How often has your resolve toward an annual bible reading plan simmered and eventually faded to memory? Many set their sights to read the entire Bible each new year, and many run out of steam somewhere along the journey. What’s happening? Why do you suppose it stalls year after year? Make this year different by making a few simple adjustments!
1- Build flex into your plan.
Whether you choose an existing plan or design your own, build one to two days of catch-up flex time into each week. Base your reading plan on a five-day week, even if you have to modify a set plan you may be following. Trust me, you are going to fall behind, if you think you’re not and don’t plan accordingly, you are going to fail.
2- Set a time and stick to it
You need to create new ruts in your normal patterns. Whatever the best time is for you that will offer the highest potential for quite reflective and prayer-filled reading, that needs to be your time to read the Bible each day. Put it on your schedule, whether digitally or on paper. If you don’t plan to read and stick to that plan, you will fail.
3- Know the big story
For God’s sake, I don’t care if you’re 98 years old, take time and ask yourself if you actually know the big story, the big picture, the WHY behind all the WHAT. I kid-you-not when I tell you that I meet Christians who love the Lord and have been Christians for decades that don’t even know what the most quoted verse from the Old Testament is in the New Testament. It’s Psalm 110:1 if you’re wondering, which is part of the big story. When you know the big story, all the pieces maintain their wonder and work to keep you captivated.
The big story is God’s Global Glory ——- PERIOD
God created to have His glory reflected through His creation, and He secures that reality in and through Jesus Christ. This is one reason why Psalm 110:1 is so critical in knowing the big picture; Jesus, this is what weaves all of scripture together. If you are not reading the Bible with this needle and thread, you’ll tend to struggle to end with the intended scriptural tapestry.
God’s global glory achieved in Christ is the beginning, middle, and end of the story. This is the WHY behind every WHAT. God created all that is, with humanity at its pinnacle, to reflect the glory of God in all the world.
In Adam, Eve, and their posterity
God created Adam from the dust of the ground. He then cut Adam in half to form Eve (Similar to the suzerainty treaties of old, Gen. 15). They are then blessed to come together to give life to their posterity. It’s in this out growth that God plans to reflect His glory throughout the entire world. To simply say they fail is somewhat of an overstatement. They do fail, or better Adam fails allowing for the spread of man’s broken splendor to display a distorted view of God’s glory for the world to see. Their posterity increasingly reflect the broken glory of humanity rather than the magnificent glory of God; however, from Adam we see the Godly line of Seth and Noah and the magnificent 8 saved from utter destruction who are still sinful at conception, but thus begins glimpses of remnants emerging. Humanity from Adam until Christ is on a downward trajectory away from the glory God intended.
In Abraham and His people Israel
God then promises that His people will be as numerous as the stars and from all the nations of the world (Gen. 12:1-4) What is their charge? The same thread emerges again. They are to reflect His glory to the nations of people around them (Is. 49:6, Ez. 39:21, Ps. 98:3). God proclaims in the Old Testament that Israel is His witness to the world (Is. 43:10-12). This is not simply their identity as the remnant returns from Babylon, this was their charge and identity at their conception into nationhood, but like Adam, Eve, and their posterity before them, they fail to be such a witness, and the downward spiral away from God’s glroy continues.
In Christ, the second Adam, true Israel, and beloved second born son
Christ comes as the fulfillment of all that is written (here). The long-awaited Messiah (here). (A little more on the Messiah (here)). The eternally enthroned King of Kings (here). The second Adam (here). The truly beloved son of God (here). The reason for the feasts, festivals, and Holy days (here). The final priest offering and the final sacrifice (here). Christ cannot be all these things apart from why all these realities existed to begin with, for the global glory of God. Christ is now insuring that the original plan actually comes to pass, God’s global glory. Like Adam and Israel, He is the initiator of it in God’s new economy or new covenant with the world. He is the Mustard seed dying into the ground (here). He is the rock hewn without the hands of men (here). He is the beginning from the beginning (here), and this begins the upward trajectory toward the global glory of God.
In His people, the second and true Eve
Have you not ever wondered why the Spirit of God was fleeting and temporal in the Old Testament (Covenant), yet permanent and all-encompassing of God’s people in the New Testament (Covenant)? Why this pentecostal pouring out of the spirit on the world in Jerusalem in the 1st century? There are several things happening on this faithful pentacostal day. When God wanted to display His glory through His people to His world in the Old Testament, the Spirit of God would come upon a person to do just that and then leave (here). A foreshadow of what would someday be a full reality. When the crucified and risen Christ ascended to the throne as King eternal He poured out the promised Spirit of God on the world through His people. The Spirit of God is now permanently on and in all of His people for one reason, the same reason we’ve seen throughout all of scripture and humanity, God’s global glory. Except this time, God Himself has ensured that His spirit working in His people will display His glory throughout His world. After the original intent for all that was, is, and will be is screaming thr glory of God from the four corners of the globe then Christ will return (here).
Now, we can get on with reading the Bible this year. Here are some plans:
Ligonier Bible reading plans (here)
2 year reading plan (here)
Honoring the 500th anniversary of the reformation reading plan (here)
Chronological reading plan (here)
6 month bible reading plan (here)
A past list from Justin Taylor (here)
A past list from David Mathis (here)
BY JOSHUA WHETSTINE – NORTH AMERICAN MISSION BOARD CITY MISSIONARY FOR MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL.