Have you ever kicked-off January with a goal of reading through the entire Bible in a year? And then you hit Leviticus or Numbers? I offered a very brief description of our Core Practices in this post, emphasizing that, while we consider all our practices vital and necessary, Biblical Rootedness holds a special place: it creates the foundation of our foundation.
Committing to regular time in the Word is absolutely critical for our spiritual growth and gaining a better understanding of how God invites us to live and conduct ourselves as disciples of Jesus.
If you already have a reading plan for 2024, GREAT! But if not, or if you're open to something different, I (Pastor Jason) invite you to join me in my personal reading plan for 2024. You can download a PDF of the reading plan here...
A few things to note about this plan:
The books are organized in chronological order, according to when scholars believe they were written. This is especially important to remember because the order of the books in the Bible does not do this. The reason for ordering the books the way I have is due to the prophetic nature of Scripture. Prophecy happens when God speaks a very particular message to a very particular group of people to address a very particular need. All the "particular-ness" does not mean that the Bible has nothing to say to us today, it's just a recognition that having a sense of the historical context and the progression of how God chose to reveal himself to his people can offer some interesting and new insights or connections as we read. The authors, inspired by the Holy Spirit, were moved to write what they did, when they did, because that's what God's people needed to hear at that moment.
The numbers in parentheses are the number of chapters contained in that particular book. I find this helpful to know how best to spread out my reading over the course of a week. I generally read Monday-Friday, and so I would take the number of chapters, divide by 5, and that would give me the number of chapters to read each day. It generally comes out to 5-6 chapters per day.
Narrative, Psalms, and Proverbs, oh my! I generally read a psalm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and a chapter from Proverbs on Tuesday and Thursday. The narrative - or longer readings - are then read every day, with chapters divided up evenly. I find that this helps to give me a little bit of everything as I go - a little story, a little worship/prayer, and a little wisdom/practicality. Every book in the Bible will be read one time through, with the exception of Proverbs, which you will read three times over the course of the year.
"Catch-Up" weeks are provided at regular intervals and natural break points. It's inevitable...we all get behind when embarking on something like this. Don't beat yourself up. It's for this reason that I've worked in "catch-up weeks" to help you get back on track, or just to take a small breather before continuing on with the heavier, more challenging readings.
Alright! You're all set! If you decide to read with me and follow the same plan I am, give me a shout and let me know. Also, watch for moments throughout the year when I might drop a reference to a recent reading into a sermon. I will also try to offer a few brief notes, reflection, or introduction to the current week's readings to help you get more out of the text.
And one last thing: if you decide follow your own reading plan, that's great! But even those plans are prone to common challenges like boredom, discouragement, and confusion. Keep an eye out for a future post with "tips & tricks" for reading the Bible in general.