If you’re like me, you want to read the Bible regularly but it often seems like a daunting challenge to pull it off with any amount of consistency and discipline. Through the years, I’ve heard of all sorts of reading plans and I’ve tried many of them myself. I will say that a reading plan significantly aids you in the process of reading Scripture regularly, but how do you know which one to try? The most common is the Bible in a year program, which many people eagerly launch into and keep it up for a few weeks until they get to Leviticus and then it ruins them. There is the Bible in 90 days, a difficult plan that only one of my friends has been able to follow through with. Or, you can just open it at random or randomly select a book and hope that it takes you somewhere.
I recently heard about a new plan and I’ve been trying it for a bit now and I love it. It was developed, or at least adapted to its current form, by Grant Horner, a professor at the Master’s College in LA.
Here’s the part that sounds scary: you read 10 chapters a day. Here’s the good news, you fly through it and are constantly building off your momentum without getting overwhelmed by any “difficult” part of the Bible. The plan divides the Bible into 10 lists, and you read a chapter out of each list a day. The first list includes the Gospels, so you’ll always read at least one chapter a day from them. Since each list is made up of a different amount of total chapters, you’ll never read the same 10 chapters in a day from the time you start. The benefit of this plan is that everyday you get an overall picture and feel of Scripture and it allows you to see how they connect together and how one verse sheds light into another verse. Because you are constantly moving from one book to another, it goes quickly and gives you the feeling of progress each day. Another benefit is that you don’t get as discouraged, or behind, if you don’t read a day. There’s no timeline to complete this so it becomes part of your routine and not a task to try and conquer. I’ve never promoted a particular Bible-reading plan before, but I’m officially encouraging you to try this if you are looking to energize your reading of the Bible.
Click here to go to Professor Horner’s page to read the details about the plan and download tools to make it easy for you to read it yourself.
There are a couple of distinctions I would make to his philosophy:
1. I’m less concerned about knowing where passages are on each page than he is. I think it is beneficial every year or so to change the version that you’re reading so that you don’t get locked into one English translation only. The KJV used to be considered the only “holy” version, recently it has become the NIV. If you change it up it allows you to see how different versions offer helpful perspective and is another way to keep it fresh year after year. I recommend the NIV, TNIV, NASB, NLT, and NRSV.
2. It takes me about 30 minutes a day to read my chapters, but that is because I like to go a little slower than he recommends. I’m a believer in journaling about your Bible reading, so I would encourage you to allow time for notes and questions as you go.