great idea as well. Reading through the Bible gives us a good overview of Scripture and enables us to see how the various parts fit together. It also enables us to stumble on to important verses hidden away here and there, we might otherwise miss. Some verses will merit additional study. Others we will be eager to memorize. But before we can do either, we have to find them! At FAST, we definitely recommend reading through the Bible at least once every year or two.
How we read is important. Bruce Ware over at Desiring God, suggests five helpful keys to getting the most out of your Bible reading program:
1. Commit yourself to consistent Bible reading.
Don't leave it to happenstance or chance. Determine to make steady pace through the coming year, and then stick with it.
2. Engage in both fast-paced and slow-paced reading.
Slow, careful reading is important--to let the truths you are reading sink in. But there's something to be said for stepping back and taking the big picture in by reading a long passage or even an entire book more quickly. Set aside time for both kinds of reading. Mix it up.
3. Focus on the Author behind the writer.
It's always helpful to keep in mind that there is a God in heaven seeking to reveal himself through the pages of Scripture. Don't get so bogged down in the words of your passage that you miss what it is telling you about God.
4. Seek informed minds and stirred affections.
Always begin your reading time with a special prayer that God would speak to you personally. Ask for insights that both deepen your grasp of truth, and move you emotionally. A healthy spiritual life requires you to engage both logic and feeling.
5. Commit yourself to act on what you read.
Be sure to stay alert for moments of application, where the Spirit of God tugs on your heart to respond to what you read with some action. Be doers of the Word and not just hearers, or readers, only.
I'll add one additional suggestion to his list: keep a notepad handy to jot down verses you stumble across that you might like to memorize some day. (There's a place to store future verses in the Engine as well). With a vigorous reading program, you will generally find verses faster than you can learn them. Keeping a list of "future favorites" means you always have a list of verses to memorize when you have a spare minute or two.
There are many different Bible reading plans available on the internet. With 1189 chapters in the Bible, you can get through the Bible in less than 10 months at just 4 chapters a day. Here's a few suggested reading plans you may find helpful, from various sites:
- Canonical Plan: Straight through from Genesis to Revelation, in normal book order.
- Chronological Plan: Read through the Bible in the order it was written. Helps put the stories of the Bible in order.
- Old and New Testament Plan: Many like a mixture of Old and New Testament passages each day. This plan reads through the Old Testament once, and the new Testament three times each year to give a nice balance.
- Blended Plan: This plan completely mixes up the order with each day of the week focused on a different type of reading. Helpful for those who like a lot of variety.
I personally tend to jump around from book to book as I sense the need--but stick to one book at a time until I get it finished. That gives me the variety I need, while also allowing me to fully engage in the flow of the writer's thoughts. I also like the flexibility of being able to go slower or quicker as I wish, or as my circumstances allow.
To help ensure I make it through the entire Bible, I use the Reading Record tool in the Dashboard. There I simply check off chapters I've read so I can instantly see which books I've finished and which ones I still have to do. It also keeps track of my average reading pace, and even my projected completion date. Go as fast or as slow as you want, follow any reading plan you want, and begin any time you want. Just log in once a day and update the record. You will be through the entire Bible before you know it!
CommentsAre you in the process of reading through the Bible? What plan are you following? Have you been able to stay consistent? What helps you get more out of reading the Bible? Share a thought in the comments below.
|Posted by Jason Diehl on 05/03/17|
|This is great information. I just recently found a link to a reading plan that includes the SOP in a 1 year plan, been looking at following this, and I see Becky has a plan also, would be curious on that one as well.
Here is the link I was getting ready to start.
One reading plan I really like also is the Amazing Facts. They have one you can print front and back and slip in the back of your bible. It covers some Old Testament, some New Testament, some Psalms every day. And the best thing I like about it is that it splits it up into 25 readings a month but being split this way gives you 5-6 days off every month for incidentals. Let's say you do a different devotional every Sabbath. Or whatever may happen. If you read it straight through you are done in 10 months, if you take your days off you are done in a year.
You can find that one here (I print it in booklet form, front and back and fold in half for the back of my bible to mark off, I just prefer to read in paper when I can, I'm always plugged in the rest of the day)
|Posted by Amy on 04/24/17|
|I have a devotional book called "Walking Through the Bible with HMS Richards" that I am using this year to read through the Bible. I also record the daily readings on my dashboard so that I can see my overall progress.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 02/23/17|
|Thanks everyone! I am hoping to post several reading plans in the Dashboard for members to explore and use. Not sure when I'll be able to get to this, but hopefully soon.|
|Posted by Jill Macgillivray on 02/22/17|
|Thank you Becky for sharing your experience. It speaks to my heart in a special way.|
|Posted by Becky Rich on 02/21/17|
|God bless you, dear Berith. I hear angels rejoicing in heaven above! God's blessings are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-2322 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.|
|Posted by Berith Bermejo on 02/21/17|
|Thank you Becky. I do understand and agree with you. That's why I'm working on removing unnecessary work and tasks to focus on what's important. You truly have that gift of exhortation :) Romans 12:6,8Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; . . . Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.|
|Posted by Becky Rich on 02/21/17|
|The devil wants us to look at Bible reading and memorization as another "chore" we must check off of our long daily lists of tasks we must do. I'm speaking here from my own personal experience, not saying that anyone else is doing this.
But over my many years of walking with Christ, I am finding that prayer, Bible reading and memorization are a means of being in the very presence of our Father, of speaking with Him and hearing from Him. The enemy knows this and that is why he tries so hard, and often successfully, to keep us so busy that time with our Father gets pushed to the wayside, and neglected.
God is so patient with us, waiting and longing to hear from us. He wants to spend quality time with us and tell us so many things. When we meditate upon the Lord, through His word, the Father himself draws close and through His Holy Spirit whispers into our ear His love and His thoughts.
When we fully grasp just how close the Father comes as we read His words, it turns from a chore into a much loved and deeply appreciated spiritual time of fully enjoying our Father's wisdom and presence.
I don't know if this makes sense to anyone other than myself, but I just wanted to share my experience, hoping it will encourage my brothers and sisters to see things a little differently. It's made all the difference in my own life.
That is a great verse to claim for wisdom. Another verse I love is Ephesians 2:4-74 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus., Berith
|Posted by Berith Bermejo on 02/21/17|
|Yes, it is, Becky. I'm more consistent in studying and memorizing, which are really a joy to do. I do want to be able to read it through again. Like some other commented, I'm claiming James 1:5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. for wisdom on when to squeeze consistent Bible reading.|
|Posted by Becky Rich on 02/18/17|
|Thanks, Dan. In the meantime anyone who wants the reading plans can send me their e-mail a dress, but not here. Just go to my office by clicking on my name and leave me a message there.|
|Posted by Gloria Bernard on 02/16/17|
|Dear Becky, Please may I have a copy of your reading plan with EGW books you used. Thank you, Gloria|
|Posted by Claudia Kaiser on 02/14/17|
|Hi Sherry Rich. I, too, would like the chronological Bible reading plan and the SOP that goes along with that plan. I would like both the 1-year and 2-year plan. Thank you!|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 02/14/17|
|Ah it's fine sis. Becky . Just go ahead and paste the whole link in text if it's easier. The icon with white hand pointing upwards is the function to use to make a link if you want to try :)|
|Posted by Qing Ling on 02/14/17|
|Sherry, check out this link. It explains the bible in one year reading plan that the app allows you to subscribe to. All free. Using the YouVersion bible app, I stream the audio play function of the NLT version which even has music background for some parts of the reading to make it more pleasant I guess ?? The KJV version audio is awesome too with a real deep voice. Check it out. Once you open the reading plan in the app, and go to the Bible reading page, tap the audio icon and it will automatically read that portion of scripture to you. Then you click next to progress through each portion of scripture allocated for the day's reading until it's all complete and tada you're done! Even if you don't use the Bible reading plan, the Bible app will still have the audio button in any page of the Bible that you turn to, and you click play to listen to each chapter.hope that helps.|
|Posted by Delene Drescher on 02/13/17|
Would you please send me a copy of the Chronological Reading Plan with the SOP readings as well?
|Posted by Jill Macgillivray on 02/13/17|
|Becky, Can you email to me, or post for all, a copy of your intense reading plan that includes the 8 EGW books?|
|Posted by Becky Rich on 02/13/17|
|For those above i'd like to share my testimony as I'm amazed as I see how God has led me in the past and is continuing to lead me each day. Perhaps this will encourage or inspire someone else.
I came to a point in my life, during a period of severe trial, where I was as desperate to know GOD as a drowning man is to have air or as a person lost in a desert might be to have water. I HAD TO FIND GOD!
The only place I could think of to find Him was in His word. So I started a systematic, daily reading of His word, rising at 4 in the morning so I could have a few quiet hours with him. My state of mind at that time did not allow me to concentrate well, so I started writing down what I was reading, in order to grasp the words I read.
Eventually, I wrote the entire Bible by down, learning slowly as I went slowly. It takes time to write. I then realized I can type much faster and so did my second reading doing just that. But now in the same allotted time, I could type a chapter in the Old Testament AND a chapter in the New Testament! So my learning increased.
Eventually I came to the knowledge of God's incredible Love for me, and His desire to heal me from a very painful childhood. I had a morning where I experienced His Love particularly, where He fulfilled in me the reality of Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you., touching me and emotionally restoring me to health. I KNOW God is real, and actively involved with us today, just as He was with the people in Bible times!
It's God's desire to have us healthy, physically, spiritually and emotionally, though not always in that order! He desires most our restoration to His image! But longs to provide for us in ways we cannot begin to imagine until by faith we grasp hold of His promises!
Since the day of my healing I've encountered many hurting women. I encourage them to get to know the God of the Bible, through a deep reading of His word. I encourage the hurting to look up God's promises and memorize them, starting with Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.. While a casual reading may suggest this is talking about basic needs such as food, clothing or housing, I'm convinced it means ANYTHING we truly need.
After a few years of reading and typing the Bible I've "graduated" into other plans, such as topical study, blended plan, and old and new reading, but what I love most and have followed the last 10 years is an intense chronological plan that involves reading 8 of Mrs. White's books along with the corresponding chapters of the Bible.
She brings out a depth of meaning from the Bile that I was unable to grasp as fully in my own reading. The books are Steps to Christ, Christ's Object Lessons, Desire of Ages, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, Acts of the Apstles, The Great Controversy, Patriarchs and Prophets, and Prophets and Kings.
I found a plan that allowed me to do this in a two year period, reading for about 20 minutes from Monday to Friday. But since I love to hear from God 7 days a week, and I love to read from the new as well as the old, I developed this reading into a more intense one year program. Since the New Testament is shorter than the Old, I have the joy of reading it twice each year! It involves more time, of course, but rising early gives me that time before the day begins. I personally cannot imagine not doing this.
I also now use the Reading Record that Dan mentioned to keep track of my progress as I go. It's a helpful tool no matter what plan we use to read.
However, we read, consistency is the key and time spent with God is never wasted. He is coming soon for a people who love and serve Him, and we will have eternity to sit at His feet and learn from His lips.
Cc:Suzi, Pam, Marilyn, Darci, John, Sherry, Marsha, Dan, Diane
|Posted by Marsha on 02/13/17|
|We have been reading the Bible through with the Church body as part of the Revival and Reformation project. We did that the first time also, now on the second pass an what a blessing it has been!|
|Posted by John on 02/13/17|
|Great topic Mr. Vis!! Thanks for the admonition. I take a blended approach. HMS Richards used to do what he called 'an airplane view of the Bible' once a year. He read through the whole Bible in the month of January. That of course takes significant investment of daily time. I tried it last year, though not consistently, so it took me 11 months! Lol. My original plan was to do the airplane view, then follow it up during the rest of the year with following Peter Gregory's method of studying all the Bible books thoroughly and one at a time, as outlined in his "How to Study the Bible" course. I'm still on that plan, though the Journey has me pleasantly sidelined :-). I'm trying to work my way to including all of it. I'll have to claim James 1:5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.|
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