bible reading plans

HAPPY NEW “BIBLE READING” YEAR

I have been thinking of reasons why we should be reading the Bible through again this year. Nancy and I have done it individually for years but last year we did it together and enjoyed it.  Here are a few good reasons for why you should read through the Bible this year.

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1. It’s the best seller of all time.  That’s why you don’t find it on best seller lists. It so far surpasses all other books to the point that they simply don’t list it since it would always be on top.  If there is ever a book on your “bucket list” you should read, it ought to be the best seller of history, don’t you think?

2. It helps us know divine history. The book is loaded with historical accounts of people just like us, with plenty of warts and bumps, that were chosen and used by God to change history. If we don’t know history we are doomed to repeat it.

3. It helps us understand who God really is. The Bible often reveals God is different from our concepts of Him that are shaped by contemporary culture. The trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are key. Our understanding should grow all through life as we read this amazing inspired book written by forty different authors over nearly two thousand years and over three continents.

4. It convicts us of sin and points us to the way of true salvation in Christ alone. People can be “religious” or “spiritual” but not right with God (Matthew 7:21-23). Reading the Word shows us God’s forgiveness is only through faith alone in Christ alone by the grace (the gift of God) alone (cf. Romans 3:23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16; 14:6; 20:31). 

5. It motivates us to be God’s servants.  We were created to serve God for his glory alone.  This usually happens as we serve others. Jesus is the best example of this. Mark 10:45 says, "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

“But I don’t understand the Bible, its’ boring and I can’t read that well either.” I suggest you get a copy of Unger’s Bible Handbook.  It is a small reference book that a chaplain gave me in the military. It gives summaries of each bible book, why it is there, and how it fits in. It was the first study tool I ever had and has been a lifelong blessing.  

But, what bible reading plan should you follow?

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Here are three simple plans to choose from for reading that I like.

Join our own Jerry Cudney’s email Bible Reading Plan.  Register for his daily email with the portions for the day to read through the Old and New Testaments simultaneously.  He also has devotional thoughts and a hymn to read.  Do not call him on January 1 between 2 & 5 PM— He has a prior commitment called “2019 Rose Bowl…GO DAWGS!” To register to read email him at cudneyjj@comcast.net.

Nancy and I have used the free online Daily Audio Bible with Brian Hardin.  Each day he reads the same verses that Jerry lists.  His voice is easy to understand and he has some light music with it too.  He also includes some explanations along the way about things most people ask about. This is a good plan if you are driving or can’t see well.  He also provides text from the version he reads from.  

If you want to read or listen through the Bible on your own plan or just read straight through, I suggest downloading John MacArthur’s Study Bible for your tablet or phone. It is state of the art. You can also click on difficult verses to read some of John’s 25,000 notes and cross references. It is one of the most inexpensive tools I have found. It works well on my android phone too. Start at the beginning and read the Bible…or if you prefer just click on the speaker icon to listen to it read to you.  

Okay.  No excuses in our day and age for being biblically illiterate.  Let’s get reading today.  Happy New Bible Reading Year.

Pastor Mark

writing from LA today