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New Year's is a good time to think about your Bible reading and what changes you might make for the coming year. One of the practical reasons for this is that many reading plans work from a Jan-Dec calendar approach.
The reading plan we're introducing here is organized around what some have called "the storyline of the Bible." This is the idea that the many books and authors of the Bible are all telling their part of the same glorious story. That story is God's work of redemption. It begins with Creation in Genesis 1 and ends with the new creation in Revelation 21-22. In between we read of mankind's fall into sin and the amazing work of redemption that centers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you read your Bible straight through, this basic storyline can get a bit lost as we try to keep up with all the wanderings of the Israelites, the dramatic images of the prophets, and the countless insights from the epistles. To give you the basic overview of God's plan of redemption, we have adopted an approach that starts with a kind of Bible summary and then works toward reading the whole Bible. The point of this is to start broadly and then work toward a more complete knowledge of your Bible. That's how we learn about everything in life, so why not use this approach for your Bible?
Further, think of reading your entire Bible as an advanced reading plan. Work toward that, but don't start there. Start with something within reach. As you get more knowledge of the Bible and more consistent in your reading, then you can tackle the whole Bible.
Here's how the reading plans work.
The "GROUP A READINGS" are the summary look at the Bible in 50 readings that go from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. These hit some of the high points of this work of redemption.
The "GROUP B READINGS" take this same basic storyline and flesh it out a bit more by adding more Old Testament readings and some books of the New Testament.
The "GROUP C READINGS" add even more Old and New Testament readings.
Finally, the "GROUP D READINGS" are there for reference and include the entire Bible, reading one Old Testament chapter and one New Testament chapter each day (covering the New Testament and Psalms twice for each time you read the Old Testament).
To see the readings go here.
Reading your Bible is essential to knowing God and growing in your knowledge of his will. That's the critical issue. If reading plans like the one I've introduced here help you, great. If they don't help, find another one. The key is to read your Bible.
Also, try to make it a daily habit, but don't beat yourself up if you miss a day (days). Pray for help to be more consistent and go on from there. It's a long race we're running here, not a sprint.
By the way, to see more Bible reading plans go here.
May your 2013 be filled with the Word of God!