Nate Bingham posts a nifty list of reading plans. All sorts of blogs are pointing you to reading plans. Let me help by leaning on and applying some why pressure, along with the what.
Why a plan? One is mindful of the possibly apocryphal story of the evangelist who was set upon by a critic, who announced, "Sir, I do not like your methods!" The man replied, "I am always glad to hear of a better approach. What is yours?" The critic stammered, "Why, I...I don't have one."
"I like mine better" was the response. And while pragmatism is a baneful worldview, there is something to be said for a touch of it once one has set on the needed goal within a God-centered worldview. Find the goal that pleases God, then figure out how to get there from here.
But what is the goal? God's vision for His church is very every-member, every-part, isn't it? Christ died for all of His people, not more for some and less for others (2 Cor. 5:14-15). God raised all believers to spiritual life by sovereign grace (Eph. 2:1ff.). Christ baptized all believers into His body in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), and thus constituted all of them as functional parts of that body, with a useful ministry for all of us (1 Cor. 12-14). The gifted men serve the local church that all parts of it may grow into doctrinal stability and maturity, by the contribution of each and every part of that body (Eph. 4:10-16). And that is why the letters of the New Testament are by and large addressed to all believers, to the extent that most of Paul's letters derive their names from the local churches to which each is sent.
That being the case, what is each of our part, in showing proper faith and fear and honor to God? After all, if we say we are Christians, are we not saying we are disciples (Acts 11:26)? And if we say we are disciples, do we not know that the word means "students"? And if so, what do we imagine that we are to study? Do we not even know that our Lord Himself defined in so many words what He intends our course of study and life to consist of?
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)Well, there it is, isn't it?
- If we want to be free, we must know the truth
- If we want to know the truth, we must truly be Christ's disciples
- If we want to be Christ's disciples, we must continue in His word
But isn't the mere fact that I even need to make this case itself a sign of the wretched state of the church? I don't have to talk my kids into eating chocolate or cookies. By saying we are Christians, aren't we at least saying we believe God? Don't we even know that much? And do we know what God says about the value of His word (Ps. 1; 119, and on and on)?
But here we are at this blog, all professedly big tough healthy Bible believers. Yet I know as sure as I am sitting here typing, that there are those reading who do not match walk to talk, practice to theory. I'm not here to rail at you; God knows my life does not measure up to my theory in all respects. But God helping me, I'm working at it, and I'm doing so with the loving prods and pokes of brothers and sisters.
And that is what this is for you: a loving prod, a loving poke.
You've got a good theory. Now do it. Pick a plan. Any plan is better than no plan. Play to your strength. If you're a morning person, read it first thing (this is what I found decades ago to be my path). If not, do it in the evening or midday. There is no law for a time to pick; but there is a law to do it. Pick a plan, pick a time, and do it. Be at it. Do what works. Don't scale the Alps in one day, but do set foot on the slope; and then another, and then another, and then another.