This is that time we tend to redo or accumulate plans for the new year: financial budgets, diets, exercise regimes, even plans to take a vacation later in the year.
Just about the only thing we don’t plan for is our spiritual life! But if there is anything more important to the Christian, it is the health of their inner being. The apostle Paul once said that “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Tim 4:8, NLT).
The Bible speaks a lot about planning. By all means, get physically fit. Plan a good budget. And find time to rest with your family, or get away. But don’t forget the part of you that needs the most care.
Make a plan to feed your spirit!
One of the most basic and far-reaching ways to do this is to be in the Word of God daily. I give an extensive sermon about the value of God’s Word here. In fact, the prophet Jeremiah was so sustained by the Scriptures, that he compared them to food: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). Jesus would take this even farther, saying that God’s Word was able to sustain us even more than bread (Matt 4:4).
We may find this agreeable. But if you’re like me, it doesn’t just happen automatically. There are too many other things in our lives that want to compete with our spiritual well being. That’s why we need to have a plan. And for some of you, it may help to have a little bit of structure for reading the Bible.
Here is the whole Bible broken up into quarters for readability:
Every day it will take you through portions of the Old Testament and portions of the New Testament. You don’t have to use this for your “spiritual plan,” but if it helps, by all means use it!
There will probably be times when you skip a day or two, or ten.
When that happens, it’s easy to feel guilty about missing chapter readings, and fall even farther behind trying to catch up. Inevitably, people stop reading all together because they are discouraged. Please don’t let this happen to you! It is not about reading every single word, or filling out a quota, or saying you read the whole Bible.
This Bible reading plan is about posturing yourself in the presence of God to receive from His words!
So if you skip a day here and there, or fall behind, it’s ok! Don’t try to catch up, just take it back up where you left off. The point of all this is not perfection, but consistently opening up the Scriptures. After a year of training yourself to hear and read God’s word, your life will be significantly transformed. But it’s hard to do that sometimes, isn’t it?
That’s why we need a plan for our spiritual lives going into 2015. If you need one, I hope this will bless you next year!