I became a follower of Jesus when I was fresh into being 14 years old. I did my “growing up” in a Southern Baptist church right in the middle of Tennessee. It was an awesome place for a kid like me….wonderfully supportive, loving, patient, gracious, and generous. If you’ve had any contact with a Southern Baptist church you’ve probably realized that the Bible is of foundational importance. It was a doctrine that I “caught” just by spending time weekly at the church.
However, I grew up thinking that I needed outside help (in the form of a workbook class, commentary, teacher, study guide, life-application notes, etc) to understand the Bible and its message. I rarely grasped anything in the Old Testament and would joke that it was indeed “old” (i.e. weird, hard, confusing) and therefore not as worthy of my time and attention. In the New Testament, I would skip to the end of the letters so that I could get the practical tidbits of information about how to behave (’cause that’s usually what I struggled with….good behavior). Many years later, I was planning a new college and young singles ministry and wanted to know more about the Bible like some of the leaders in my new church seemed to. When there is something I want to learn, nothing stops my pursuit of the subject at hand. So, I asked, “will you teach me everything you know about the Bible?” And that’s where I learned what I am about to share.
***Side Note: this is just ONE way of enjoying the Bible. There are so many great resources out there and hear me be an advocate to find what works for you! What I have below is what largely works for me in my day-to-day life. It may or may not be a good fit for you. You try and you decide.***
So….here it is: Bible Reading Plan
- Mondays-Proverbs (start your week off with wisdom)
- Tuesdays-History (Genesis-Esther)
- Wednesday-Poetry (Job-Song of Solomon)
- Thursday-Prophets (Isaiah-Malachi)
- Friday-Gospels (Matthew-John)
- Saturday-Letters (Acts-Jude)
For me, this plan gave me the freedom I needed. No boxes to check (or feel guilty about if I didn’t check them each day!). Have a super busy day and can’t read that much? That’s okay. Read what you can and just mark where you stopped—anytime in God’s Word is beneficial.
You’re in ALL parts and genres of the Bible within an entire week. No getting bored spending a month (or two months) trying to slog through Leviticus, only to be defeated once again by confusion. The Old and New Testaments are interrelated and often quote each other. This method helps you naturally cross-reference.
I learned the importance of simply reading the Bible, no commentaries, no study guides, no notes from anybody else. I learned that the Holy Spirit is our helper and that God isn’t going to “hide” things in His Word from us. Let the Bible interpret itself. Need help understanding something you’ve read? Pray and ask for understanding to come….and just keep reading. You might discover the answer a few days or weeks later.
What Bible study methods have you found work for you? Perhaps you’ve given up on trying to understand or get through the Bible. Maybe you could give it one more try and see what happens!