The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Bible Reading, 2016

I haven’t been blogging much in 2015. That may change in early 2016 once I am done writing Earth Science: God’s World, Our Home, a Christian middle school Earth Science textbook from Novare Science and Math.

I do, however, still make time for daily reading in the Bible. In fact, there was not a single day in 2015 in which I did not spend time in God’s Word. I do not say that to boast, but as a statement of my imperfect love for God, and my (also imperfect) dependence on him for sustenance.

I love the Bible, but realize that one can love the Bible and still be an unsaved Pharisee. There are days in which I can be in the Word, but the Word hardly gets in me. God have mercy on me, a sinner. But my imperfections are all part of the glory of the gospel. I am not a child of God because I am faithful to be in the Word, or faithful to do anything else, but because God, in his mercy, has given his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be my savior, and by God’s grace I have placed my (still imperfect) faith in Christ.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16

For it is by grace you have been saved,through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8,9

I read the entire New Testament at least once every year using a daily schedule. For the past several years, I have used a schedule I created that alternates between reading a gospel and reading elsewhere in the New Testament. This schedule can be downloaded from here.

NewTestamentReading

My goal for Old Testament reading is to read the entire Old Testament every two years. There are some books, such as Genesis and Isaiah, that I aim to read every year. This is easily done by reading one or two chapters in the Old Testament per day. I do not use a fixed schedule for my Old Testament reading, as I inevitably get behind. Instead, I use a checklist that gives me greater flexibility. My Bible reading checklist can be found here.

BibleReadingChecklist

What works for me likely will not work for you, but I offer these resources hoping they will be a blessing for some of my readers. Whether you use these reading plans or something else, I encourage you to be in God’s Word on a regular basis.

Grace and Peace

December 29, 2015 Posted by | Christianity | , , , | 1 Comment

Reading the Bible in 2015

(This is a re-posting from 12/31/2013)

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4 ESV

It is through the Scriptures that we can know God, Christ, ourselves, and how to live in regards to God and our neighbor. I cannot think of any greater thing in life than to know the Creator of the universe and Redeemer of my life.

Many make a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution. Often what happens is that one starts reading in Genesis, and things go well for a while. A month or two later they hit the latter part of Exodus, and perhaps they make it into Leviticus. Though there is a lot of good material in this section of Scripture, I confess that my eyes can glaze over as I go through chapter after chapter of “He also made the table of acacia wood. Two cubits was its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height.” (Ex 37:10 ESV).

If Bible reading is new to you, I would recommend starting with the life of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament Gospels. These four books—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—each present the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but with different emphases and styles. The Gospel of John would be a good place to start. Move on from the gospels to the rest of the New Testament. I would recommend Romans as a good place to start after reading the life of Christ in the Gospels.

I read in the Bible every day, and could probably count on my fingers and toes the number of days I have missed in the past thirty plus years. I would like to pass on to you some attitudes and tools that have helped me to do this.

  1. I set realistic reading goals. Though I read the Bible regularly, I have never read the entire Bible in a year. My general goal is to read the New Testament every year and the Old Testament once every two years. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, so reading a chapter per day (a five to ten minute investment of one’s time) will easily get one through that portion of Scripture in a year. There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament, so I have to average a bit more than a chapter a day to meet my objective of getting through the OT every two years.
  2. Many have been helped by using a one-year Bible reading plan. Here’s a plan that will get you through the entire New Testament in a year. There are many other day-by-day reading plans out there, such as the Discipleship Journal one-year reading plan, or many others listed by Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition. Or if you want a challenge, you can try Glenn Brooke’s Read the Bible in 30 Days.
  3. I usually use a Bible reading checklist to track progress toward my goals. One advantage of a checklist over a calendar-based plan is flexibility. I can speed up my reading or slow down. Another advantage of a checklist is that if one misses a few days, they don’t need to feel overwhelmed because they are behind schedule. One can pick up where they left off without feeling any pressure to catch up.
  4. After doing my reading for the day (which I usually do in the evening), I try to go back and meditate and pray about something that stood out to me.
  5. I take notes on my reading. The way I do it is by writing in the margins of my wide-margin Bible. Others keep a journal.

These things have worked for me. We are all wired differently, but I think that, with modification, there should be some ideas here that will be helpful to most followers of Christ.

As important as Bible reading is to me, I realize that it is much more important that the Word be in me than that I be in the Word. One can read the Bible every day and learn lots of facts and end up being a self-righteous hypocrite. So my prayer is that you and I would be transformed by prayerful, humble, meditative reading of the Scriptures. May you know Christ and his salvation better through the intake of his Word.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————————————————————-

Here are a couple of Bible reading tools I have created — a Bible reading checklist, and a reading plan for going through the New Testament in a year.

1. The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible with their chapters. I mark off the chapters as I read them.

biblechecklist.jpg

Bible_Reading_Checklist

This system gives me greater flexibility than a day-by-day schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals. Two advantages of using this system over a schedule is that I can vary my pace, and don’t get frustrated if I get behind the schedule.

The checklist has two pages; I like to print it on two sides on heavy paper, fold it, and stick it in my Bible.

2. Read the New Testament in a year bookmark

NT_bookmark

NT_bookmark

This can be printed two-sided (I print mine on card stock) and inserted in your Bible.

January 1, 2015 Posted by | Christianity | , , | Leave a comment

Reading the Bible in 2014

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4 ESV

It is through the Scriptures that we can know God, Christ, ourselves, and how to live in regards to God and our neighbor. I cannot think of any greater thing in life than to know the Creator of the universe and Redeemer of my life.

Many make a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution. Often what happens is that one starts reading in Genesis, and things go well for a while. A month or two later they hit the latter part of Exodus, and perhaps they make it into Leviticus. Though there is a lot of good material in this section of Scripture, I confess that my eyes can glaze over as I go through chapter after chapter of “He also made the table of acacia wood. Two cubits was its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height.” (Ex 37:10 ESV).

If Bible reading is new to you, I would recommend starting with the life of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament Gospels. These four books—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—each present the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but with different emphases and styles. The Gospel of John would be a good place to start. Move on from the gospels to the rest of the New Testament. I would recommend Romans as a good place to start after reading the life of Christ in the Gospels.

I read in the Bible every day, and could probably count on my fingers and toes the number of days I have missed in the past thirty plus years. I would like to pass on to you some attitudes and tools that have helped me to do this.

  1. I set realistic reading goals. Though I read the Bible regularly, I have never read the entire Bible in a year. My general goal is to read the New Testament every year and the Old Testament once every two years. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament, so reading a chapter per day (a five to ten minute investment of one’s time) will easily get one through that portion of Scripture in a year. There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament, so I have to average a bit more than a chapter a day to meet my objective of getting through the OT every two years.
  2. Many have been helped by using a one-year Bible reading plan. Here’s a plan that will get you through the entire New Testament in a year. There are many other day-by-day reading plans out there, such as the Discipleship Journal one-year reading plan, or many others listed by Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition.
  3. I usually use a Bible reading checklist to track progress toward my goals. One advantage of a checklist over a calendar-based plan is flexibility. I can speed up my reading or slow down. Another advantage of a checklist is that if one misses a few days, they don’t need to feel overwhelmed because they are behind schedule. One can pick up where they left off without feeling any pressure to catch up.
  4. After doing my reading for the day (which I usually do in the evening), I try to go back and meditate and pray about something that stood out to me.
  5. I take notes on my reading. The way I do it is by writing in the margins of my wide-margin Bible. Others keep a journal.

These things have worked for me. We are all wired differently, but I think that, with modification, there should be some ideas here that will be helpful to most followers of Christ.

As important as Bible reading is to me, I realize that it is much more important that the Word be in me than that I be in the Word. One can read the Bible every day and learn lots of facts and end up being a self-righteous hypocrite. So my prayer is that you and I would be transformed by prayerful, humble, meditative reading of the Scriptures. May you know Christ and his salvation better through the intake of his Word.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————————————————————-

Here are a couple of Bible reading tools I have created — a Bible reading checklist, and a reading plan for going through the New Testament in a year.

1. The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible with their chapters. I mark off the chapters as I read them.

biblechecklist.jpg

Bible_Reading_Checklist

This system gives me greater flexibility than a day-by-day schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals. Two advantages of using this system over a schedule is that I can vary my pace, and don’t get frustrated if I get behind the schedule.

The checklist has two pages; I like to print it on two sides on heavy paper, fold it, and stick it in my Bible.

2. Read the New Testament in a year bookmark

NT_bookmark

NT_bookmark

This can be printed two-sided (I print mine on card stock) and inserted in your Bible.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Christianity | , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading the Bible in 2013

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4 ESV

It is through the Scriptures that we can know God, Christ, ourselves, and how to live in regards to God and our neighbor. I cannot think of any greater thing in life than to know the Creator of the universe and Redeemer of my life.

Many make a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution. Here is what works for me. Rather than using a reading schedule, with a listing of what chapters to read each day, I use a Bible reading checklist:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible with their chapters. I mark off the chapters as I read them.

biblechecklist.jpg

Bible_Reading_Checklist

If Bible reading is new to you, I would recommend starting with the life of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament Gospels. These four books—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—each present the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but with different emphases and styles. The Gospel of John would be a good place to start.

This system gives me greater flexibility than a day-by-day schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals. This year I plan on reading the New Testament (much of it twice), the historical books of the Old Testament (Genesis through 2 Chronicles) and the poetical books (Job through Song of Solomon). Two advantages of using this system over a schedule is that I can vary my pace, and don’t get frustrated if I get behind the schedule.

I also intend to do some more intensive study and meditation in a few New Testament books.

The checklist has two pages; I like to print it on two sides on heavy paper, fold it, and stick it in my Bible.

Feel free to download and print this for yourself and pass it on to others:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

As important as Bible reading is to me, I realize that it is much more important that the Word be in me than that I be in the Word. One can read the Bible every day and learn lots of facts and end up being a self-righteous hypocrite. So my prayer is that you and I would be transformed by prayerful, humble, meditative reading of the Scriptures. May you know Christ and his salvation better through the intake of his Word.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————

P.S. Here are some good Bible reading schedules if you prefer that over using a checklist:

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Christianity | , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading the Bible in 2012

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4 ESV

I read the Bible every day. It is through the Scriptures that I know God, Christ, myself, and how to live in regards to God and my neighbor. I cannot think of any greater thing, except that in eternity I will know all of these much better than I do in this life.

Many make a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution. Here is what works for me. Rather than using a reading schedule, with a listing of what chapters to read each day, I use a Bible reading checklist:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible with their chapters. I mark off each chapter as I read.

biblechecklist.jpg

This system gives me greater flexibility than a schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals. This year I plan on reading the New Testament (probably twice), the wisdom and poetical books (Job through Song of Solomon) and the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi). Two advantages of this system over using a schedule is that I can vary my pace, and don’t get frustrated if I get behind in a reading schedule.

I also intend to do some more intensive study and meditation in a few New Testament books.

The checklist has two pages; I like to print it on two sides on heavy paper, fold it, and stick it in my Bible. The document is in “Landscape” orientation, but may print in “Portrait” orientation for you. You can change that in the “print setup.” Sorry, I’m not sure how to fix it on my end using Excel 2007.

Feel free to download and print this for yourself and pass it on to others:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

As important as Bible reading is to me, I realize that it is much more important that the Word be in me than that I be in the Word. One can read the Bible every day and learn lots of facts and end up being a self-righteous hypocrite. So my prayer is that I, and you, would be transformed by prayerful, humble, meditative reading of the Scriptures. May you know Christ and his salvation better through the intake of his Word.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————

P.S. Here are some good Bible reading schedules if you prefer that over using a checklist:

December 29, 2011 Posted by | Christianity | , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading the Bible in 2011

Many make a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution.

Here’s what works for me. Rather than using a reading schedule, with a daily listing of what chapters to read, I usually use a Bible reading checklist:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible with their chapters. I mark off each chapter as I read.

biblechecklist.jpg

This system gives me greater flexibility than a schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals. This year I plan on reading the New Testament (probably twice), as well as reading the middle to late historical books (Judges through Esther) and the prophets (Isaiah through Malachi). Two advantages of this system over using a schedule is that I can vary my pace, and don’t get frustrated if I get behind in a reading schedule.

The checklist has two pages; I like to print it on two sides on heavy paper, fold it, and stick it in my Bible. The document is in “Landscape” orientation, but may print in “Portrait” orientation for you. You can change that in the “print setup.” Sorry, I’m not sure how to fix it on my end using Excel 2007.

Feel free to download and print this for yourself and pass it on to others:

The GeoChristian Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file

My hope and prayer is to encourage you to be in the Word in 2011, and that you would know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ better because of it.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————

P.S. Here are some good Bible reading schedules if you prefer that over using a checklist:

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Christianity | , , , | Leave a comment

Bible reading in 2009

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 ESV)

They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11 ESV)

New Years Day is coming in two weeks, and many make a resolution to read in the Bible more consistently than they have in the past, and many don’t stick to that resolution.

Here’s what works for me.

Rather than using a reading schedule, with a daily listing of what chapters to read, I usually use a Bible reading checklist:

Kevin’s Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file (44 kb)

It has all sixty-six books of the Bible, with their chapters, and I put a slash through the numbers as I read.

biblechecklist.jpg

This gives me greater flexibility than a schedule does, yet still helps me to reach my reading goals, which include making sure I read the entire New Testament every year. In 2008, I focused my Old Testament reading on the later historical books, such as 1 & 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther; as well as the wisdom literature: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. In 2009, I plan to focus on the prophets and then go back to Genesis. One advantage of this system over using a schedule is that I can vary my pace.

biblechecklist2

Feel free to download and print this for yourself and pass it on to others:

Kevin’s Bible Reading Checklist – PDF file (44 kb)

My hope and prayer is to encourage you to be in the Word in 2009, and that you would know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ better because of it.

Grace and Peace

——————————————————

P.S. Here are some reading schedules for those who are more inclined that way:

ESV Bible Reading Plans — several different ways to get through the Bible or just the New Testament in a year.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne reading schedule — twice through the NT & Psalms, once through the OT

More reading schedules

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Christianity | , , | Leave a comment