Our new reading plan begins Sunday, May 25th. In only 10 weeks you get an overview of the whole Bible.
While you don’t read from every book, this plan tries to give you a birds-eye view of what God has been up to with his people. You’ll see the promises God makes to Abraham, his faithfulness to Israel and their tumultuous relationship, and the way the promises are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Since this plan seeks to be an overview, I’m hoping it will also work well as an introduction to the Bible for people who are wanting to know more about God in his word. Maybe this is perfect for someone who has never really read before.
The readings for each week aren’t too extensive, so take your time and reflect on the readings. We have a Bible study at our church on Wednesdays at 6pm, or you can find a reading partner or small group to discuss what you’re reading. Every Sunday there will be a short devotional to guide your study. Posts will also go up to help throughout the weeks.
I’d love to hear that you’re reading along and how it is going, so feel free to email me, leave a comment, or otherwise contact me as we go along. I’d love to hear questions about the passages, comments, or suggestions!
Even though we are already slowing down as compared to our last reading plan, it is no reason to get rid of the Bible studies we had in what were called “focus passages.” When we read 25 chapters I didn’t want us to miss out on the slow, meditative sort of reading that allows us to prayerfully go through Scripture. When we do so we allow God to confront us with challenges and questions, we can better see and gain comfort in his Word, and we can take the time to ask our own questions. Even better we can do so with others.
On Wednesdays we’ll have a Bible study at 6pm at our church. Anyone is welcome. We’ll take time to talk about anything of interest that came up and we’ll also use the Bible study handouts to guide our discussion. Small groups also have used these handouts to study the Bible. Whether at the Wednesday group or a small group, I believe studying with others is the best way. I’d encourage you to at least find a friend (or make a new friend!) to read with you. Ask your spouse, invite your neighbor, get a co-worker to meet with you at lunch. Find a way to let the Spirit speak through others. I know for me, I never leave a time spent gathered around the Bible with another without having benefited.
Anyone can read through 1 Corinthians in five months. Most could find time to do it today. But we don’t want to read it just to do it. We want to read it to understand what God wants us to know and to be shaped by the Spirit as we study his Word. Bible study is key to this.
Here is the first week’s study to take a look at. Again, we’ll study this together this Wednesday at 6pm. But I am just as happy if you find a friend or get a small group together to study Scripture.
Week 1 – 1 Corinthians 1:1-17
It has been a few months now since we began reading the Bible in a year, so I thought I’d go back and touch on one of the aspects that people newer to Year in the Bible may not be familiar with. Each week we read quite a bit of text. We average around 23 chapters per week, with a lighter load mixed in for periodic breaks (or times to catch up!). Reading at this pace is difficult at times, and if you share my experience, it is a very different style of reading.
I grew up doing a lot of Bible study in which you take little chunks at a time. This is a great way to do it since you don’t rush and you have the flexibility to wrestle with passages, meditating on them to try to plumb the depths of God’s Word. That’s typically how sermons go, as well, with a preacher spending focused time on one or two passages. This is how I’ve taught Bible studies. For example, before beginning Year in the Bible, we spent just about all of 2011 studying the book of John.
Now that we’ve sped things up considerably you may lose some of that narrowly focused, in-depth time in the Bible. I think we’ve gained something by shifting into this style for a year, and I wrote about it here. Simply put, it is good to step back to see the larger arc of the story of God’s love for us.
We’re doing Year in the Bible in order to gain this larger perspective and to make sure we read and appreciate all of God’s Word. But we don’t want to miss out entirely on what is gained by slow, meditative study. That’s why each week there is a corresponding Bible study. That’s all that the Focus Passages are. I take a short selection from the readings, and prepare some questions and supporting passages. We use them for Bible studies and small groups, but they’re also great for personal study.
If you haven’t already, take a look at them in the This Week section, and to make it even easier, here is the current week’s below:
Q2 W3 Focus Passage Galatians 2