Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Word Working on the Wencels in 2014

Every year Emily and I begin the new year with Psalm 1. This year is no exception. And this year, reflecting on the previous year and its shortcomings with respect to devotion to God's Word, Psalm 1 seems all the sweeter, all the more illuminating, and all the more urgent to heed.

Every year Emily and I also come up with some Bible reading scheme that gets us through the whole Bible at least once in the year. Given the presence of a toddler in our home now, and given other shiftings, we're shifting this year how we're going about reading the Word systematically. That we will read it systematically, both individually and as a family, that will not change. But how we go about this commitment is changing.

Whatever we might be doing as individuals in communion with God, as a family we're starting a three-year cycle of getting through the whole of Scripture together. Our individual reading plans will get us through the Bible the equivalent of every year, and our family reading plan will get us through the Bible every three years together. Because of their importance, we'll be reading Psalms and Proverbs every year together. And we'll also be doing more focused study on a given book or two together.

Here, then, is our three-year plan for reading all of Scripture together:

Old Testament

Year 1–Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Book of the Twelve), Psalms, and Proverbs.
Year 2–Pentatuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), select Writings (Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel), Psalms, and Proverbs.
Year 3–Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings), select Writings (Ruth, Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah, Esthter), Psalms, and Proverbs.

New Testament

Year 1–Matthew, Mark, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude.
Year 2–Luke-Acts, and Pauline epistles.
Year 3–John, 1–3 John, Revelation, and Hebrews.

So this year we're reading together the Latter Prophets, Psalms, Proverbs, Matthew, Mark, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude. And this year our focused study together will be in Isaiah and Mark, Isaiah for the first half of the year, Mark for the second half. We'll probably read these books several times each, listen to scores of sermons on these books, and study certain passages more closely together using helps and guides along the way (e.g., J. C. Ryle on the Gospels). Additionally, we're planning on memorizing some Psalms together (Pss. 32, 67, 103, 127, 128, 130, 131) and the book of Titus. 

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