Here is an email I sent out to our church today. I hope you find it helpful too. Thanks to Tim Challies for pointing me to the first two links.
Happy New Year! I pray that you will know a genuinely prosperous and good 2013.
We are a day into 2013 but it is not too late to use the occasion of a new year to think about how you are going to read the Bible during it. It ought to be the goal of every Christian to have their minds increasingly shaped and formed by the Bible. Our Lord wants our minds to be transformed rather than be conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). That means moving on from knowing a few isolated texts here and there to really knowing the Bible, what it is about and who it is about. This then shapes how we think about everything else. It is a lifetime activity, but every day is a an opportunity to be changed.
Ligonier Ministries has produced a list of Bible-reading plans from a variety of sources for getting into good Bible-reading habits in 2013 and have put it on their website here:
Please take time to look at these plans, then choose one and go! I pray that by Christmas 2013, you will be able to say that you have read the Bible, and that you have been richly blessed by doing so!
In passing, here are some advice about how not to read your Bible:
Finally, one lecture I found really helpful to listen to over the holiday period was Sinclair Ferguson’s “How to read the Bible” as part of his church’s regular programme of midweek teaching. You can download it from here:
It’s greatest value is in showing us how to think as we read i.e. who is the Bible about? what is the main plot line of the Bible? what are the main sub-plots? how do we handle different types of books in the Bible? There are many other practical issues he covers. The lecture is well worth spending an hour listening to.
Have a blessed 2013.
Rev Dr Stephen N Dancer
Minister, Solihull Presbyterian Church