Bible Reading Plan 2024

I recently heard Tiger Woods say that he would practice putting by making 200, 4’ putts in a row, every single day for 2 years. Why? He wanted to make sure he was ready, come tournament time, to make every single putt he was faced with. Due to the incessant repetition, this drill did not last for any more than a couple years, but it did instill the confidence in his putting that he needed on the putting green.

I use this example to explain why repetition would be a good strategy in our Bible reading. The more familiar we are with the text, each book, each passage, the more confident we will be in the Word when faced with all of life’s “situations.” I endearingly call this method of Bible reading the “MacArthur Method.” John MacArthur, pastor-teacher based out of Los Angeles, CA., states that repeatedly reading the same book of the Bible begins to form mental pictures of the location of the text. This may not make us always understand the meaning of the text, but it does inform us as to what it says. MacArthur comments that this is the “first step in biblical interpretation.”
I was drawn to this method of Bible reading as one of my great concerns for Christians across this country is that they do not actually know what is in the Bible. Although we have more access than anyone in history, and more ways to access the Scriptures, we have simply neglected growing in our knowledge of God’s word. This could be for many reasons – competing spectacles (TV, internet, social media, travel, etc.), time constraints, disorder of priorities, or a misinformed and disillusioned relationship with God. Could it also be that we have “abandoned the love we had at first” (Rev. 2:4)? Have we lost a desire for the Lord? Perhaps we have come to believe that we do not actually need or depend on Him. Whatever the case, Biblical illiteracy is a real and present issue within Christendom.

A bible reading strategy by itself is no immediate fix for this desperate issue. However, for those who are being conformed to the image of Christ by the power of His Spirit living within them, this is the way we abide with Him. This is the way we hear and do what He commands. This is how He speaks to His people. This is how He informs us of all we need for life and godliness. This is how He instills hope and confidence in His people as they bear witness to Him in this life. Essentially, this is how we know Him. I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage to my bride. I remember being terrified at my wedding that I could not possibly love her any more than I did in that moment. At the same time, I knew that was a false thought. The more I have gotten to know her over these 12 years, the more I love her. I am talking about the depths and fullness of what it means to love another. I would also say that the more I get to know her, the more I enjoy her. Before I experienced these past 12 years, I did not know these degrees of romantic love and affection existed. Likewise, the more we grow in our intimate knowledge of God, the more we will grow in our love, adoration, and dependance on Him. Repetitious Bible reading does not automatically reveal meaning, but it does invite us to seek meaning in meditating on what God has said.

So how do we do it? Following the advice of Pastor MacArthur, I have structured a reading plan that I am confident will provide a pathway to Biblical literacy, and more importantly, knowledge of the Lord our God.

First, each day starts with a look at the Psalms. In keeping with instruction from Donald Whitney in his book “Praying the Bible,” we let the date guide our journey through the Psalter. For example, January 1st brings us to Psalm 1. From there we use the average number of days in a month to bring us to the next Psalm for the day. That number being 30, we add 30 + the date and find our next Psalm – Psalm 31. If you find that neither of those Psalms is helping to inform your prayers or answer your questions, add 30 once again to get to Psalm 61. After 30 days we move into Psalm 100 and get to Psalm 150 by day 51. In total, assuming you browse all 3 Psalm readings for the day, you will work through all 150 Psalms up to 6 times in 1 year. In no way would I expect you to read all 3 Psalms every day, so use them to inform your prayers and your affections for the Lord.

Secondly, we move to the New Testament, specifically the Epistles or letters of Paul. We begin this year with Galatians and follow MacArthur’s repetitious Bible reading strategy. Read all 6 chapters of Galatians every day for 30 days. You will begin to see that after a month in Galatians, the content of the letter becomes very familiar to you. You might even find that you can summarize each chapter. This is the part of the plan that will quickly move you into confident Biblical literacy. I would hope this reading be the one you make sure not to miss.

Thirdly, you will have a few Old Testament chapters for the day. You can save this for the evening if need be. Knowing all of Scripture is to be informed in the whole counsel of God. The Old Testament strengthens our faith by revealing God’s redemptive purposes from the beginnings and His unchanging character and desire to dwell with His people. Following this section of the plan daily will bring you through the Old Testament in 240 days.

Finally, we encounter the Proverbs in a repetitive manner. I have always viewed the wisdom found within Proverbs to be extremely important for daily God-honoring life and decision making. I often encourage young men and women to gain a working knowledge of Proverbial wisdom by the time they are 13. Reading the same proverb for 10 days will provide that working knowledge. Following this part of the plan will bring you through all 31 Proverbs in 310 days.

The plan ends with about 2 months left in the year to slow down, review and reflect on the reading done during the year. By December 2024 the plan will only show you 1 John as the daily reading, giving you time to meditate on what you have learned and seen from our God and Father. I hope and pray that this Bible reading plan will bear much fruit and aide in your time abiding with the Lord in His Word.

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