Personal Bible Reading
“Something exciting happens when people read the Bible for themselves. The Holy Spirit strengthens their connection to the Savior Jesus. Their faith and knowledge and wisdom increase. The nine fruits of the Spirit grow in them (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Lots of people start reading the Bible at the beginning of the Old Testament, figuring they will read from cover to cover. But that’s a little like climbing a 10,000 foot mountain without first building up one’s endurance. There are quite a few difficult chapters of the Bible that make a lot more sense after a person has become familiar with the easier half of the Bible.
So I culled out the most difficult sections of the Bible and arranged the remaining 750 chapters into the schedule you see here. This Daily Bible Reading Guide will lead you through the whole New Testament, all of the Psalms and Proverbs, and all the Bible stories that people get to learn in Sunday School.
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God bless your daily Bible reading in every way!”
How to read the Bible
1. Start with prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you’re reading. “Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may see wonderful things in your Word” (based on Psalm 119:18).
2. Each chapter of the Bible will answer at least one of these questions. What did God promise? What did God do? Which sin of mine is revealed? *How is God’s love for me revealed? (This is the most important question.)* What am I to believe about God? What am I to believe about myself (and all mankind). What does God want me to do? “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
3. Be patient. Some parts of the Bible are easy to understand right away; other parts are more difficult. As you become familiar with the Bible, you’ll understand it better. “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you” (Philippians 3:15).
4. Write down your questions. Watch for answers as you read elsewhere in the Bible: Scripture interprets itself. You may also call your pastor or another Christian for answers to your questions.
5. The best Bible reading plan is one you do every day. Try to stick to the plan on these pages. “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God!” (Psalm 139:17).
6. If you can’t read both of today’s chapters, read at least one chapter. But read every day. “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2) (“Law” sometimes means “Word.”)
7. Reading the Bible gives rest, unless it becomes a burden. So if you fall behind, read only today’s chapters. Give yourself permission to read the chapters you missed next year. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:29).
8. Bible reading is a process. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read the Bible already—what did you read today? “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (Psalm 119:35).
9. When you’ve read through the whole Bible a few times and you’re ready to delve more deeply into the Bible, ask your pastor for a good commentary (e.g. the People’s Bible). “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
10. Reading the Bible won’t gain God’s favor for you. But it will help convince you that you already have God’s favor through faith in Jesus.