In my January 2012 church newsletter column I encouraged folks to make a New Year's resolution to read through the Bible in the year. After all, 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, among other things, that all scripture is God-breathed and equips us for every good work. I can't think of a book more worthy of habitual reading than one that is God-breathed and equips us for every good work.
Last year I suggested several methods of reading through the Bible in a year, but one in particular appealed to me then. Zondervan, a publisher of the New International
Version (NIV), has made available a schedule for reading through the entire Bible in 90 days. The page numbers reference a special 90-day
version of the NIV, but you can ignore those and go by the chapter numbers.
If people have trouble reading the Bible in a
year, what makes me think there would be a higher success rate in attempting to
read the Bible in 90 days? I wonder if many may find it easier to stick to a
discipline for three months rather than 12 months. Furthermore, what if you try
the 90-day plan, but you miss some days and it winds up taking you six months
or 12 months to finish instead of 90 days? So what? You will still read through
the whole Bible within the calendar year, which is better than most Bible
readers in our culture.
This year, I'm going to suggest a modification to this 90-day schedule. If you look at the link above, you will see that you don't get to the New Testament until day 68 of 90. Start there, picking up with Matthew, not the the end of the Old Testament. If you can hang with the schedule for 22 days, beginning at day 68, then you will at least read through the entire New Testament. Once again, if you miss a few days and the process takes longer than 22 days, don't quit.
The New Testament is, of course, a lot shorter than the Old Testament. You can build on your success of completing the New Testament by turning your attention to the Old Testament. Perhaps in this way the discipline of reading through the Bible in a year will become less intimidating.
We can do this.