So, how do we fit all this Bible reading, study, and prayer into our daily schedules? I’ve been much helped and encouraged by the 5 AM club started by the ladies at girltalk. Based on our Lord’s example of rising early to spend time with His Father and Mary’s example of sitting at Christ’s feet, this club encourages women to rise early to spend time at the feet of the Savior. I encourage you to take a look at some of the posts about the club and to establish a time each day for devotional time with the Lord. They also have a FAM club (Fast A Meal) to help you fast and pray for a family member’s salvation.
Now, you don’t have to wake up at 5 AM, but the general premise is to wake up before the rest of your family, or if you’re single, well before you need to get ready for your day, in order to have plenty of time to read and pray before the work day begins.
If it sounds difficult and like a big challenge–it is! But it is well worth it and you really can get into the routine and adjust your bedtime to accommodate the earlier mornings. Unfortunately, my wakeup time tends to shift from 5 to 5:30 to 6 as the semester goes on, but I’m going to renew my commitment to wake up at 5 to spend time with the Lord. I’ve found that if I wake up at 5, my quiet time is so much more focused and unhurried than when I push snooze until 5:30 or 6.
What is your plan for Bible reading and study? Do you like to read in the morning or evening or some other time?
At the beginning of each year, I like to map out what Bible studies I’m going to do, in addition to whatever “read through the Bible in a year” plan I choose. I’ve found this helps me stay a little more focused, rather than randomly choosing passages or skipping Bible study days because I don’t have a particular topic in mind. I am quite flexible with this plan, though, because sometimes I face a particular temptation or want to study a certain passage or aspect of Christ’s character that I didn’t plan on.
For the past few years, I’ve found it profitable to use John MacArthur’s series of Bible studies. We’ve used them in Sunday School or I’ve used them on my own. This year I’d like to study these books of the Bible: Galatians, Ephesians, Romans, Revelation. These studies are designed to complete in 12 weeks, but I can generally do two lessons a week. I rotate these studies with topical studies or other Bible study books.
I’d like to do topical studies on various emotions, the fruit of the Spirit, and women of the Bible.
I also really like Beth Moore’s Bible studies and would like to read her book Praying God’s Word and the study Stepping Up: A Journey through the Psalms of Ascent. For a Christmas present, my mom gave me Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book Choosing Gratitude, so I’d like to read that book and work through the study guide for that as well.
What books of the Bible would you like to study this year? What topical studies or book studies do you have planned?
As I was thinking about my Bible reading plans for the year, I came across this great series of posts on Matthew Hoskinson’s blog. I appreciated his reminder that “The goal is not the goal. The goal is a means to the goal, namely, glorifying God through an increased knowledge of and affection for him and his gospel through his word.” I often get so focused on just reading the Bible in a year, or whatever my current goal is, that I become more self-righteous and legalistic about the goal, rather than really growing in knowledge of and love for the Savior.
This year, I decided to follow the plan in my ESV Study Bible, which takes you through each book one time and Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, and Romans twice. I like that the reading is divided between Psalms and Wisdom Literature, the Pentateuch and History of Israel, Chronicles and Prophets, and the Gospels and Epistles. The reading also seems to be a reasonable amount, so it’s not overwhelming. ESV Study Bible reading plan
Here are a couple other plans I considered:
M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
You can find some more ideas on Matt’s blog or at Crossway, or do a little googling and you’ll find tons. It doesn’t really matter what plan you follow, as long as you’re reading God’s Word this year, learning more about Him, and growing in your love for Him and others.
What are your Bible reading plans for this year?