Since this is the first full week of the New Year; I wanted to ask all of you a question: Are you reading through the Word of God this year? Have you made a New Year’s resolution to read the entire Bible? If you have, I hope you have my Legacy Reading Plan. This plan is unique in that it requires you to process through the entire books of the Bible, rather than piecing together bits of books. The goal is to comprehend the essence of what God is communicating by reading each book as a whole. The exception is Psalms and Proverbs. Psalms constituted a hymn book or devotional guide for ancient Israel and, likewise, our goal will be to meditate on three individual psalms each week, thus progressing through the Psalms once every year. Since the book of Proverbs is replete with principles for successful daily living, the Legacy Reading Plan is setup to read one chapter of proverbs each day, thus progressing through Proverbs once a month.
Now I have a confession: I was so busy on January 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, that I didn’t start my Bible reading with the Legacy Reading Plan, though this wasn’t a problem. On Sunday January 4th, I spent a couple of hours devoted to the Word of God. Isn’t this just how we read a regular book though? Sometimes you get into a book, and you read twenty chapters. Other times you have enough time to read a couple, but you read through a book in a fairly rapid period of time. In the same way you can read through the Bible systematically knowing where you need to get to each month.
In the winter you read approximately 249 chapters; you read the Hebrew Pentateuch and the Hebrew poetry. In January you read Genesis and Exodus. In February you read Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In March you read Job, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. In the Spring you read another 249 chapters; in April we’ll be reading Joshua, Judges, Ruth and 1st and 2nd Samuel. In May we’ll be reading 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles. In June we read Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. In other words, we’re going to read through Hebrew history in the Spring. In the Summer we read through the Hebrew Prophets, and in the Fall, we read through the New Testament. This is a plan that allows you to read systematically through the Word of God.
Even at a minimalist level, everyone reading this should do that. We have 66 love letters, etched in heavenly handwriting. God is communicating to us and we have the Word of God in our own language. We take this for granted. Do you realize that before John Wycliffe the Bible was simply not available in the English language? Do you realize that one of the greatest accomplishments of Luther was translating the Bible into German so that the common person could read the Word of God? We have today a legacy of an English Bible, not everyone had that prior to John Wycliffe, and prior to the invention of movable type, Bibles were simply not available to the common people throughout the land.
Today we have Bibles of every color, shape and size, and sometime go to church color coordinated with our Bibles; but fewer and fewer people are getting into the Word of God or getting the Word of God into them. I hope that you make one resolution in 2009, and that is to read through the Word of God, to absorb it, to get into it. If you do this by this time next year, you will have done something most people in America have not done, and you will focus yourself in on the primary principle of the Reformation, and that is Sola Scriptura. Our ultimate authority is not what I or anyone else says, but ultimately the authority lies in the inerrant Word of God. God has given us wonderful translations in our time. Let’s make use of them and solve the greatest problem in the world of Evangelicalism today, and that is Biblical illiteracy.
For a copy of the Legacy Reading Plan go to our Website at www.equip.org and type Legacy Reading Plan in the search engine.