Year 2020 has begun. (Happy New Year!) And so has our new Bible reading plan. How did the first week of your Bible reading go? Are you excited to start the new year with daily reading and meditating on God’s Word? Are you being enlightened and empowered by God’s word? Are you anticipating how you will be shaped and sanctified by God’s word this year with fellow brothers and sisters?
We began the new year with the reading of Genesis 1 and Matthew 1. Each day we will be reading through a chapter from the Old Testament (OT), and a chapter from the New Testament (NT). If two chapters per day feels too much for you, you can begin with a chapter from either book of the Bible. We are using a two-year version of Robert Murray McCheyne (RMM) Bible Reading Plan that will take us through half of the OT, plus all of NT and Psalms in year 1 (2020) and then through the rest of the OT, plus all of NT and Psalms again in year 2 (2021). As we do this together, my pastoral vision is to see our church be shaped and sanctified by the word of God. That we will know, trust, obey and delight in the Word of God. That we will enjoy the sweet and intimate relationship with God. And that we will be transformed from one degree of glory to the next as we behold the glory of Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible.
Here are a couple suggestions as we commit to read the Bible together this year:
1. Resolve to read the Bible daily. You must set your heart to do the Bible reading. Just like Daniel “resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food” (Daniel 1:8), you must “resolve” to be shaped and sanctified by God’s word. I am not talking here about exercising willpower without depending on God and his grace. We make a resolution—out of dependence on God. We ask God for his grace to empower our will to have this resolute heart to know him through daily reading of the Bible. And he will help us; I believe God delights in such a resolution. One practical resolution for me has been to do the Bible reading the very first thing in the morning. I have chosen not to check my phone or email before doing my Bible reading (and it’s been very helpful!) Giving the first hour of the day to God’s word is one practical thing you may want to do as well. For some of you, it may be 20 minutes during your lunch hour or 30 minutes before bedtime. However you do it, you must have a resolute heart to start and continue with the daily reading.
2. Be part of an accountability group. Everything is easier with a team. As with exercise—and with anything—so with reading the Bible. So do everything you can to build community into your Bible reading routine. One brother shared the following in one Bible Reading Accountability Group: “I would be an utter failure without accountability, period. It’s vital for me to be plugged in and actively receive and provide accountability, not just for ensuring that I am reading the Bible daily, but to ensure that I am actively living out the Bible.” Do it with your family members or friends. Do it with your Life Group. Create a group to keep each other accountable and to encourage one another. Or join my B.R.A.G. (Bible Reading Accountability Group).
I pray that “God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfil every resolve for good and every work of faith [especially reading, loving and living the whole counsel of God] by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 1:11-12)
This week’s bible reading schedule:
|☐||Sun: Genesis 5, Matthew 5||☐||Thu: Genesis 9-10, Matthew 9|
|☐||Mon: Genesis 6, Matthew 6||☐||Fri: Genesis 11, Matthew 10|
|☐||Tue: Genesis 7, Matthew 7||☐||Sat: Genesis 12, Matthew 11|
|☐||Wed: Genesis 8, Matthew 8||☐||Sun: Genesis 13, Matthew 12|