Every year our church offers a Bible reading plan that encourages faithful devotional reading throughout the year. For 2023, the reading plan we have adopted is called the Five Day Bible Reading Plan. This schedule provides daily Bible readings for five days each week with a two day "weekend" to catch up or revisit some portions of scripture from the week that really spoke to your heart. While this schedule is not original to us, it is one that we have used in the past with benefit to our members. It has several advantages that make it appealing to us.
Advantage 1: Diversity
Each week's readings are drawn from both the Old and New Testament, which decreases the likelihood that you will get bogged down in a section of Scripture that is more confusing and tedious to navigate. All Scripture is important, but we believe you are more likely to stick with the program when the harder to understand sections are combined with some that are easier to grasp.
Advantage 2: GOSPEL-CENTERED
In this Bible reading plan, the Gospels are not grouped together so that they are all completed early and not revisited for the rest of the year. Instead, the gospels are split up so we are regularly reading about Jesus all through the year. Spacing out our readings of Jesus with other New Testament books that focus on the explanation of gospel-transformed living keeps the Gospel at the center of our focus throughout the year.
Advantage 3: Habit-Building
Bible Reading is necessary and beneficial to a believer's faith, but it can be a difficult daily discipline. Having to read every day, day after day, can be a barrier. If you ever miss a day you have to read double the next day and it really adds up from there. Many people get discouraged and quit. We want to equip our church family to be successful in approaching the Word of God consistently, so a plan with a little wiggle room in it makes sense.
The Five Day Bible Reading Plan is also set up to get readers into the Word progressively. The plan starts with books that are shorter and have more manageable chapters. This builds the habit of Bible reading by helping people have success. As Bible reading becomes more regular and habitual, the reader is led to longer books with more difficult themes.
Advantage 4: Catch Up Day!
Did you know the readings for each week are only five days? There's a reason for that. The vast majority of people who begin a Bible Reading Plan eventually fall behind. Most of those who fall behind eventually give up the readings all together. To help us avoid being among those statistics, this plan has built in catch up days. Two a week. Every week!
Are you ready?
Download the plan in the link below and and enjoy your reading. We are here for you, so if ever you have questions about what you are reading, don't be a stranger. Consider getting some people to join you in the readings. Accountability is a wonderful path to success. And most of all, each time you read, begin with prayer. Remember that you are about to read from the very Word of God. So open the book, find the page, and ask, "Lord, please help me to hear your voice as I read." You won't regret it!
Tools to Help You!
Sticking to a reading plan can be difficult. But there's a few tools that can help you enjoy and stay engaged:
Having the Bible on your phone can help you read throughout the day and can even have it read to you while you wash the dishes or on your commute. You can find the ReadingPlan App on the Apple Store here.
If you'd like a little help setting up your app with the plan then check out the short video here.
Fill out the form below to get a free copy of the Reader's Companion. This offers introductions to each book of the Bible as it appears on the schedule, and key comments to help you understand difficult verses, puzzling texts, and the overall flow and impact of the current reading. I'd encourage families to get this especially if you do family devotions or want to start doing family devotions.