I heard a story about D. L. Moody in college that stuck with me. He was a great evangelist that had an incredible ministry.
As the story goes, one day a lady criticized Moody for his methods of evangelism.
Moody’s reply: “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?”
The lady replied, “I don’t do it.”
Moody responded, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”
Maturity Requires Intentionality
That story resonated with me concerning my discipleship. It is better to have a plan than no plan at all. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. In my life, I need a goal. I need a plan to focus my efforts. That doesn’t mean you can’t veer off of it or catch up if need be, but it means that maturity requires intentionality.
In 2013, I committed to reading through the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. The 19th Century Scottish minister, Robert Murray M’Cheyne (sometimes spelled McCheyne), prepared a plan for Bible reading to take readers through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. Each day, I have been in four different locations in the Bible.
At first, I didn’t enjoy it. It seemed too much all over the place. After a few days, I grew to love it because it kept me aware of the big picture of the Bible as I read individual sections.
I finished the reading plan this morning. I mainly did the readings over mobile devices in the last year. I’m really not a fan of that either (I like the smell of leather and the sound of pages rustling), but with our family’s dynamic right now, most of my reading was done when everyone else was asleep and I didn’t want lights waking folks up.
I used the YouVersion Bible app which has that plan on it and would send me reminders each day. I could read it on a device, highlight verses, check off progress, and it would email me if I got behind as a gentle reminder.
So What’s Your Plan?
This is the time of year where everyone loves to have New Years Resolutions. Here is one for you: read the Bible in 2014. You might want to try M’Cheyne or you might want to do another. I finished one day early on my plan so I can figure out where I am going to go next. You could choose just the New Testament. You could do a chronological read. There are so many options. One is not better than the other, my goal is just to get you into the Word.
My only recommendation would be don’t choose a plan that has you reading a verse here or there. The Bible was written in paragraphs and books, not in isolated sentences. Digest the entirety of it.
Maybe you don’t like my plan, but I know this – I like my plan better than no plan at all.
If you truly want to grow in Christ, what is your plan for digesting God’s Word this coming year?
Here are a list of Bible reading plans from the site.