One of my absolute, all-time, favorite conversion stories is when someone tells me they were reading their Bible and it clicked. It suddenly all made sense. It’s like Acts 16:14 when the “Lord opened up Lydia’s heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” and how Romans 10:17 says clearly that “Faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” Simply put – the gospel cannot be understood apart from reading God’s Word.
You might reply “Well, yeah, but I’m already saved. I know the gospel.” Ah yes…BUT, God calls us to be growing. Our church is all about making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ. No one has [or ever will] arrived at full sanctification. We all need to grow. Ephesians 4:15 makes this crystal clear – “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” What is truth but God’s Word? “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” [John 17:17 ESV]
Regular daily Bible reading and mediation must be a part of Christian’s routine. So, how does one go about getting a plan to do so? This is where living in the present age of the Smart Phone and the Interwebs is all part of God’s common grace!
Many of us have the Bible app on our phones. They usually come with a whole “Reading Plans” section on the app. Disclaimer – some of the plans may have a “devotion” section that might not be as solid, or biblical. Its best to stick with a straight up Bible reading plan. If you have questions, it’s a great opportunity to ask your Shepherd, Elder, or Pastor.
Some of us might be more prone to distraction… the pull of Twitter or Facebook, or even breaking news stories can be overwhelming. Many like to keep this time of solitude just with you, a paper Bible, and God.
In that case, you can always chose a Bible reading plan from the web and print it out and keep it in your paper Bible. I used one this year that I found very helpful – it was a 5 day Bible reading plan. I found that a 7 day reading plan was actually hard to stay on track. [Gasp!] 5 days was perfect! There are many different kinds of Bible reading plans available online. Here is a good list of them, including the 5 day plan. www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/
Whichever you choose – it’s important to be dedicated to reading all of God’s Word. Read it slowly, with a pencil in hand, write in your Bible, underline things, etc. Stop and pray often. Expect the Holy Spirit to move and convict you. Ask for God’s strength to understand and obey Scripture. Additionally, share with others what you are reading in God’s word. Whether that is with your family, on social media, or talking with friends – share what God is teaching you in His Word. In so doing, you will be allowing God’s Word to bring Him glory by working through you to make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ.
PS: For those over-achievers…it’s good to structure your additional reading as well. There is a wealth of great books that help us understand God and His Word at a deeper level. Tim Challies puts out a Reading Challenge each year. Check out his 2018 Reading Challenge here!