For the past month (roughly) I’ve been dedicating my mornings to Bible study. I became very negligent about spending time in God’s Word over the past school year—and, really, over the past few years—so I have been doing my part to mend my relationship with Him and to immerse myself in His Word.
I’m pleased to report that, so far, I have largely stuck with it, only rarely missing a day’s reading. I started simply: reading through Proverbs. A very common Bible study tactic is to read one chapter of Proverbs a day; in thirty-one days, or one month, you’ll have read the entire book. I adapted that slightly, sometimes reading a couple of chapters a day. As June has only thirty days, and I started late, I managed to end the month with Proverbs 31.
After finishing Proverbs, I realized I needed to expand my reading further. To that end, here is my current reading schedule each morning:
- Three chapters of Psalms (with 150 chapters, it should take fifty days to get through Psalms, although Psalms 119 might be its own day)
- One chapter of Proverbs, corresponding with the date (for example, this morning I will read Proverbs 12)
- One chapter of Isaiah, also corresponding with the date until I get to Isaiah 32 on 1 August 2022, at which point I’ll keep reading one chapter a day until I have completed the book (again, this morning I’ll read Isaiah 12)
- A New Testament passage from a little “read-the-New-Testament-in-one-year” Bible someone gave me years ago (today’s passage will be Romans 1:1-17)
- Some days, I do a reading from a little devotional, Our Daily Bread
In total, it takes me anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour to complete this reading, as I try to read slowly and take notes in the margins (I also start readings with thorough prayer time with God, praying prayers of thanksgivings to Him; praying specific prayer requests; and praying for His Hand in my life and my budding relationship) and if I see connections to other Scriptures—which is happening more and more frequently lately—I will take time to note the parallels and tie them back.
In addition to these daily reading goals, I also try to read whatever passages the girl I have been seeing is reading. We try to talk about passages we read together, and I will sometimes transcribe the key verses and mail them to her for her enjoyment and edification. I’ve gotten into the habit, too, of transcribing verses into a little black notebook, so I can quickly pull them up later.
The major gap in my reading at the moment is that I don’t have anything from the Gospels. That’s something I’ll look to incorporate soon, but I’m enjoying digging into the meat of the Old Testament. As a musician, Psalms has been particularly enjoyable, and going back through Proverbs has been a treat. As I’m reading both books together, I’m seeing parallels between the two. It’s also interesting that David wrote (most of) Psalms and his son and successor Solomon wrote (most of) Proverbs, and there are times when it seems like I can see a similar authorial voice between father and son.
My only concern is that, once the school year resumes, I will have to scale back the pace, breadth, and depth of reading. Taking a leisurely hour every morning simply isn’t feasible during the school year, unless I get up at 5 AM (a possibility, but tough when I’m often working on grades or writing or what not sometimes up until 10:30 or 11 PM). My tentative plan is to get up at 6 AM, take out my dog, brew my coffee, and try to get at it by 6:15 AM, reading through at least one of the above passages until around 6:45 AM. If possible, I’ll try to do some short readings and prayer around lunchtime, or in the evenings when I get home.
Regardless, I find I am hungry for the Word. Sunday evening I was sitting on the couch watching a flick, and I kept eyeing my Bible. Usually, it’s the other way around!
Thanks to everyone who chimed in three weeks ago on my initial “Bible Study” post with your recommendations. A few people referenced some online resources, like the Blue Letter Bible, which are useful. I find, however, that I vastly prefer reading Scripture in print (the way I prefer to read most everything, besides short blog posts and essays)—it holds my attention and focus better, and I can takes notes far more easily. Reading for extended periods of time on a screen, while doable, has never worked well for me. I’m a pen-and-paper kind of guy.
All that said, thanks to everyone who has been encouraging me in my reading, and thanks be to God for His Wonderful Mercies! I’m praying that He Will continue to Order my steps and to seek after His Will.