Another Bible Reading plan 2019

It’s that time of year again when this bulletin is dedicated to helping you find the right bible reading program.

Before I introduce to you the plans for 2019, let’s remind ourselves as to why a regular plan for reading the bible is so valuable.

  • A life without the Bible is an empty life. God has given to us all things pertaining to life & godliness. [2Pet 1:3]
  • We will make mistakes by not knowing it. [Mat 22:29]
  • We’re commanded to study it. [2Tim 2:15]
  • The Scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” [2Tim 3:16-17]

Now, let’s look at some plans for 2019.

THE CHRONOLOGICAL daily reading plan. This plan has you reading the entire bible in 1 year in chronological order. You can find these online, or through an app on your smart phone. Some of these apps will even read the bible to you.

THE 30-DAY PLAN FOR NEW CONVERTS. This plan leads the new convert through bible from the fall of man through the redemption of mankind in Christ Jesus.

THE 61-DAY OVERVIEW OF THE WHOLE BIBLE. This plan touches just the highlights of the whole bible. This is a good plan for someone who wants a reminder of major events or is trying to just get an overview before a more complete reading of the bible.

THE MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY PLAN. This plan has a focus on the New Testament. Each day of the week has a theme as follows:

  • Mondays – Read from the Gospels [89 chapters]
  • Tuesdays – Read from Acts [28 chapters]
  • Wednesday – Read from Paul’s letters (Romans – Philemon) [87 chapters]
  • Thursday – Read from the Old Testament [929 chapters]
  • Friday – Read from the General letters (Hebrews through Revelation) [56 chapters]

As New Testament Christians, this plan has a focus on the New Covenant and allows you to read through the New Testament several times in a year (just 5-10 chapters per day), with ACTS being read about 10 times in a year depending on your reading speed. You would need to read about 15+ chapters on Thursdays to complete a reading of the Old Testament.

Imagine, by this time next year you will have read about the Lord’s life 4 times, the beginning of the church up to 10 times and the instructions from the Apostles 3,4 or 5 times!

THE PROVERBS A MONTH PLAN

With any of the above plans, a great addition would be to read from one chapter of Proverbs each day. There are 30-31 days in a month, and there are 31 chapters of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is an excellent book for helping with daily living principles.

The breakdown of the book of Proverbs is as follows:

  • 1-9 the value of Wisdom
  • 10-30 are the sayings of Solomon with a mix of topics.
  • 31 is the word of King Lemuel’s Mother about the godly woman.

A FEW TIPS for Reading the Bible Daily.

  • Just Start. You don’t want to be saying, “I wish I read more” this time next year.
  • Set an appointment for yourself to read your bible. Nothing ever gets done until it’s scheduled.
  • Pray before and after each time you read. [Jas 1:5-6]

There is no downside to reading from God’s word, only an upside. Even if you miss a day, you have a plan to stay on track, keep it interesting and help you to grow.

If you live in the Borger, TX area and would like to study with someone, click here.

4 Easy ways to improve your Bible reading

LET’S FACE IT, WE ALL could be doing a better job of reading our Bibles. It’s just that we’re very busy. Although true, it’s still no excuse. After all, we are instructed to study… “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…” 2Timothy 2:15

Instead of trying to keep pace with one of the myriad of Bible reading plans, let’s take an approach that emphasises STUDY over just reading which could work better with your own busy lifestyle.

Study for the Bible classes. The congregation here at Franklin St. church of Christ, has determined to study through the whole Bible during our two weekly Bible class hours. This will take us about 5 years to study (not just read) the entire bible. By preparing for each Bible class, you’re reading the Bible!

Study Topically. So many of us keep a bookmark of “biblical references” in our Bibles. We keep them handy so that we can refer to them when a question arises during our personal work. What’s wrong with taking a few moments each day to study through one of the topics on the bookmark? For example, you could dedicate a week (just a few moments a day) to read all of the scriptures pertaining to baptism or the plan of salvation etc. I have personally used this method to improve my readiness when doing personal work.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1Peter 3:15

There are other resources you can use to engage in this type of study, topical Bibles which simply list every scripture on a given subject, as well as concordances. Other trusted resources like, “Ready Reference for Growing Christians” or “Nichol’s Pocket Bible Encyclopedia” can be very helpful in your studies. Doing this is called reading your Bible.

Read what you can, when you can. Another strategy you can use is to keep a Bible handy. Download an app on your phone, or keep a pocket Bible in your purse or in your car, so that you always have God’s word with you to read during those many moments of pause. You know those moments of pause, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or at the orthodontists office etc. Keep a Bible in every room of your house for quick access to His word. A friend of mine keeps her Bible open on the kitchen counter (away from the sink of course) as a constant reminder to take time to read. This too is called reading your Bible.

Make an appointment with yourself and God. Someone once told me, “nothing ever gets done until a deadline is set.” Make an appointment, or set an alarm on your phone, to spend time reading His divine instruction for your life. As an examle, set a goal to read the Gospels in a month. Everyone has time to read the Gospels. Look at these stats….

Matthew:        1 hour, 14 minutes
Mark:              46 minutes
Luke:               1 hour, 18 minutes
John:               1 hour, 3 minutes
The Four Gospels:  4 hours, 21 minutes

Looking at it another way, you could read…

  • Mark in the typical span of 1 or 2 quarters of NFL football.
  • John in the time lost watching commercials in 4 hours of TV.
  • Matthew in the average span of 4 Major League Baseball innings.
  • Luke in the typical length of 1 half of an NBA game.

Please understand, I’m not advocating that you give God the crumbs that are leftover from your day, what I am saying is there are multiple opportunities, during a day, to read the bible if we would just make it a point to take advantage of the time.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Ephesians 5:16

This verse from Ephesians should serve as a warning. Let us use the time remaining to protect ourselves from the evil that vexes our souls daily. What better resource do we have to do that than God’s own Word?

Are you Noble?

SOMEBODY asked me one time about a preacher on a certain website to find out if they’re any good. I responded by saying, “Whether they’re on the internet, in a book or preaching from a pulpit in the church of Christ, we are to test every person to determine if their teaching aligns with God’s teachings.

That is the meaning of the verse in 1John 4:1; “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God:” Then the writer added; “because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

The Apostle John was warning that some will teach error, “false prophets.” The Apostle Peter had a similar warning, except that he said some false teachers would come from among the Christians; “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” [2Peter 2:1]

Is there a way to determine between a false teacher and a true teacher from God? Yes, there is, and we MUST prove for our own knowledge what is being taught. [1Thessalonians 5:21]

TESTING THE TEACHER

In John’s 1st letter, he gives us two tests…..

TEST ONE – Do they deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? A true teacher will say that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [1John 4:2]. Some folks are denying that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. [2John 1:7]

TEST TWO – Does the teaching match what the Apostles taught? We perform the test by matching it to what the Apostles taught as they were taught it by the Holy Spirit.

Looking at verse 6 of John’s 1st letter he tells us how to know the difference between truth and error, “We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

The Apostles were told what to teach and what to write by the Holy Spirit [John 16:13]. Also in 2Timothy 3:16 Paul wrote, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…..” He also said, “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,” [Ephesians 3:3].

In Galatians 1, Paul wrote, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” [Galatians 1:8].

He warned us in the 1st Corinthian letter, not to follow men further than what we can see in the word of God, “….that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.” [1Corinthians 4:6b]

TWO OTHER TESTS

Though not mentioned by John, we can read about two more tests…..

TEST THREE – Moses answered this question, “How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?” [Deuteronomy 18:21-22]

            When a prophet makes a statement in the name of the Lord, if what he says does not take place and his words do not come true, then his word is not the word of the Lord. Certain modern denominations have made some predictions that have NOT come to pass. By this test, they are NOT from God.

TEST FOUR – This test is to be used if someone claims to do a wonder (miracle) or a sign [Deuteronomy 13:1-3]. If their teaching, doctrine, contradicts what God has already revealed, they are to be rejected. It matters not whether they were able to perform the sign or to give a wonder. This is very similar to what John taught in the second test. (BTW – signs, wonders & tongues have ceased 1Cor 13:8)

PERFORMING THE TEST

At the beginning of the church, as the inspired men and Apostles taught, folks performed these tests. We read of one such group in Acts 17, the Bereans. The writer notes that these were “more noble (honorable).” Why were they nobler? Simple, because they, “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Look closely at this passage, the context shows that it was the Apostle Paul, along with Silas, who are teaching. God COMMENDS the Bereans for performing the tests for the Apostle Paul! Compare that to some denominations, even today, who CONDEMN the examination of scripture and tell their members that they are unable to know the truth unless the leadership teaches it.

The title asks if you are noble. We can be noble too, when we search the scriptures, just as they did. A message repeated yesterday and remains today, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. [Isaiah 34:16; Luke 16:29; John 5:39; 2Timothy 2:15, 16].

A final word. Let’s note one other thing that the Bereans did. It says that they searched the scriptures DAILY. I was studying with a brother in Christ the other day and he punched me right in the heart when he said, “We would all be better off if we INCREASED to weekly our DAILY STUDY.” Did you catch it? He is suggesting, and I agree, that we’re falling short in our daily reading of God’s word. So, I ask you, nay, I ask myself, Am I more noble?

Spencer Blackwelder