Take up and Read. Getting in to the Bible in 2012.

The above title is a reference to the conversion of Augustine. Upon hearing this simple phrase, he turned to the book of Romans and was soundly converted.  There is no doubt about the sheer power of the Word.  Because of this, it is imperative that we too would daily, “take up and read.”

[His] word illuminates where our feet tread and gives light for each step of the way (Psalm 119:105 JRB).  When I was a high school student sitting in my pastor’s study, he pulled a small clay oil lamp modeled after the Biblical period from his desk and handed to me.  He pointed out that this is the image the Psalmist had in mind when the Spirit stirred him to write these words.  One cannot see much in an utterly dark place with such a lamp. This teaches us dependence upon the Word.  We cannot, nor perhaps should we, try to look all along the path – we need the light for today and we need His word for today.

With all of this in mind as we begin 2012 I offer encouragement and some helps to guide you through the Word this year.  15 – 20 minutes a day will get you through the Bible this year with some time to spare.  Bear in mind though, the Bible getting through you is more important than just getting through the Bible. However, in my experience, I have been immensely blessed by the recall that I have an opportunity for when I am daily in the word.

Apps:

Whether you have a Droid or Iphone there are several great free apps of the Bible that will not only include the text but additional tools:

Logos

ESV (perhaps the most attractive and easy to use)

YouVersion 

Kindle/Ebook

The text of the Holman Christian Standard Version and the English Standard Version are available for FREE!

Holman Christian Standard

English Standard Version

Helps:

A sight that is extremely helpful in Bible study and in daily reading is BibleGateway.com.

The ESV Bible has many resources online, some pay, some free.

Bible Plans:

You may want to do something as simple as just read through the Bible. However, if you have tried before and left Joseph in a pit or got half way through what not to wear in Leviticus, then I advise you to get a plan.

You may want to try something as simple as: Read 2 Old Testament books, then 1 New Testament book. Example: Genesis and Exodus then Matthew, etc.

Or, a more detailed plan may be more helpful for you.  I have done all the above.

Here are some great plans:

And Old Classic is the M’Cheyne Plan.

If you would like to read from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms each day, here is a plan that will take you through the Old Testament once and twice through Psalms and the New Testament.

You may wish to read the Bible Chronologically

I have done all the above, plus reading straight through.  You can read the entire Bible in as little as 3 months if you read 10 – 12 chapters a day.

Again, the ESV has several more plans here.

Whatever you do, commit yourself to the Word this year. Now, take up and read!

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