One of my favorite things to do is to spend time reading and studying the Bible. Years ago I made a commitment to spend at least five minutes a day reading the Bible, and God has used that discipline to transform my life. There have been times that those minutes in the Word were merely the dutiful fulfillment of my promise, but for the most part those five minutes have become hours upon hours of truly the most delightful time of my day.
While I love having the flexibility of searching out topics and passages that are of particular interest to me at various times, I have also found it helpful to have a structured plan that gives me a starting point each day when I have my quiet time with the Lord. This past year, I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the Bible chronologically (here’s a link to the daily plan that I used). I had wanted to do this for a while, but became especially motivated after spending a year rotating through the Books of History (Joshua-Esther) and wishing that I understood the broader context of the historical timeline and which kings and prophets lived concurrently.
In the course of reading through the Gospels as part of the chronological plan, I was impressed with a desire to know Jesus on a deeper level. My heart overflowed with a renewed love for Him and my imagination was enraptured as I considered what it must have been like to walk with Him while He lived here on this earth. So I decided that I would take a year to do just that! During 2010 my plan is to do a rotation through the Gospels, reading through all four Gospels each month. I couldn’t find anything quite like I was looking for, so I put together my own plan. For all the odd-numbered months, I’ll read through the Gospels in the order they fall in the Bible. For all the even-numbered months, I’ll read through the Gospels chronologically (or as closely as possible). And for each two-month rotation I’ll use a different translation of the Bible, including: ESV, KJV, Phillips, Geneva, Evidence, and one other that I’m leaving undecided until I start that rotation.
I’m super excited about launching this new plan! Well, truth be told, since I finished this year’s plan a couple weeks early, I decided to get a jump start on next year’s schedule and started it a couple days ago. Patience is not exactly my finest virtue… 🙂 If you’re interested in using the same plan, I’ve uploaded a Bible Reading Plan – Gospel Rotation that you are free to download and use. And if you have another plan that you’ve used and really enjoyed, I would love to know about it!