'Tis the season to think about a Bible reading plan to begin on New Year's Day. Let me strongly urge this habit upon you - whether you read a lot or a little. We all need to eat true spiritual food each and every day! Here are some potential menus for 2012:
Read the New Testament in six months. This plan gives you 1, 2, or (very occasionally) three chapters to read in a day, and will take you through the entire NT by July 1, 2012. Upon completing it, I'd suggest just going right back through again ... especially if you're new to reading through the Bible. Would work well to read in two portions - either morning and evening, or personal and family devotions. Courtesy the ESV and Justin Taylor.
Read the Bible in two years. This plan, put together by Don Carson, will generally have you reading two chapters a day - one from one portion of Scripture, the other from another (Law, prophets, poetry, gospels, epistles, etc.). Would work well to read in two portions - either morning and evening, or personal and family devotions. Courtesy of Robert M'Cheyne, Ben Edgington, and Don Carson.
Read the Bible in a year. 2-3 chapters from the OT, usually 1 from the new. A little more time consuming, but well worth it! Again, this plan would work well to read in two portions - either morning and evening, or personal and family devotions. Courtesy the ESV and Justin Taylor.
Read the Bible in a year, in chronological order. For those of you who always wanted to get the timeline a little more straight in your minds, this is a good plan. It will require reading 3-4 chapters per day. If doing it in one year is too much, just disregard the dates and go at your own pace, circling each completed section as you go along. Courtesy the ESV and Justin Taylor, via Back to the Bible.
If you're tech-savvy, Justin Taylor has a handy-dandy blogpost with web, RSS, iCal, and mobile ESV versions of these plans, and others. Scroll down to the spreadsheet table near the bottom of his post.
If having specific dates tied to specific chapters will make you feel guilty when you get behind ... here is an at-your-own-pace-plan:
Read the New Testament at your own pace. If you start in Matthew and read a chapter every day, you'll finish in about 9 months. And, if you miss some days, just pick up where you left off, and know that you have three months' worth of days to catch up, or to go back and re-read a few books that were most intriguing or helpful to you, or to read some of the key books of the OT Genesis, Exodus, Proverbs, etc.).
Again, let me strongly urge the discipline of daily Bible reading upon you. The word of God is our food ... and we ought to eat well!
One other thought ... don't lose heart if you get behind! If we set our Sundays aside for the Lord and for rest, they will provide us great opportunity to catch up on any missed chapters through the week. Happy reading!