The Very Best Bible Reading Plan You’ll Find This Year

book-1156001_640One of the saddest experiences I ever had happened years ago, with a family who lived one street over from a popular touristy, restaurant district. Christmas was near so I asked the teens if they had a wish list. I expected them to clamor for video games, trendy sneakers, or iPods, instead, they showed me a dozen magazine clippings of recipes.

“We think we figured out how to make this stuff if you could get us the ingredients for Christmas.”

What was on their list? Ingredients for lasagna, grilled cheese, hot dogs and beans, shepherd’s pie, and tacos. They were hungry, deeply famished. As they showed me the pictures of the food boy-1226964_640and read the directions, they spoke in dreamy tones of commonplace foods and described how they would imagine being able to sit down at a table to eat as much as they could hold. I was overwhelmed.

The family received state money for food assistance but the parent who cared for them struggled with life tasks so usually purchased only two or three items. The cupboards were stocked with ramen noodles, peanut butter, and saltines. Every day, they walked home from school through the aroma of the area’s finest eateries but they were so hungry, food was all they could imagine wanting under the Christmas tree.

Such an easy problem to solve.

Those of us working with them supplied all that their recipes required for the holidays and beyond. Then a family friend helped that parent cheese-casserole-283285_640learn how to vary the shopping. We introduced them to local church suppers and food pantries. The teens happily took over the cooking and learned to prepare a variety of meals. One of them finally observed, “Isn’t it crazy that we nearly starved to death and all the time we were surrounded by food!”

Many Christians live just like these hungry boys.

There are believers who languish in persecuted countries with no access to God’s Word. It’s understandable they would suffer from a famine of God’s Word because it’s not available to them. They go to great effort and length to secure even small portions of scripture and treasure it when they find it.

Other believers, though, live surrounded by opportunities to feast but exist in a self-imposed state of famine. You may be one.

This is how you’ll know.

Walk around your house collecting all your bibles. (Go ahead. I’ll wait.) Stack them on a table. Never mind the Bible study booksbible-1021657_640 or books about the Bible. Just collect the Bibles. Then, ask yourself how often you opened and read any of them in the past two weeks. (I feel it important to mention here that there is therefore no condemnation in Christ. You are loved and found in Him, you are His child and secure in eternal life even if you haven’t read the Bible in the past two months – if you’d read the Bible, you’d know this. False guilt is a waste of time. Real guilt, if you’re ready to own up to it, is already covered by Christ so this is an exercise, not in failure, but in waking up.)

You love God’s Word. You know reading the Bible daily will open you up to a deeper relationship with Him. You know that it’s better to go right to the source and wrestle with it yourself than to listen to a thousand Bible debates on Facebook. You know that time in God’s Word will increase your knowledge of Christ but also your wisdom, endurance, and love for others. I don’t even need to remind you that Paul, who loved Jesus, was an apostle, and had miraculous experiences, loved to read and study Scripture so, of course, we need it, too. Then what gets in your way?

adult-1869621_640It’s a famine induced by a glut of choices. A famine induced by the pursuit of the perfect reading plan. A famine induced by indecision and the illusion that owning twelve Bibles and being surrounded by Bibles and clicking on links that discuss the Bible are all the same as consuming the Bible with your own eyes and mind. Reading the Bible is reading the Bible and it’s the daily food every soul craves.

Allow me to speak words of freedom to you: There is no perfect reading plan. Every reading plan was devised by imperfect humans and will be employed by imperfect humans so pick one plan and do it imperfectly. When you miss a week – forget catching up – just start up again. Or, go wild and don’t follow a plan just start reading (okay, but not the start in Genesis thing because everyone dies off in Leviticus). Start in an imperfect place, maybe the middle of Isaiah. Read three chapters or five and record what you read. Tomorrow, read five more. If you miss a day, so what? If you miss a day of showering you don’t decide to skip showers for the rest of the week and start up again on Monday, you just shower, right?

Another thing. There’s no perfect day to start. Or, actually there is. Today. Today is the perfect day to begin. And here’s the best part. It’s always today. Tomorrow is a terrible day to begin reading the Bible so avoid that and start on the perfect day, today.bible-879085_640

When I was young and single and interested in a boy, I’d be sure to hang out in places I might encounter him. If you’re interested in a relationship with Jesus, one place you’re certain to encounter Him is in His Word so it’s always a perfect place to spend time.

Pick a Bible. Any of the seven on your table. Open it. Read a portion. Ask God what the passage says about Him. What does the passage say about you? What from this passage can affect your life today? Tomorrow, read this section again and do what it says.

book-1209805_640This is the single best way you can enter the Christmas season or the New Year or the middle of winter or any season of life. Don’t allow your soul to waste away steps away from the finest food prepared by Your Loving Father.

Today is the day, loved ones. Wake up to the power between the pages of God’s communique to all living on this outpost of Glory. Today, is the day. Read on and feel your soul revive. The pages of the Bible offer wisdom and advice on many facets of our everyday lives; here are some bible verses about business.

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5 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Thank you, Lori. The only thing more plentiful than the Bibles I have are the Bible reading plans I’ve started. You’ve set me free … to be me. Unorganized. Forgetful. Undisciplined. But I love God and I love His Word. Time to go read and pray for some application for my life. God Bless.

  2. Cindy Sims says:

    Thank you again for great and timely words. Been feeling a bit scattered lately. Lost. Confused. Out of sync. But like a drink of cold water on a hot, sweaty day – your article was just what the doctor ordered. Time to read God’s word, pray for His guidance and apply what I learn in my life! God bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  3. Kelly says:

    You are totally right in stating that our problem is that we have a “glut” of resources at our disposal which causes us to become overwhelmed by overload! Only in America! We see the same thing on Christmas morning when most children get so many wonderful delights that they become overwhelmed with the choices of what to enjoy and then they do not enjoy anything- becoming implacable! Such a great reminder Lori! I am going to do what you suggest and get at it! Thanks!

  4. Cindy says:

    This was a really great post. Thank you so much for your word of truth and encouragement.

  5. Jan says:

    Love this! I didn’t actually go gather up all my bibles, but I know I have just about that seven you talked about. I do read the Word on a regular basis, but sometimes I forget that it’s actually the God-breathed Word of God. I run through it like it’s just any other book. It’s not! It’s God revealing his heart and character to us and holding up a mirror so that we can really see ourselves. Yes, the Word convicts of sin, but it also reveals who we are in Christ and how much the Father loves up. I need to keep this in mind every time I pick up the Bible. Thanks for reminding me.