How to take on a Bible-reading habit in the new year
Written by Brad Jenkins

As the new year begins, many people use the opportunity to begin a Bible-reading plan. We asked Associate Pastor Billy Craig about his experiences with his Bible-reading plan and to offer some advice for anyone looking to jump in this year. He has been using the same reading plan almost every year since 1995.

What plan do you use?

I use Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s plan. He was a Scottish pastor in the 1800s who developed a daily plan for reading the Bible that includes daily readings from the Old and New testaments.

What have been some highlights of sticking with a daily plan? 

Guaranteed time alone with Jesus. Knowing God’s Word. Treasuring His Word in my heart. Allowing God’s Word to speak into my life and what I’m experiencing at the moment each day.

So many of us try a reading plan and then lose ground and give up. What do you do when you fall behind?

I eventually catch back up. I give myself grace to fall behind (but never too far). There are four readings a day, and you can catch up.

What do you do when you get to a passage that is difficult to understand?

Pause…and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. This is a devotional time, so rarely will I go into deeper research at the time but I may remember it for digging in deeper at a later time.

Those of us who have tried a plan often get tripped up in Leviticus or Numbers, or other passages that are harder to read. So, what do you do with these passages?

I believe that God chose to have them in there for a reason, so I read them just as importantly because of that purpose (however, there are times where I may read them faster than other passages).

Any other plans you suggest?

This has been my go-to plan. But to to mix it up, I usually choose a different translation each year. One year I even used the paraphrase version called “The Message.”