Bible Reading Chart

One of the most important spiritual disciplines in the Christian life is Bible reading. In 2018, let me encourage you to resolve to read the entire Bible. You may not understand everything you read. You may need to jump around a bit to keep from getting bogged down in months of Major Prophets. That's ok. Just read and keep reading. As you read, pray that God would give you eyes to see the glory of God in the face of Christ through the reading of his Word.

J.C. Ryle once wrote:

Do not think you are getting no good from the Bible, merely because you do not see that good day by day. The greatest effects are by no means those which make the most noise, and are most easily observed. The greatest effects are often silent, quiet, and hard to detect at the time they are being produced.

Think of the influence of the moon upon the earth, and of the air upon the human lungs. Remember how silently the dew falls, and how imperceptibly the grass grows. There may be far more doing than you think in your soul by your Bible-reading. (J. C. Ryle, Practical Religion, 136)

There are countless Bible reading plans and all with their advantages. I've used the Bible Reading Chart for the past six years and have loved it. Read 3-5 chapters a day and you'll finish by the end of the year. Remember: the point is not simply to finish, but to read and encounter God. 

 

Incarnate and clothed with human nature, Martin Luther

“So, when your conscience is in conflict, wrestling against the law, sin, and death, in the presence of God, there is nothing more dangerous than to wander amidst curious heavenly speculations, searching out God’s incomprehensible power, wisdom, and majesty - how he created the world and how he governs it. If this is how you attempt to pacify him without Christ the mediator, making your works a means between him and yourself, you will fall as Lucifer did and in horrible despair lose God and everything else. God is in his own nature immeasurable, incomprehensible, and infinite, and so human nature finds him intolerable. 

If you want safety, then, to flee from perils of conscience and salvation, bridle your presumptuous spirit, and seek God in the way that Paul teaches: ‘We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:23-24). So begin where Christ began - namely, in the womb of the virgin, in the manger, at his mother’s breast. The reason he came down, was born, lived among men and women, suffered, was crucified, and died was so that he might present himself plainly to our eyes and fasten our spiritual sight upon himself, so that he might keep us from climbing into heaven and from the curious searching of the divine majesty. 

Whenever you are dealing with the matter of justification, therefore, and are wondering where and how to find God who justifies and accepts sinners, remember that there is no other God besides this man, Christ Jesus. Embrace him, an hang on to him with your whole heart, setting aside all curious speculations about the divine majesty. Those vain people who exclude the Mediator do not believe this. Christ himself says, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). Therefore, apart from Christ you will find no other way to the Father, but only wandering: no verity, but hypocrisy and lying; no life, but eternal death. Take careful note, then, that when any of us has to wrestle with the law, sin, death, and all other evils, we must look to no other god, but only this God, incarnate and clothed with human nature.” 

-Martin Luther, Galatians, p. 34-35.

The way we read the Bible, John Piper

"So when we pray that God would lead us in the paths of righteousness (Ps. 23:3), and that he would cause us to bear fruit in every good deed (Col. 1:10), and that he would fill us with the fruit of righteousness (Phil. 1:11), we are praying that Scripture would have this effect on us. We are praying about the way we read the Bible

But we are not praying that we would become legalists-doing good just because the Bible says to do good, whether we are changed on the inside or not. That's the way the Pharisees handled the word of God. And Jesus told them they acted as if they never read it...No. We are praying that the word reveal the worth and beauty of all that God is for us in Christ, so that we would see it as all-satisfying, and savor it above all other desires, and be changed by it from selfish to self-giving, so that people might see our good deeds and give glory to God (Matt. 5:16)."

-John Piper, Reading the Bible Supernaturally, p. 274. 

The world is but a great inn... (Watson)

"Consider what a poor contemptible thing the world is; it is not worth setting the affections on, it cannot fill the heart...The world is but a great inn, where we are to stay a night or two, and be gone; what madness is it so to set our heart upon our inn, as to forget our home." 

-Thomas Watson, The Godly Man's Picture, p. 50-51. 

Christian Growth, J.C. Ryle

 "The Christian who is always at a standstill, to all appearances the same man, with the same little faults, and weaknesses, and besetting sins, and petty infirmities, is seldom the Christian who does much good. The man who shakes and stirs minds, and sets the world thinking, is the believer who is continually improving and going forward. Men think there is life and reality when they see growth."

J.C. Ryle, Holiness