Do You Want to Hear God Speak?

Last week in the book of Jonah, we learned that the God of the universe is the God who speaks. He isn’t a God who just expects us to make guesses about who He is. He is the God who has revealed himself through his word in human history.

This means two things for us. First, it means that we can actually know the God of the universe. He has spoken through his prophets and ultimately through His Son Jesus Christ. And you can know Him too through His word!

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

– Hebrews 1:1-2

[16] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Second, the God of the bible is the God who comes to us… sinners who only deserve his judgement. The God of the bible isn’t a God who sits up on a holy hill waiting for people to come to Him… no He comes down, reveals Himself through his Son, and meets with His people. Which is all something we all DO NOT deserve. He is the God of grace.

So take the time this year to hear God speak clearly to you through His word. Pair up with someone you know and read a plan together this year. Pray through the word and talk about it when you meet up.

Here is an excerpt from the Gospel Coalition with descriptions and links to each plan.

 

1. Let’s start with the most doable of the plans: Stephen Witmer’s two-year-Bible reading plan. Stephen writes: ”In my opinion, it is better to read the whole Bible through carefully one time in two years than hastily in one year.” His plan has you read through one book of the Bible at a time (along with a daily reading from the Psalms or Proverbs. At the end of two years you will have read through the Psalms and Proverbs four times and the rest of the Bible once.

2. Already mentioned above, the Robert Murray M’Cheyne reading plan, developed by the 19th century Scottish pastor, has been widely used for Bible reading. The Gospel Coalition’s For the Love of God Blog (which you can subscribe to via email) takes you through the M’Cheyne reading plan, with a daily meditation each day by D. A. Carson related to one of the readings. M’Cheyne’s plan has you read shorter selections from four different places in the Bible each day. (For a print version of Carson’s books, see volume 1 and volume 2.)

3. Jason DeRouchie offers his KINGDOM Bible Reading Plan, which has the following distinctives:

  • Proportionate weight is given to the Old and New Testaments in view of their relative length, the Old receiving three readings per day and the New getting one reading per day.
  • The Old Testament readings follow the arrangement of Jesus’ Bible (Luke 24:44—Law, Prophets, Writings), with one reading coming from each portion per day.
  • In a single year, one reads through Psalms twice and all other biblical books once; the second reading of Psalms (highlighted in gray) supplements the readings through the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy).
  • Only twenty-five readings are slated per month in order to provide more flexibility in daily devotions.
  • The plan can be started at any time of the year, and if four readings per day are too much, the plan can simply be stretched to two or more years (reading from one, two, or three columns per day).

4. Trent Hunter’s The Bible-Eater Plan is an innovative approach that has you reading whole chapters, along with quarterly attention to specific books. The plan especially highlights OT chapters that are crucial to the storyline of Scripture and redemptive fulfillment in Christ.

5. For those who would benefit from a realistic “discipline + grace” approach, consider Andy Perry’s Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers. It takes away the pressure (and guilt) of “keeping up” with the entire Bible in one year. You get variety within the week by alternating genres by day, but also continuity by sticking with one genre each day. Here’s the basic idea:

Sundays: Poetry
Mondays: Penteteuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
Tuesdays: Old Testament history
Wednesdays: Old Testament history
Thursdays: Old Testament prophets
Fridays: New Testament history
Saturdays: New Testament epistles (letters)

6. There is the Legacy Reading Plan. Here is a description:

The overarching objective of the Legacy Reading Plan is to read through the Bible once a year, every year for the rest of your life. The reading calendar is naturally segmented into seasons and the seasons into months. At the beginning of each year you know that during the winter your focus will be on the Pentateuch and Poetry (249 chapters); in spring, the Historical books (249 chapters); in summer the Prophets (250 chapters); and during the fall, the New Testament (260 chapter). Each season is further broken down into months. Thus every January your goal is to read through Genesis and Exodus and every December the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. There are times when you will naturally read ten chapters at a time and others when you will read one or two. More importantly you will read the Bible just as you read other literature.

If you use this plan, it may be helpful also to have something like this on hand.

7. Finally, here is a 5-day-a-week Bible reading plan recommended by Melissa Kruger. She likes that it allows for flexibility (despite our best intentions, it’s easy to fall behind with a 365-day plan). She also likes it better than traditional chronological-reading plans:

The one downside of the chronological plan was that I didn’t get to the New Testament until October. I prefer a plan that allows me to read them side-by-side throughout the year. In this 5-day plan, the Old Testament is arranged chronologically, and there is a New Testament reading every day. I appreciated the way they grouped the New Testament readings. The gospels are not in chronological order, but spaced throughout the year, one for each season. And, they are done in such a way that you begin with Mark (the first gospel), and then read some of the early epistles of Paul. Then around March, you’ll be in Luke and read it alongside Acts (same author). I read John last month, along with his three letters and Revelation. Basically, I love how it’s all laid out. It gives you the benefit of the chronological ordering for the OT alongside an engaging plan for the New Testament. Truly, I haven’t read a plan that I like better.

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