Monday, January 08, 2007

Creative Bible reading plan for 2007

Has your Bible reading crashed yet? Most of us get lost by mid-January. "Poor discipline. I'm a bad christian. Maybe next year." Not all of us can do mechanical reading plans. Is there a more creative and human way to do it? Noel Piper shares her new approach in this article from Desiring God.

What made this attempt different? I'm certain God's Spirit provided the inspiration, because I was the same stumbling Christian I have always been. But I did decide to take a more creative approach to my "walk through the Word."
She shares some good points. But I like is her last one best. She made her Bible reading a hunt for God.
This time, I became a hunter, and my blue highlighter was my weapon. The prey was God's attributes. I set out to underline everything the Bible says about God (didn't want to set my sights too narrow!). I made blue stripes through all the names of God, word pictures about him, what he likes and dislikes, how he reacts to faithfulness and to sin. I was on my third pen when I finished. This "hunt for God" was irresistible to me. It drew me like a magnet. And once I was inside the pages, it kept my mind moving-no more drowsing and waking up two chapters later.

She used these discoveries to fuel her thoughts of God. She made lists. God's Word shaped her daily experience. This is what a quiet time should do.

Most of her advise works even for the mechanical plans. Keep your Bible handy. Skip around. Get creative. Start in new places, like Hosea. But make it more than a duty. Make it your daily search for God.

Here are my bonus tips. If you are tied to the computer, make the Bible your homepage. I use the ESV homepage. They even have an audio option.

Listen while your run, work or drive. You can hear the whole Bible this year in only 15 minutes a day! I have Max McLean's ESV and NIV on Mp3.

Read with your family. Set a date with your wife every night to read. Use a Daily Bible for family devotions. Get creative. But stay God-centered.


Shawn L said...

Wow some great thoughts Tony. I am hoping to get Max' reading of the whole bible as well so I can listen.

Shawn L said...

Also thank you for the encouragement to keep God the center of our bible reading.