It's New Year's Day: Are you on the fence about starting a Bible reading plan for 2017?
Last night before I tucked my girls into bed for the last time in 2016, I printed them each a plan for reading the New Testament in 2017. They’ve all been showing varying degrees of commitment to and enjoyment of reading the Bible alone in the past year. But I’ll be honest, we haven’t done a great job of impressing this value on them. They know we highly value the word of God and we often discuss it and read it together—but we haven’t trained them well to read it and savor it for themselves.
The plan I printed for them is for five days a week and only takes about five minutes a day. They’ll be reading a chapter of the New Testament every weekday and will have finished the whole thing by next New Year’s Eve. The plan has boxes to check, which is something they get giddy about.
I’m also looking forward to a Bible reading plan this year. In the past five years our lives have been full of tumult. First we prepared and moved away from Japan, our family's home for 10 years. Then we moved to the Czech Republic. Then we moved to Colorado. This coming year shows some signs of possibly being more stable and allowing me to recommit myself to reading the whole Bible in one year.
Ligonier has a great webpage with Bible reading plans for this year—there really is a plan for everyone! You don’t have to feel pressure to read the entire Bible—but find a plan that will help you get nourished each day. I’m doing the 5 Day Bible Reading Program and the girls are doing the 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan.
If you’re sitting on the fence this New Year’s Day as to whether or not you want to commit yourself to reading all or part of the Bible in 2017, here are a few good reasons to go for it:
- It is a guaranteed way to get to know yourself better. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12
- If you want to know and love Jesus, read the Bible. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” says John 1:1. Spending time in the Word is spending time with Jesus. And John 14:21 says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” To know Jesus is to know the Word.
- The Bible is composed of God’s words and it is infinitely useful to us. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Finally, reading the Bible is a lasting investment. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away,” Matthew 24:35. The words of God will be eternally valuable to us, not only on this Earth, but on the one to come.