As the New Year approaches it is a good idea to set some goals to make the most of 2012. Reading the Bible should be a consistent part of our day, but what approach should we take? There are many plans for reading the Bible profitably. Some read the Bible through from cover to cover in one year. Others like to give serious focus to one book for an extended study. A chronological approach reads the books of the Bible in their order in history. I have found the M’Cheyne plan to be excellent and I am planning on following it again in 2012.
Nathan W. Bingham has posted a list of different plans with links to documents that would be of help for carrying out the respective plans. Each approach has its own benefits. The key is to do it!
Mr. Spurgeon offered a helpful exhortation:
It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word. For profit you might as well read the A B C backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning. Words are nothing: the letter killeth. The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Here is the well: spring up, O well; Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of thy word, while it lies open before me; apply thy word with power to my soul, threatening or promise, doctrine or precept, whatever it may be; lead me into the soul and marrow of thy word.” [CH Spurgeon, “A Song at the Well-Head”]
To give us a sense of the privilege and value of time in the Word, Ray Ortlund posted this image with his remarks that follow:
A knock on the door
“De verboden Lectuur” by Karel Ooms (1876) portrays a Belgian man studying the Bible with his daughter in a time of persecution. They are breaking the law, and they know it. They have just heard a knock on the door.
This painting hung along a stairway in the Belgian Gospel Mission when my family visited there in 1959. Even as a boy, I sensed how solemn and beautiful it was. Somehow the family got hold of a print, and somehow the print ended up in my possession. It hangs in our study here at home. It is beside me now.
May I be a man of the Bible. May I be a faithful father. May I be a loyal Christian, whoever knocks on the door.