We’re beginning a church-wide journey through the Bible in 2017. It is designed to be followed for five-days each week. Each day has one Old Testament reading (3-4 chapters) and one New Testament reading (1 chapter), moving through both Testaments in order, with the exception of the four gospels, which are spread out through the year. The rhythm of five readings per week provides space to read something else over the weekend (such as the sermon text notes). It’s also a built-in guilt-avoidance system, since you can miss a day or two in a week and still remain on-track.
Why We’re Doing This
For one thing, our own spiritual life depends on it. According to everyone, eating food is a necessary rhythm of life. According to Jesus, feeding on God’s word is another one. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” Jesus said (Matt. 4:4). We prioritize eating meals every day. That’s good. We don’t always prioritize engaging with God’s word every day. That’s not good. And it’s also a reason why so many Christians feel spiritually famished.
Second, families eat food together, so, as a spiritual family, why not feast on God’s word together? Just as we sit under God’s word each Sunday morning, this is an opportunity to read God’s word together through the week. Each day as we read God’s word, we will know that other brothers and sisters are engaging with the same truths right along with us. This provides a great opportunity to talk with one another about what we’re reading, learning and growing together.
Third, this is a primary way to commune with God. The Scriptures are God’s voice to us today. He gave us his word to invite us into conversation with himself: We hear his voice in Scripture; he hears ours in prayer. In other words, God has brought us into friendship with himself through the gospel, and this is now how we converse with him. In light of this, let’s always read devotionally, aware that these are the words of our King and our Friend.
So, if you’ll join the journey, grab a copy of the reading plan (download here, or grab a copy on Sunday morning) and start reading at the beginning of the year. One key to making this work will be finding a time and place for your reading each day.
In addition to personal reading, find others to interact with about the reading.
- For spouses or families who read this together, bring it up at dinner and share what you’re learning and how you’re growing.
- Read as a small group and then discuss your reading from time to time when you meet together.
- Consider inviting a friend or two to join you on this journey, and then meet for coffee to talk about what you’ve been reading. For an additional resource that provides guidance for Bible-discussion meetings, check out David Helm’s book, One to One Bible Reading.
- For families with younger children, consider also including one of Marty Machowski’s family Bible-devotionals: Long-Story Short or Old Story New.