Do you have a Bible reading plan in place?

It’s the New Year, the ultimate Mulligan.  Each person will attempt new resolutions, or the same ones from last year.  Gym’s will see a spike in their membership purchases with quick drop of actual folks by the end of January.

Millions of people will pick up their Bibles and look for something to help them get through the Word of God in the next year.  There is a plethora of different plans along with the audio option to be considered.

If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to work through the Bible on a yearly basis only to find yourself behind in February and to lose all hope by March.  There is hope!  Our salvation isn’t based on how many times we read the bible, but it certainly makes the trip easier.

We here at the Breakdown have decided to join with a few Christian friends and work through a detailed, all-inclusive Bible system to help us get into the thick of it and absorb all the genres of God’s Word.

It’s known as Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System – and system it is.  There is no better word to describe the journey upon which you are most certainly predestined to embark.

The concept is simple:  Reading involves 10 chapters a day, but not straight through.  Here is Professor Horner’s explanation vis-à-vis Tim Challies:

Each day you will read one chapter from each of ten lists. That’s right — ten chapters per day!!! Use ten bookmarks or sticky notes with the individual lists on them to keep track of your locations. Or use the set of bookmarks provided on the last page of this document.

On day one, you read Matthew 1, Genesis 1, Romans 1, and so forth. On day 2, read Matthew 2, Genesis 2, etc. On day 29, you will have just finished Matthew, so go to Mark 1 on the Gospel list; you’ll also be almost to the end of 2nd Corinthians and Proverbs, you’ll be reading Psalm 29 and Genesis 29, and so forth. When you reach the last chapter of the last book in a list – start over again. Rotate all the way through all the Scriptures constantly.

Since the lists vary in length, the readings begin interweaving in constantly changing ways. You will NEVER read the same set of ten chapters together again! Every year you’ll read through all the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times each, the OT wisdom literature six times, all the Psalms at least twice, all the Proverbs as well as Acts a dozen times, and all the way through the OT History and Prophetic books about 1 1⁄2 times. Since the interweaving is constantly changing, you will experience the Bible commenting on itself in constantly changing ways — the Reformer’s principle of ‘scriptura interpretans scripturam’ — ‘scripture interpreting scripture’ IN ACTION!

After you’ve read any particular book once or twice, your speed in that book usually doubles or triples because you’re familiar with it and can move quickly and confidently — because you are no longer merely decoding the text but thinking it through in the context of all of the scripture!

Even an ‘average’ reader, if focusing on moving through the text, rather than trying to figure everything out, can usually do this in about an hour a day – 5-6 minutes per chapter. Many people report moving confidently through the ten chapters in 35-40 minutes. If it is taking you longer, then you are ‘reading wrong’ – stay relaxed, focus, and just keep it moving. Moderate but consistent speed is the key. This is “gross anatomy” — looking at the whole body; you’re not closely studying organs or systems or tissues or cells — it is not microbiology. BUT — microbiology and the study or organs makes more sense when you know what the whole structure of the human body is like, and how all the parts, large and small, relate in perfect interdependence.

After just a few days the reading gets much easier; in a month it will be a habit, and in six months you’ll wonder how you ever survived before on such a slim diet of the WORD. And then — you’ll tell others to start the system!

I began in 1983 as a new Christian and have now read (most of) the Bible hundreds and hundreds of times. You also need to get ONE Bible, keep it, and do all your reading in it, so you learn where everything is. I’ve had the same Bible since 1983 and I know it intimately. If you keep switching Bibles, you ‘lose’ this intimacy with the text. Find a translation and format you like and stick with it. THIS IS CRUCIAL.

Your Bible is the only thing on Earth that, as you wear it out, will actually work better and better.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?  This is something you can do electronically or via a regular, hard copy of the Bible.

Consider the main take away’s:

  • Don’t get discouraged. If you fall behind, pick back up.  You can try to catch up, or you can just keep going right where you left off.  The purpose is to get you immersed in the Word, not beat you up
  • Don’t get too analytical. Remember, your purpose is to consume as much as you can.  Like going to the Golden Coral and getting your absolute money’s worth by eating as much as possible.
  • Don’t count extraneous reading in the plan. Let’s say you totally devour Ephesians one day because it’s, like, one of the, like, best books in the Bible.  When you get to Ephesians in the plan, read it.  Stick to the plan.  Let the Word of God interpret itself in front of your eyes.

 Okay, so there were a few “don’ts” there, so let’s not end on a negative.  Keep this in mind:

  • Do enjoy your time in the Word. “He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire,” 2 Peter 1:4.  Our time taking in the precious Words of our God should not be strenuous but counted as a beautiful privilege.
  • Pray for God’s help to absorb His word. Everything should be saturated in prayer; with the intensity of this, be sure to pray for His strength to recall what it is you need for your situation.

 Consider this your formal invite to join us!  You can download the bookmarks for the hard copy here and also join his Facebook group (although there doesn’t seem to be any activity there in the past five years).

Join the conversation on The Breakdown Facebook page or in the comments section below.  And don’t forget to share on your favorite social media platform!

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