Daily Bible Reading Plans

Chapel Bible _0728041326 x600Daily Bible Reading Plans

In an ideal world, when you first encounter this page on our website you’re seeing it in late December…  the Christmas Tree is still standing, the fruitcake is still relatively fresh, the cards are still on the table.  And you’re thinking about the new year.  What problems or challenges are you going to encounter?  What decisions need to be made?  What bills  are you going to have to meet?

But the beginning of the year is also a good time to think about the direction of our lives.  Are we purposely moving closer to  Christ?  Are developing habits that open us up the the Holy Spirit’s leading?  Or are we drifting along with no clear priority, just meeting the challenges as they come up? 

Habits.  One good habit to get into is to read the Bible every day.  Not simply to “get through the whole thing” and to say that you know the Bible.  But to put yourself into a position every day where God can meet with you.  To open your mind and heart to  the “gentle nudges” that draw you closer to God.

Starting this habit at the beginning of the year is great.  But starting it at all is the important thing.

So, whether today is late December, or mid-January, or even late August, NOW is always a good time to get into the daily habit of opening yourself to God’s Word.

This page provides several plans for daily reading the Bible.  Unlike the plans in the back of most Bibles which seek to take you through the entire Bible in the year, these plans are only one chapter a day.  Instead of forcing yourself to stick to a plan by reading 3-4 chapters of “begats” and “turtledoves,” these plans invite you to slow down and ponder on a single chapter.

It’s not how many times you go through the Bible. It’s how many times the Bible goes through you!”

  • Rev Marvin Guice (PUMC Pastor, 1940-1958)

So… slow down!  Drop the idea of checking off pages every day and trying to read through the whole Bible.  Spend some time in the Word and see if the Bible will go through you. 

 

It’s July!  Am I too Late???

No!  It’s never too late to start a good habit.  “New Year’s Resolutions” are simply good habits that you get into at the beginning of the year.  If there are a pile of calendar pages between today’s date and January 1, so what?  Maybe it’s cool to start on January 1, but but starting in October is almost as good. 

 

Chapter-a-Day Bible Reading Plans

Whether you start on January 1 or December 1, there are three things you need to do in order to get into the habit of daily reading God’s Word:

  1. Don’t get hung up on the idea that you need to read through the entire Bible in one year!
  2. Pick a plan that works for you.
  3. Open the Bible and read it!

This page offers four different daily Bible reading plans.  Pick the one that works best for you, print it out, use the pages like bookmarks and put them in your Bible. 

The  plans offer several options.  Pray on it.  Think about your recent exposure to the Bible.  Where you start out is up to you and God’s leading.  Pick a plan.  Stick with it this year, and then try a different one next year. 

If you prefer to use an online Bible, this button will take you there: Bible Gateway  

 

How much of the Bible will the plan cover?

There are 260 chapters in the New Testament.  So if you go for the New Testament plan, you’ll read the entire New Testament in one year.  The plan provides two days for some of the longer chapters, so slow down and let them go through you. 

The Old Testament consists of 929 chapters.  So, you won’t get through the entire Old Testament by reading a chapter a day.  There is some “cherry picking” going on in the Old Testament plan.  All of God’s word is important, but the plans skip over some of the “begats and cubits” to make it easier to form your reading habit.

 

Pick the plan you want to follow this year and then download it using the associated button.

All of the plans consist of 11 pages. The lists on each page are sized so that they can be cut out of each sheet and fit into a typically sized Bible. In other words, you can use the list as a bookmark and keep it in your Bible. If you have a printer that can print on both sides of the sheet, print out the lists double sided (and you’ll save some paper).

A Check box is provided so you can keep track of what you have read.

Here are this year’s Chapter-a-Day Bible reading plans…

 

Plan 1:  Old Testament

The plan skips over the “begat” and “cubit” parts that usually drive a good resolution to a screeching halt. It just hits the highlights in books like Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus. Not that the other parts aren’t important! But, the goal is to develop a habit and “let the Bible go through you.” It also brushes over sections of the prophecies.

The plan is generally presented in Chronological order (using whatever information we have). It weaves some of the prophetic books in with the history books (1-2 Kings & 1-2 Chronicles) so you can read them in the historical setting. It also skips over parts that seem to duplicate themselves (for example, 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles). It follows Kings to pick up the history of the Northern Kingdom, and then switches over to Chronicles after the Northern exile.

Here’s the link to download the Old Testament Plan: Old Testament Plan

 

Plan 2: New Testament

The New Testament is generally divided into the Gospels, Acts, Paul’s letters to the churches, Paul’s letters to individuals, letters written by people other than Paul, and then Revelation.

The New Testament plan will take you through the entire New Testament in one year.  And, it pretty much follows the order established by the traditional cannon. There are a few exceptions though…

  • Instead of reading all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in succession at the beginning of the year, the Gospels are “spread out” so that the accounts of Jesus’ life and teachings will always be fresh in your mind.
  • The books of Romans and Hebrews (which can get a bit heavy in theology) are taken from their “normal” locations in an attempt to keep it “light.”

And, as noted above, one of the “problems” of reading the New Testament using a “chapter a day” format is that there are more days in the year than chapters in the New Testament. So- taking it slow- most chapters are allotted two days. Read half of it one day and finish it up the next. Or, read it through one day, then look up the devotionals and ponder what you read. Take a second look at the chapter the next day. Remember; it’s now how many times or how fast you go through the Bible. It’s all about opening yourself up to God’s Word and letting it go through you.

Here’s the link to download the New Testament Plan: New Testament Plan

 

Plan 3: New Testament “Light”

The New Testament plan takes you through the entire New Testament. But, it starts out with Romans and includes some heavy stuff along the way. Hitting Romans chapter 1 on New Year’s Day might not be the best way for many of us to get us started in our Bible Reading habit. So, another alternative is available. This plan starts out with highlights from Genesis and other Old Testament passages and then eases you into Matthew. “Heavier” books such as Hebrews and Romans are interspersed with chapters from other books to help put the theological discourses in perspective. The middle part of Revelation is skipped over. All of scripture is important, and this plan won’t take you through the entire New Testament. But, any time you open God’s Word it can “go through you.”

Here’s the link to download the “New Testament Light” Plan: New Testament Light Plan

 

Plan 4: Old Testament “Light”

Instead of trying to cover all of the history and events that make up the Old  Testament, this plan focuses on the lives of the people who make up the Old Testament story.  It will take you to various people and personalities in the hope that we can learn from their faith experiences.   It will also cover some of the chapters not included in the Old Testament plan.  So if you take a couple of years and read both of these Old Testament plans, you’ll cover most of the Old Testament.

Here’s the link to download the “Old Testament People” Plan: Old Testament Light Plan

 

 


 

Which Plan is “Better”?

If you’ve never read the Bible, it probably makes sense to start at the beginning- Genesis. Try the Old Testament plan this year and then move on to the New Testament next year. Explore areas in the Bible where you haven’t been before; or areas where you haven’t been in a long time.

If you’ve read one of these plans before, pick a different one.  Rotate through each plan year by year.

 

Ponder the Word

Included on the list are references to daily devotionals which feature a verse from the day’s chapter. The list shows the date(s) of these devotionals where the chapter is discussed. Look up the devotional article (links below) and dig deeper into the passage you just read. References to two popular devotionals are provided (if you don’t have these books, you can access the articles online):

  • Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” devotional includes two devotional articles (featuring two different verses) for each day.
    Click Here to open the “Morning and Evening” archive. Scroll down and click on the date cited in the reading plan list.
  • Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional is also cited in the reading plan.
    Click Here to visit the Oswald Chamber’s website. To find the desired article, click on the  date (which is right above the title of today’s article). Use the arrows on the calendar to navigate to the date shown in the reading plan.

 

 

Share the Word

What has God shown you as you’ve read the Bible?  We all learn from each other, and this website page is a great way to exchange insights.

As we go through the year, scroll down to the “Leave a Comment” form at the bottom of this page to share how the Bible has gone through you this year.

When you post a comment, the system will ask you for a name and an email address.

The name can be anything you want (use your first name or nickname), and the email address won’t be published (only the webmaster will see it, and it won’t be used unless there is a question about your comment).

All comments are “moderated”; we reserve the right to reject any comments if we feel that they don’t positively enhance the discussion.

 

Share Your Opinion

The following polls will be open throughout the year.  Partially just for fun and partially to build community, let us know your thoughts on the questions posed below.  You don’t have to sign in or anything; just make your selection and click the Vote button.  Once you’ve voted you’ll be able to track the results throughout the year.  And if you ever change your mind, you can come back and re-vote…

What's your favorite Bible translation (or paraphrase)?
  
Which of our Bible Reading Plans are you following this year?

 

 

 

 

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