– Stefan Bomberger
A few months ago I preached a sermon out of Psalm 1 on the way of blessing. We saw, from verses 2-3, how the the blessed man delights in God’s Word: “…his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Reading, meditating, and delighting in God’s Word is foundational to experiencing God’s blessing. We need to be in the Bible, day and night, if we want to truly prosper in the Christian life.
Now, with January 1 just around the corner, I realize many may be considering launching into a new Bible reading plan. In this blog I wanted to share a plan I have been using the past few years and have really enjoyed. It’s call “Professor Grant Horners Bible Reading System” (awkward title I know!). It uses ten bookmarks spread all across the Bible. For example, one bookmark simply stays in the Gospels. Another stays in the Psalm. Another in Proverbs. I have one working through the first fives Books of Moses (Genesis to Deuteronomy). One in the prophets, one in Acts, etc. I’m spread across the entire Bible the entire year, and I’m never repeating the same passages side-by-side. I love it, because I get to see the interconnectedness of the Bible in different ways every morning, year after year!
But there’s another reason I like this plan. I like it because it doesn’t have any specific dates next to the readings. So many people I know give up on annual Bible-reading plans because they fall behind. But with this one, if you miss a week, you can easily restart it. No “catch-up” required. One last plug for the bookmark approach. The concept of bookmark, rather than dates, is really easy to personally customize. For example, ten chapters a day might be too ambitious. But what if you just did two chapters? What if you just put one book mark in the New Testament and one in the Old? You could start at Genesis 1 and Matthew 1. When you get to the end of each Testament, simply start over and repeat them. Then, later, if you get more ambitious, you can add a third or fourth bookmark. Maybe add one rotating through Psalm and Proverbs, and another starting in Acts to the end of the Bible. You get the idea.
One last suggestion as it relates to daily Bible-reading. I actually like to listen to an audio Bible while reading along in my Bible. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you find yourself a slow reader or easily distracted then it could prove really helpful. There are tons of great audio Bibles out there, including a number of free websites. My favorite one to-date is put out by “Faith Comes by Hearing” (www.faithcomesbyhearing.com). You can easily listen to it on your desktop, laptop, tablet computer (e.g. iPad), or even smart phone (e.g. iPhone). Yes friends, there is an app for that (sorry – couldn’t resist)!
I realize what works for me, may not work for everyone. But the old adage remains true – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Don’t let another year go by without a Bible reading plan in place. God has given us a very precious treasure in His Word! May we spend next year, and the rest of our lives, planted in His Word. And in so doing become like the blessed man of Psalm 1: “…planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”