I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:1-2

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ten chapters per day?

In December I started looking around for a new Bible reading plan. I have spent several years studying different topics and/or being "stuck" in one book of the Bible. All of this has transformed my thinking, but I was feeling that it was time to get an overview again. (See this post from October.) I looked into several plans. The one I was most interested in was the plan my friend used (which she describes in this post.) While searching for more info on her plan, I "stumbled" across this blog post describing Professor Grant Horner's Bible reading system. It intrigued me, so I did a bit more searching and came upon this very interesting interview with Professor Horner. I looked at his plan (and the reasons he gave for why he did what he did) and at my friend's plan (they are quite similar in concept) and made my own hybrid. If you are more tech-savvy than me you can get Professor Horner's plan on YouVersion and read on your smartphone or computer (they also have the M'Cheyne reading plan which is somewhat similar, but only 5 chapters per day and LOTS of other plans.)

I am reading 10 chapters per day from 10 different books of the Bible (6 Old Testament and 4 New Testament.) I do not do it every day. My plan is to do the ten chapters daily on weekdays and do more in depth study on weekends (I have had varying levels of success with this.) Today I was on day 40. That means I have read 400 chapters of the Bible since Jan. 1! WOW! It is exciting and fun (two words I would not have previously connected with this volume of Bible reading.) The fun part comes when different parts of the Bible have crossover, similarities, or other ties that I never noticed before. One day this week my passage in Genesis and my passage in Judges (hundreds of years apart in time) took place in the same obscure (to me) town. At least weekly (and often daily) there has been something like this. It is helping me see the Bible as a whole, to see the connectedness of it, and to build familiarity with even the parts that I would not normally think of reading (minor prophets). It takes me about an hour a day, requiring early rising since I cannot read successfully with my kids around (this also helps explain my lack of blog posts since early morning is my time for that as well). If I was a faster reader and/or I didn't always want to jot references down in my various scripture collections it would probably only take 30-45 minutes. My mom is doing a 9 chapter per day plan and can get it done in 20 minutes (she is a fast reader and has read through the Bible almost yearly for as long as I can remember--familiarity makes you faster.)

Now before you get all guilt-ridden or condemning of yourself for not reading as much (or even reading at all) realize that this is just what I am doing...what God led me to for this season of my life. Last year I just read parts of Isaiah over and over (and many many days didn't read anything at all with the time and energy consuming adoption transition...often I was in survival-mode and sleep-deprived.) I also have a very real and growing understanding of God's grace and the concept of roots and fruit (hopefully topics for other posts.) I do not do this out of obligation, because I have to do this for God to love me or bless me. He loves me and blesses me because of Who He is, not because of what I do. I am doing this because He loves me and gives His love to me so I can love Him and love others. I hunger to know more about Him and His plan for me. I know that by renewing my mind with the Word, my soul, my mind, is transformed into what He would have me to be. I want to be that person!


Alice said...

You are such an encouragement to me. I have been doing better with Bible reading. Most days I read 1 ch. OT, 1 ch. NT, and 1 Psalm. Somedays I miss completely or only read 1 ch. Overall, I am getting it in. Partly because of your testimony. Keep up the good work!

Shannon said...

This is great! And you are right, that this is what you have been led to. I am at a season of digging deeper right now, so can't be as broad. I currently copy down a Psalm, or part of a Psalm, and read one chapter a day (of one of my eight sections, spelled out in the link you gave--thanks!). Then spend the rest of my time digging into a passage or topic with study tools. But, in the past, it has been very helpful to see the overview, to see the connectedness. I have done this by doing Chuck Missler's Learn the Bible in 24 Hours study and the Bible in 90 Days schedule.

Justine said...

Alice, that is a great system. I have done similar before and will likely again. The important thing is to get into the Word!

I think we are to do different things in different seasons of our lives, as Shannon pointed out. This is my season for fast overview. And, Shannon, I tried to do the Bible in 90 Days, but I just got so bogged down. This method hasn't bogged me down at all, because even if I am reading in a slow part (think Numbers...) it is only one chapter, then on to something else. I would love to try CM's Bible in 24 Hours. I am also trying to balance a bit with deep study, but that is not happening as much as I had hoped. Oh-well, as I said, this is MY season for fast overview. It is exciting! How neat that God loves us so much to guide our Bible reading style!