Read through the Bible...

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Maybe you make new year's resolutions? Few are more important than to make a plan to read through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. You can buy a one-year Bible and that's good because you get a little bit of four things each day—some Old Testament, some New Testament, a small bit from Psalms, and a small bit from Proverbs. The McCheyne reading plan is similar. I prefer reading through the Bible because it gives you a straight-through feel for the whole special revelation of God and each day you get a strong dose of whatever book you happen to be in. This means you get a strong dose of the continuity the Holy Spirit chose including laws, genealogies, jeremiads, lamentations, Pauline defenses of pastoral authority, and apocalyptic bloodshed.

Anyhow, however you read it, read it. And if you choose to go through the Bible, always read with a pen or pencil so you can put question marks in the margin, lines under the things you find particularly helpful because they're particularly offensive to you, and themes you highlight with a letter or two in the margin. Currently, mine are "FS" for the texts helping me to see the marks of false and true shepherds, "CR" for Scriptures against cremation, "C" for every Scripture that speaks of fruitfulness of any sort, from children to apples to the righteous deeds of the saints, "F" for fatherhood, "S" for sex, and so on.

If you miss a day or two or three, don't let it keep you down. Get back on the horse and ride again.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!