Another Bible Reading Plan

January 2, 2010

I’ve been asked about my Bible reading plan on a couple of occasions in the last few weeks. What is it about the New Year and interest in Bible reading plans? Anyway, because of the interest and because a few people have asked, here is a short description of the one I follow.

First, though, a couple of quick pre-notes and observations are in order. This plan is what works for me; there are a lot of Bible reading plans out there and I have tired and failed at most of them. It would not be an exaggeration to say my reading plan is the product of many years of good intentions followed by failure. There is nothing unique about my Bible reading plan; all of the reading plans I have tried influenced, to one degree or another, the development of the plan I now follow. I have found that I need an achievable measurable goal to help me stick to the plan. The goal of this reading plan is simple and easily measurable: Read the entire Old Testament in one year and read the entire New Testament four times each year. A big part of making the goal achievable is to make sure the plan accounts for things that are not within my control. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to get more than 24 hours crammed into any given day and work, family, church, social, and other commitments take up a good chuck of those hours each and every day. The reason this plan works for me is that ‘fits’ into my life no matter what I manage to get myself into.

A couple of other things – don’t use an electronic Bible on your PC, smart phone, etc. for your daily reading. Instead use an old fashioned book type Bible with pages between two covers and use the same one every day– the value of which I learned when my dog ate Ecclesiastes (but that is a different story). Use the version of the Bible you are most comfortable reading but don’t use a paraphrase. I use a Bible without study notes to help keep me on task and I keep a pencil handy to make margin notes about things I want to come back to after I have completed my daily reading. Use bookmarks and finally, always begin each daily reading with prayer.

The plan consists of five reading lists – (1) Old Testament, (2) Psalms, (3) Proverbs, (4) New Testament, and (5) Acts in that order. Each day, I read three chapters from the Old and New Testaments, and one chapter each from Psalms, Proverbs, and Acts. Reading only 3 chapters each day from each of the Testaments allows for one complete reading of the Old Testament and four complete readings of the New Testament each year plus a complete reading of Psalms twice a year, Proverbs 12 times a year (I need it!), and Acts 12 times each year. Each day’s reading takes less than 40 minutes to complete and all of it combined allows for plenty of time during the year to achieve my goal of reading the entire Old Testament in one year and to read the entire New Testament four times each year— even when I miss (a) daily reading(s) because of things I cannot control.

Old Testament – start at Genesis Chapter 1 and read book by book all the way through skipping Psalms and Proverbs when you get to them. When you get all the way through the Old Testament, start over again at Genesis 1. Read 3 Chapters each day.

New Testament – start at Matthew Chapter 1 and also read book by book all the way through skipping Acts when you get to it. When you get all the way through the New Testament, start over again at Matthew 1. Read 3 Chapters each day.

Psalms, Proverbs, and Acts – start with Chapter/Psalm 1 and read Chapter/Psalm by Chapter/Psalm all the way through. When you complete that book, start over again at chapter/Psalm 1. Read one Chapter/Psalm from each book each day.

Oh, by the way, there is no rule against reading more chapters each day so when you get to those parts of Scripture that interest you more, by all means, keep right on reading. When events over take you and you find yourself, for whatever reason, unable to read the Scripture on a particular day, simply pick back up where you previously left off.

Q&A:

Q: Why not use an electronic Bible for the daily reading plan?

A: It doesn’t work for me and I suspect it does not work for most people. Using a traditional Bible has the additional advantage of not being dependent on electricity while being easily portable. For the most part, your Bible can (and should) go where you go, a traditional book type Bible makes that easier.

Q: Why not use a paraphrase of the Bible?

A: It’s not the Word of God.

Q: Which translation of the Bible do you use?

A: NASB, ESV, and King James. I have others that I use/consult often but those are the main three. Interestingly, for me, I find the KJV to be the easiest of the 3 to memorize; I use the NASB for my daily reading and the NASB and ESV about equally for most of my Bible Studies. Yes, I have and use an electronic Bible.

Q: Is there a reason I should try your Bible reading plan?

A: No, not really. If you have one that works for you now don’t change. If you do not have one, feel free to try this one out. If you do not have a daily Bible reading plan, I do urge you to start one – if nothing else, pick up the Bible every day and read it. Few other things are more important.

Q: Besides yours, do you have another Bible reading plan that you would recommend?

A: I’m not really recommending my Bible reading plan, just pointing out that this is what works for me. If you feel it would also work for you, try it; if you feel that another reading plan would work for you, try that one. Just have a daily Bible reading plan! Two reading plans I would recommend for others include the McCheyne Bible reading plan and Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System. Of the two, I’m most comfortable with Professor Horner’s.

Q: Isn’t your Bible reading plan like Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System.

A: Yes, except it is different.

Q: I’m a Christian and don’t feel that I need to read the Bible every day.

A: OK, that’s not a question but if you have read this far you know something is missing – either you need a daily Bible reading plan or you are not a Christian—either way time for some serious self-examination on your part.

Q: So what are you saying?

A: Get and use a daily Bible reading plan that works for you!

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His Christmas Story

December 1, 2009

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Free MP3 download:

His Christmas Story by Max McClean is available from ListenersBible.com.

Quote:

When we hear the Christmas story what do we feel? Is it just a nice story? Well, yes. But it is also telling us that a huge event has just taken place; an event so big that it changes everything. Why? Because the infinite, eternal being who created all things decided to pay us a visit, knock on our front door, get to know us and find out about our hurts and our pains.

Feel the weight of this extraordinary event in this new 25-minute scripture CD that explores the size and magnitude of Christmas. Make this a part of your holiday celebrations.


Reformed Rap

November 14, 2009

More theology in this 4.5 minute video than is preached in an hour form the pulpits of many churches today.


Happy Reformation Day

October 31, 2009

Here I Stand Free MP3 download of Martin Luther’s Here I Stand by Max McClean is available from ListenersBible.com. Offer ends Nov 1.

Quote:

In the late afternoon of April 18, 1521, in the city of Worms, Germany, Martin Luther, a 37 year-old Catholic monk was called to defend himself before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor. The speech he delivered that day, Here I Stand, marked the beginning of the Reformation, a critical turning point in Christian history, that decisively altered the spiritual map of the world.

In this recording, Max McLean introduces the events leading up to the Diet of Worms: Martin Luther’s prayer the night before he delivered his speech; Luther’s stirring defense; the Catholic church’s rebuttal; and, Luther’s final heartfelt response.


The Grace of Prayer

October 13, 2009

Richard Sibbes “Some are loath to do good because they feel their hearts rebelling, and duties turn out badly. We should not avoid good actions because of the infirmities attending them. Christ looks more at the good in them which he means to cherish than the ill in them which he means to abolish. Though eating increases a disease, a sick man will still eat, so that nature may gain strength against the disease. So, though sin cleaves to what we do, yet let us do it, since we have to deal with so good a Lord, and the more strife we meet with, the more acceptance we shall have. Christ loves to taste of the good fruits that come from us, even though they will always savor of our old nature.”

“A Christian complains he cannot pray. `Oh, I am troubled with so many distracting thoughts, and never more than now!’ But has he put into your heart a desire to pray? Then he will hear the desires of his own Spirit in you. `We know not what we should pray for as we ought’ (nor how to do anything else as we ought), but the Spirit helps our infirmities with `groanings which cannot be uttered’ (Rom. 8:26), which are not hid from God. `My groaning is not hid from thee’ (Psa. 38:9). God can pick sense out of a confused prayer. These desires cry louder in his ears than your sins. Sometimes a Christian has such confused thoughts that he can say nothing but, as a child, cries, `O Father’, not able to express what he needs, like Moses at the Red Sea. These stirrings of spirit touch the heart of God and melt him into compassion towards us, when they come from the Spirit of adoption, and from a striving to be better.”

“`Oh, but is it possible’, thinks the misgiving heart, `that so holy a God should accept such a prayer?’ Yes, he will accept that which is his own, and pardon that which is ours. Jonah prayed in the fish’s belly (Jon. 2:1), being burdened with the guilt of sin, yet God heard him. Let not, therefore, infirmities discourage us. James takes away this objection (James 5:17). Some might object, `If I were as holy as Elijah, then my prayers might be regarded.’ `But,’ says he, ‘Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are.’ He had his passions as well as we, or do we think that God heard him because he was without fault? Surely not. But look at the promises: `Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee’ (Psa. 50:15). `Ask, and it shall be given you’ (Matt. 7:7) and others like these. God accepts our prayers, though weak, because we are his own children, and they come from his own Spirit; because they are according to his own will; and because they are offered in Christ’s mediation, and he takes them, and mingles them with his own incense (Rev. 8:3).”

“There is never a holy sigh, never a tear we shed, which is lost. And as every grace increases by exercise of itself, so does the grace of prayer. By prayer we learn to pray. So, likewise, we should take heed of a spirit of discouragement in all other holy duties, since we have so gracious a Saviour. Pray as we are able, hear as we are able, strive as we are able, do as we are able, according to the measure of grace received. God in Christ will cast a gracious eye upon that which is his own.”

Extract from The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes.


Baptism Part 1 – Paedobaptism and Credobaptism

October 10, 2009

baptism

Two excellent resources containing dialogue between proponents of infant and believer’s baptism:

1. R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur:

A. The Case for Infant Baptism: The Historic Paedo-Baptist Position by R.C. Sproul. (MP3 download)

B. The Case for Believer’s Baptism: The Credo Baptist Position by John MacArthur. (MP3 download)

2. Pastor William Shishko and Dr. James White (debate):

MP3 Download: Part 1, Part 2


Phil Johnson on Heresies

September 30, 2009

phil johnson Heard any new heresies lately? I doubt it.

Quote:

“It’s important for Christians to have a grasp of heresies that the church has battled over the centuries, because they often return with new clothing, and the unprepared Christian is likely to fall into these old pits. Phil does an excellent job of looking at some of the major heresies that are revisiting the church today: Socinianism, Arianism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism, and Judaizing. This is an excellent 6 part series that will shore up some weak points in the church today.”

The series is available at the GraceLife Pulpit web site or you can download each MP3 individually below.

  1. The Judaizers
  2. The Gnostics
  3. The Arians, #1
  4. The Arians, #2
  5. The Pelagians
  6. The Socinians