Friday, January 07, 2011

A Bible Reading Plan that Encourages You to Read Less and Meditate More

Doug Wolter:
My guess is that many of you have already seen a plethora of Bible reading plans posted on various blogs, most of them encouraging you to get through the Bible in a year.  Though I certainly commend this practice (I’ve done it myself), I’ve often wondered if we should approach the Bible differently.  Instead of reading quickly through many verses at a time, maybe we should meditate on a few verses more deeply each day.  If you’re like me, you rarely take time to just slow down your mind and soak in the truths of God’s Word in such a way that it goes down deeper into your heart. That’s why I was excited to get a copy of this Daily Bible Meditation Guide written by my good friend, Dr. Eric Johnson.  Here’s a blurb from the introduction:
Down through the ages, Christians have taught that we need to drink deeply from the fountain of God’s word and we need to savor its truths if they are to satisfy our deepest longings for greater intimacy with God and if we are to experience a greater healing of our souls from his hand. The purpose of this Bible reading schedule (shortened considerably from schedules that get through the Bible in one year) is actually to limitthe amount of Bible we read daily. Reading quickly through many verses may not be as profitable as savoring deeply a few verses. So the aim of this schedule is not to read less, but to meditate more.
I encourage you to download this Daily Bible Meditation Guide .  You will also benefit from Dr. Johnson’s thoughts on the “what” and “how-to’s” of meditation.


Piedpyper said...

I like this approach, for what it is worth - I have been working on the MacArthur approach ( which is to read the same group of reading every day for 30 days with the limit of about 6-7 chapters a day. I have also done the "read it in a year" plan and while I am thankful that I did it, I fear that my retention is not what I would like it to be.

Thank you so much for resource!

Erik said...

VERY insightful post Zach. Thanks.

Vastly different approach from the plethora of Bible reading plans we all see at this stage of the year, which quite honestly, encourage "speed reading" [to keep pace with the calendar] rather than contemplation of the very words of God for our soul.

Kent said...

Thanks. I like this very much. I have though about this very issue quite a bit. For some reason, we often feel the pressure to read through the Bible every year. Yet in doing so we often miss what is said. We are not commanded to read through the entire scripture every year, but David sure does encourage mediation. Its hard to "delight in the law of the Lord" when we feel like we have to rush through it. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Here is a Bible reading program that is on just deep reading the gospels:


Wes said...

Seems to fit the expositional approach to preaching that many of us like so much. I guess we could call it the Expositional Bible Reading Plan. :-)

Jeremiah Fyffe said...

After reading the Bible through essentially using the ESV Study Bible in a Year Plan, I created a plan with similar intentions at

I agree with Eric Johnson that we need to meditate more on our reading. So, instead of simply reading less, as I find that just means people will spend less time, I set up the plan to both read less and read repetitively.

We will read ::

- the gospels three times
- Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians six times
- Romans and Hebrews three times
- Genesis and Exodus one time
- Psalms one time

Finally in the middle of the week we read Psalm 119 (three sections at a time) in order to encourage us to continue to read meditatively.

Thank you for posting Dr. Johnson's plan here. I downloaded it and intend to create a page at BibleTogether that lists good alternative ways of approaching God's Word.