Sometimes the hardest thing about reading my Bible every day is not knowing where to begin. So I thought I’d tell you about my very simple Bible reading plan this year, which David shared with our church a few months back.
We’re reading through the letters of Paul in the New Testament, and if you read two chapters a day you can read all of his letters 8 times in a year. Here’s how it works:
There are two lists to read from each day, the first is Romans – 2 Corinthians, and the second list is Galatians – Philemon. I started by putting a bookmark at Romans 1 and Galatians 1 and reading a chapter from each a day. When I finish list one (i.e. arrive at the end of 2 Corinthians, I begin the list again).
Sound confusing? It’s really not. Because the lists are uneven in length, you’ll never read the same two chapters together. I’m loving this plan because of it’s simplicity, it’s brevity, and because of all the unity to be found in Paul’s writing.
I though I’d go ahead and tell you how I spend my “quiet time,” not because it’s the only way to go about it, but sometimes hearing what someone else does sparks an idea in your own mind.
I do my Bible readings with a cup of coffee and notebook in hand, and choose a verse or two each day to copy out when I’m done. This makes me slow down and reflect on what I’m reading. I’m always surprised at how often the verses I copy are exactly the truth I need to hear that day.
After this, I pray. My prayer life was revolutionized when I started writing out my prayers. This works for me because I love writing and it helps me concentrate. I either do this in my notebook or on my laptop in a Word document. I don’t over-spiritualize my prayers: praying is just talking to Jesus. I tell Him about my life, the highs and the lows. I thank Him for his gifts. I ask Him for help — for me and for other people. I ask Him to weave the words I read that morning into my heart and make them apart of me so I will be more like Him.
I love my time with Jesus now, I look forward to it, I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier for it. It’s my lifeline.
I close with a word to moms of very young kids who are just trying to snatch what sleep they can get — forget waking early for Bible reading. Way back when I had two kids under two years old and was in the same boat, my counselor told me, “Julie, just choose a verse a day and if you can, copy it out on a note card. Hang it above your kitchen sink and let that reading be your quiet time. This isn’t about checking something off a list; it’s about spending time with Jesus throughout the day.” That was immensely comforting to my harried, exhausted soul.
My prayer for you today is that you come to know your need to spend regular time with Jesus and that you find great joy and help in it.