There have been times in my life, even recently since starting this blog, that the passages I study in the Bible speak directly to me. Between the words on the page and the Holy Spirit whispering to my heart, I cannot deny that God is trying to get a message into my thick skull and hardened heart.
Then, there are times like today as I was reading 2 Corinthians 3. Nothing. I even wrote down a few key verses and made a few notes. Blank stares. Crickets chirping.
It’s not like this passage has no inspiration to be offered. One verse in particular is famously poetic and has been turned into at least one song lyric that I know. “Where the spirit of the Lord is their is freedom.”
Why is it that the inspired Word of God can be so uninspiring to me personally at times?
Thankfully, I have experienced this phenomena enough times that I totally saw it coming. I have developed a plan for Bible reading that I’ve never told anyone about, but I think it might be just as helpful to others as it has been for me. To be completely honest, I didn’t come up with this entirely on my own. It’s a mash-up of a reading plan I found on my Bible app and some advice I got from… I don’t remember where.
The reading plan divides the Bible into ten sections of varying sizes. The idea is to read one chapter from each section every day. That’s 10 chapters every day. Um. Yeah. If I could live my life at a perpetual church camp this would work just fine, but I’m here… with responsibilities and distractions. So, this particular plan is not sustainable for me right now. I have tried it, and liked it a lot. Then, I fizzled out.
So, what I’ve been doing is pairing that reading plan with some other Bible reading advice. I read as few or as many of the chapters as I choose on a given day. Sometimes it even takes me a few days to get through one chapter. (As we saw in Mark 8. See earlier posts.)
So today, as I read through a chapter that didn’t seem to be speaking to me, I didn’t get all worried that there was something wrong with me (although there totally is) or that God may never speak to my heart again. I just turned to the next section on my list and read 2 Peter 1. I know that someday I will go back to 2 Chronicles 3 and find some teaching in there that God is just waiting to show me.
For reference, here are the ten sections of the reading plan.
- Gospels: Matthew through John
- Pentateuch: Genesis through Deuteronomy
- Letters: Romans through Colossians, Hebrews
- Letters: 1 Thessalonians through Revelation, except Hebrews
- Wisdom: Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
- History: Joshua through Esther
- Prophets: Isaiah through Malachi
I would love to give credit to the originator of this plan, but I wrote it on the bookmarks of my Bible without writing the name of the plan. Sorry about that.
Basically, I just do one chapter from each section. I go in order of the sections listed and read until a passage speaks to me, or until I’m ready to be done. Then, later, I pick right back up where I left off in the reading plan.
Hopefully, at some point in the next few days I will share what I did end up learning in 2 Peter about being effective and productive. Well… I guess saying that I learned it is a bit of an overstatement. I would say I became aware of a few things that I will no doubt need to think on for a long time to get it to sink in and take root in my heart.
2 Peter 1:5-7 is definitely a passage that would help me day to day if I can make the effort to memorize it. I’ll try to work on that.