While chatting with a friend the other day I had an inspiration. And, of course, like all my inspirations, I gotta share. Well to be truthful, I promised my friend to blog the how and why’s. My next two blog posts will be designed for my friend, but I hope everyone will discover a nugget or two for your life too!
“How do you choose a Bible reading plan for the year and which one do you use?” my friend asked. “Over the years I’ve tried several different methods. I’ve done the read it like a book method; start at page 1 and read to the last word on the last page. I’ve read the Bible chronologically and I’ve done the combo plan; where you read a wee bit from the Old and the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb verse each day. May I go on record and say, I find this method the least enjoyable. My reading seemed to have no continuity. It was simply reading. While were on the subject, I also tossed the timeline of reading the Bible through in a year. Too much pressure. I would begin, get behind, never catch-up and then give up. Now, I choose a method and however long it takes me to complete the reading is my timeline. It’s not important how long it takes. What’s important is reading the entire, inspired Word of God. For the past several years I’ve read the Bible backwards, “Hebrew Style”. Remember this is the one where I started reading the last chapter of Revelation and worked my way through to the 1st chapter in Genesis? Wow, that method was intriguing to say the least. I noticed things I had not seen before. I gained a new perspective. I will do this method again, but for now, I simply don’t know”, I replied.
“To be honest, I’ve not started a Bible reading this year. Already behind the eight ball as the saying goes. I’m really not motivated to read at this point. Sad, to admit, I know. I’ve lost my oomph”, I said. “Maybe I’ll just read whatever Book the mood strikes”. Then it hit me…. Books in a jar!
Read all the steps before beginning, please.
The Books in a Jar Method of reading one’s Bible.
- Find a good looking clear jar or container. I used a clear canning jar and tied a bow around it. The idea is to see what’s inside and thereby have a visual reminder to read a little in your Bible every day. (Be sure your hand can fit into the container and come out as easily as it went in. There’s a story here for another time) 🙂 Of course you could always use tongs to retrieve the paper.
- Choose a variety of pretty papers; at least two, but the more the better. You can choose printed, textured or plain colors. Once you have selected your papers, cut out 66, 3 inches squared (3 inches on all sides) pieces of paper. Wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, old greeting cards are all great choices for this project. (I used random scraps of Scrapbook paper). Be sure to choose paper which brings a smile to your face.
- Take one square piece of paper and write the name of one Book of the Bible on the non-patterned side. Do this with all 66 squares; writing a different Book of the Bible on each one, of course. Do this until you have all 66 Books represented (66 books of the Bible = 66 pieces of paper).
- Fold each 3 inch square in ½, and then ½ again. Remember to keep the pretty side of the paper to the outside, thereby hiding the name of each book squarely in the inside of each paper.
- Mix up your squares of paper and toss or place each one into your container. The amount of different colors or papers you chose in step one will determine how much color reflects to the outside of your container.
When you’re ready to begin your reading plan, pray asking the Lord to guide you in selecting the Book he would choose for you to read at this time. Randomly select one of the papers. Whatever Book of the Bible is written on the inside of the paper you choose, is the Book you read. This plan, however, isn’t just about reading; it’s about reading, absorbing, and allowing God to speak to you personally through the Scriptures. More on this in my next blog post. In the meantime select your container and papers and be prepared. You are about to experience a new adventure in reading the Scriptures and hearing the Holy Spirit of God speak to you personally.
Until next time,
Update: Yesterday I wrote this post, February 1. Today as I spent time in prayer, and thought about my friends questions, I feel led to do a series on “Hearing the Spirit of God through Bible Reading”. It will be a combination of new posts and the revival of some older posts. I will need time to gather it together. Watch for this series to begin next week. 🙂
Here is the link for more information on the Hebrew Style of reading one’s Bible.