“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
During a recent sermon, I mentioned a daily Bible reading plan that I have used for almost 15 years. Some have asked me to share it here. In addition to my Bible reading plan, I am also sharing some thoughts and ideas about reading other material on a regular basis and in an intentional way.
Reading the Bible Is God Speaking to You
Reading the Bible is a spiritual discipline. Reading is different from studying. It is not memorizing or mediating. While all of those disciplines are of great value, I believe a great place to start my day is just reading the Bible.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is God speaking. When we read the words of the Bible, it is God speaking words to us. That’s pretty awesome! And, almost 15 years ago, I decided that I would like to hear from God regularly, so I started a plan of reading my Bible regularly.
The system that I developed for me is not complex and it is certainly not novel. But it works for me for a few reasons: First, it doesn’t take long to do what I am about to describe (about 20 minutes or so, depending on the particular text). Second, because I do the same thing every day, I don’t have to think about what to read next (which is often a stumbling block for some people; i.e., “where do I start?”). Third, the plan I use takes me through the Bible systematically and completely each year, and for many portions of the Bible, several times a year. I like the discipline of reading the entire Bible, not jus the parts that I “like.”
Here is my daily routine:
- Read 2 chapters in the Old Testament (start at the beginning), except don’t read Psalms or Proverbs in this section of the plan. (By doing this each day, you get through the entire Old Testament at least once in a year).
- Read 1 Psalm every day. (By doing this each day, you will read through the book of Psalms more than twice each year).
- Read the Proverb chapter that corresponds to the day of the month. (There are 31 Proverbs so there is one for each day. By doing this, you will essentially read Proverbs 12 times each year).
- Read two chapters in the New Testament each day. (By doing this, you will read through the New Testament several times each year).
Read Other Good Books, Too
In addition to reading the Bible, it is very important to read a variety of other good books on a regular basis. I have found that the more intentional I am with my reading of books, the better I become in nearly every other aspect of my life. As I read, I become a better leader, father, husband and friend. I am wiser and more patient. I am much more thoughtful. I believe it helps me be a better pastor, too.
There are many things to read. There are more books available to read than any one person could ever accomplish in a lifetime. So, it is important to be intentional in choosing what to read. While reading in and of itself has value, there can be no real argument against the proposition that some books are more valuable than others!
Be Intentional in Your Reading Choices
Vary your areas of reading so that you get a broad spectrum of insight and knowledge. Read books that are related to your profession so you can keep up on trends and new information. Read books on leadership and history. Read books that are classics, including Christian classics. Read books that will inspire you. Read biographies. And, it is even good to read a good, fiction novel every now and again (but not exclusively!).
I suggest that you have at least one book that you are reading at any given time. Some people I know often have several books they are reading at one time. I usually have a couple going at any given time, with a few “on the shelf” waiting. For example, right now I am reading “Team of Rivals” (a historical biography of President Lincoln and others) as well as a leadership book by John Maxwell. Recently I finished a book by Marc Driscoll titled “On Church Leadership” which was very good.
The more you read, the more you will enjoy it. Try it. I challenge you to turn off the t.v. for just 30 minutes a day and read instead. See what changes will happen in your life.
Share Your Best Reading Suggestions
I invite you to share your best reading suggestions in the comment section of the blog.