Week 37 of Read the Bible in 2011 begins today. I put up a variation of this post every week for those who may not know what I’m doing when they find posts on different books of the Bible on different days of the week. This is the general schedule from Michael Coley’s reading plan that mixes readings from different sections of the Bible.
Sunday: The Epistles: Romans—Jude.
Monday: The Law: Genesis—Deuteronomy.
Tuesday: History: Joshua—Esther.
Wednesday: The Psalms.
Thursday: Poetry: Job—Song of Solomon.
Friday: Prophecy: Isaiah—Malachi, Revelation.
Saturday: The Gospels & Acts: Matthew—Acts.
Why is it so important for us to read God’s Word?
In the passage we call the “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus finished his teaching by telling a story of two houses:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”
When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
To withstand the storms of these difficult times we must have our lives built on rock of God’s Word. In the Bible God tells us who He is and who we are as He “truths” us through His Word. To let our own thoughts or the world’s trump God’s Word is building our lives on deceptive sand, setting our house up to crash. We have to know His Word to live by His Word.
This past week was a difficult one—the kind of week where I start to feel as if I don’t know which end is up, and I feel intimidated by those who present façades of perfect faith without doubt or trouble. Through His Word in John, the Holy Spirit reassured me and gave me comfort. Jesus’ teaching turn things right side up as He orients my mind and heart with His truth. I thought of these words by John Owen about the Bible:
“How often in the reading of it do we meet with, and are as it were surprised with, gracious words, that enlighten, quicken, comfort, endear, and engage our souls! How often do we find sin wounded, grace encouraged, faith excited, love inflamed, and this in that endless variety of inward frames and outward occasions which we are liable unto.”1
Posts from weeks 1–13 are on the Winter Quarter page under Read the Bible in 2011, and Weeks 14–26 are on the Spring Quarter page. The Summer Quarter page contains Weeks 27–39. (Between the Lines Redux explains those without links).
If it makes your head spin to read a different book each day of the week, you might try M’Cheyne’s plan which alternates between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It’s set up with family and private devotionals each day. Adapt it as you like; you could go through the family readings before you do the private readings. Ben Edgington has numerous helpful links. This is M’Cheyne’s calendar with his introduction. You can also go straight through the Bible.
Some daily reading assignments go rapidly through a book, while other books are taken much more slowly. Pace yourself as you need to, but keep reading. The important thing is to read God’s Word daily: the point is not perfection, but perseverance.
Don’t be discouraged by what you don’t know or by what you don’t understand. Come with a humble and hungry heart, and ask God to teach you and enable you to learn what you need to know right now to trust God and to obey Him.
May the Lord be with you and bless you through the reading of His Word.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1John Owen, Pneumatologia, or A discourse concerning the Holy Spirit, Book VI, Part II, Chapter VI.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter