Having a consistent Quiet Time through my adult life has built my faith more than any book, sermon, or conference. God's work through His Word is miraculous. Like feeding 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish, type of miraculous. He multiplies. He deepens. He extends. Let me qualify one thing- I want to define "consistent" Quiet Time. What that means for me is that while there are seasons I am almost daily reading, there are also seasons when I read sporadically. Consistent means I return to regular reading as quickly as possible. Think of it this way- if I regularly eat healthy food but occasionally eat fattening food, will I generally be healthy or unhealthy? And the converse is true.
So, in reality, I regularly read the Word, except for the times I don't.....
But then I come back. Because my Lord's words are in these pages of the Bible, I long to read them. I love the Lord too much to not want to know everything He says.
Bible Reading Plans
There are lots of plans online that you can search. I have found for myself that the fewer items required to begin my Quiet Time the better. If I have to find my reading plan and figure out where I am and what I am doing next, I am five minutes behind before I have started. So I stick to pretty simple ideas.
I have read through the Psalms innumerable times. It is my favorite refuge. There is so much honesty and emotion in the Psalms. Here is how I do it, and no, I absolutely did not think of this method. Somebody shared it with me and now I am sharing it with you.
Read the Psalm for the date. Is it the 13th of the month? Read Psalm 13.
Then add 30 and read those Psalms until you run out. So I would read Psalm 13, Psalm 43, Psalm 73, Psalm 103, Psalm 133.
Save Psalm 119 and read it on the 31st of the month.
Read the Proverb for the day of the month, just like above, but there is only one chapter to read. I can never get enough wisdom so I come back to Proverbs regularly.
Read the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, one right after the other. I read one chapter a day and put a marker where I end. If I miss a day or even days I just pick right back up where I left off. Each Gospel writer has a little different viewpoint so reading them in a row brings insights about Jesus.
New Testament Letters by Author
Reading through the New Testament letters one chapter at a time does not take very long. Try to read the letters to learn the big theme for each one. Look for a take away from each chapter. How does Paul repeat himself in different letters? What is different between Peter and John?
First Five Books
Read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy one after the other. Full disclosure: I tend to skim through the long lists of names in Numbers. But we need to know the history that God bothered to record through Moses. And don't be afraid of Leviticus. It is fascinating and shows the detail with which God cares for His people. His food Laws kept His people healthy for centuries before refrigeration.
Read Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings. Keep your eyes open for good kings because there are some really good ones in there. What do you see about God's desires for His people and the rulers He appoints? Be inspired by the wonderful miraculous hand of the Lord Who works in His people .
This is one of my favorite plans. I followed a timeline in my Bible to know what to read next. This goes through the history of Israel as captives as judgement on their sin, and then their return and the rebuilding of the Temple and Jerusalem. Read in this order: Daniel, Ezra chapters 1-6, Zechariah, Haggai, Esther, Ezra chapters 7-10, Nehemiah, Malachi. As a Believer, this is our history. We need to know it!
Here is the most important point: you don't need a plan to begin. JUST START READING! Oops. Did I shout? Sorry.
But seriously, get INTO the Word. Read. Take notes. Hear from God.
These are His Words to you and me. We MUST take them seriously. Open the Book and get going.
Share below other ideas or plans for reading. It might be just the thing to get someone started.