The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
Psalm 19, and in fact the whole Bible, is clear about Scripture’s perfection, wisdom, necessity, purity, veracity, and value, not to mention the benefit and pleasure of its Words. It is all of these things because it is God’s perfect revelation to his covenant people. And his people cannot live without it. For those who have our hope set on heaven, God’s Word is not a trifling thing, it is our life (cf. Deuteronomy 32:41). It is essential because its words reveal to us our Triune God and God’s gracious plan for salvation–Jesus Christ. Nothing else compares.
But too often we neglect this book. Sometimes for lack of desire. Sometimes for lack of discipline. If the former, pray! But if the latter, pray and plan! And in your planning, it might be helpful to use a reading guide for 2009. Let me commend a few.
Crossway Publishers has compiled a list of 10 Reading Plans that will help you get through the Bible in 2009. Included in this list is Mc’Cheyne’s One Year Reading Plan . This is the reading plan used in D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2). Another helpful reading plan is the one commended by John Piper, Discipleship Journal Reading Plan . Both of these plans are excellent, as well as, the Daily Reading Plan and the Chronological Reading Plan.
Personally, I will continue to use my own reading plan which includes 1 chapter from the gospels and 1 from the wisdom literature in the morning; 4 OT history chapters at night (during the week), Psalms at dinner time and Sunday mornings, and 8-10 chapters of NT epistles or Minor Prophets on the Weekends. I use this plan because of its relative flexibility and the fact that it includes material from every genre of the Bible each week, though not every day. By God’s grace, this plan will take me through the Bible in 2009, with a little extra in the NT.
So in 2009, what is your plan?
It matters less which one you choose, and more that you have one. It is already January 3, and time to get going. I pray that God will bless the time you spend in his Word. He has promised to us that he will meet with us in His living Word (cf. Heb. 4:12). So, take this book and read, and may the Lord open your eyes to the wonders of his Word.
Sola Deo Gloria, dss
P.S. Eric Schumacher has given us an ESV Study Bible reading schedule for the articles and outlines to complement our Bible reading. I commend to you this guide, but admit with other reading this year, I will have to utilize this plan at a later date.