2018 Bible Reading Plans!

What Is YOUR Bible Reading Plan for 2018?

At this time of year, many believers select a Bible Reading plan to help them stay consistent in God’s Word throughout the year. I have tried various plans over the years, and at times have just read through at a pace that suited the season of life I was in.

Whatever plan we use, if we use one, it is important that our reading of God’s Word is systematic and consistent. It’s never helpful to be making decisions on the fly about what passage or chapter we will read. If we don’t keep our reading systematic, at least going through an entire book at a time, we are more likely to read much that is out of context, and possibly draw wrong conclusions from the text.

Being consistent simply means that we are reading God’s Word regularly, so that we have a steady diet of our “daily” bread. For some, this works best first thing in the morning (before we get distracted by other “stuff”), for others, it works best last thing before we go to bed – each to their own!

READ 2018.COM

The NCFIC (National Centre for Family Integrated Churches) has begun a new initiative this year, called Read2018, based on the “Journey Through the Bible” book I mentioned in the last email.

Basically, they are encouraging families to read through the Bible together, during 2018. This is no small task, but it’s not as daunting as some may think. On average it would take between 20-40 mins per day, to read through the entire Bible.

This may be something you want to do as an individual, with your family, or both! If it’s too difficult to read the entire Bible, you could just follow the OT or NT sections of the plan.

The NCFIC have developed a very helpful website – www.Read2018.com, which also functions as a web-app on smart phones. On this site/app the reading plan is already established each day, so you know where you are at, and you can also click on the text for commentary, or make your own notes.

At the end of each week, Scott Brown does a 20 min webinar video with a different pastor, and they comment/reflect on the previous week’s readings. Click on the image below to view the first webinar for 2018…

Isn’t it too late to start???? Not at all, you could simply pick up from today, or tomorrow, and then flow into 2019 to finish off.

Initially, I had decided I would do this on my own, as I thought for our family with 8 children, it would be too much to read through together. Well, that changed as my children all seemed keen on the idea – so we took the challenge!

What I noticed was that the children help to keep me accountable! Maybe it’s the multiple OCD and perfectionist traits we have in our family, I’m not sure – but they love the consistency 🙂

Also, as they take turns to read through large chunks of text, (even the 3 and 5 year olds – repeating words after me), there is a real flow, and everyone seems quite engaged. We will see how we go – if we can’t maintain the entire Bible, we will just do the New Testament, but I hope, Lord willing, we can keep it going. There are few things as precious, and eternally fruitful as spending time together in God’s Word.

Anyway, this may not be for you, but I would highly encourage you all to make sure you have something established this year, to keep you and your family consistent in God’s Word.

Something you may find helpful, is an article that Scott Brown wrote titled “10 Tips For Reading The Bible As A Family in 2018” (click title to go to article).

Lastly, here are some other Bible Reading Plans you may consider…

– 5 Day-a-Week Plan
– How To Change Your Mind Plan
– A Bunch of Other Plans
– The Robert Murray M’Cheyne (RMM) Plan

Remember, the key is not in finding the right plan but in using the plan that you find !

Thanks for reading!

Kris Baines 
Director, Eternal Purpose Ministries.
www.eternalpurposeministries.org

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Journey Through The Bible – New Resource!

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Scott Brown (Director of the NCFIC) has just completed a Family Worship resource titled, “Journey Through the Bible”. Here’s what he has to say about it…

Journey Through the Bible came about from our family worship times as we read the Bible together as a family.

As our children were growing up, our family made it our practice to read the Bible from cover to cover. We did this for many years. Some of our children learned to read by reading progressively more words as we read the Bible together.

We took turns reading going around the circle. The little ones would repeat one or two words that we coached them to pronounce. Those who could read would read one to five verses and the best readers would read five verses each. We would read around four chapters per day, usually in the morning.

As each year passed, I kept adding to a document which contained introductory information about each book. I used this document to give my family background information for each book and to record the things I felt were important about it. By the time our children were adults, I had over 400 pages of notes. These notes documented the following kinds of information:

  • The historical context of each book of the Bible.
  • The questions I asked them.
  • An explanation of the meaning of each book.
  • A list of the important matters of each book.
  • A list of key memory verses.
  • A basic outline of each book

This book is a compilation of these notes as well as notes I collected as I studied these books on my own and as I preached through them over the years.

JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IS AVAILABLE NOW – IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER A COPY, PLEASE CONTACT US, OR YOU CAN ORDER DIRECT FROM THE NCFIC ONLINE STORE HERE. We may be able to get a deal on shipping if there is interest in a bulk order.

Watch the video below for more info…

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Living A Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…”Saying Yes, Saying No”

This is part 8 of a series of posts I’ve been sending out every Friday,  relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (only 2 weeks to go for Christchurch, 3 for Auckland!!!). Here goes with the eighth post…

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Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…

“Saying Yes, Saying No”.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NKJV – 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

In the last post, we talked about the cost of crazy-busy, and how the actions we take or fail to take due to being busy and distracted, can have long lasting and costly consequences. Today, we will be looking at the importance of safeguarding time with our spouse and children.

The Reason We Can’t Say No

I remember hearing a phrase many years ago, that stopped me in my tracks and lodged itself into my memory banks for good. I can’t remember where I was at the time, or who said it, but it was simply this, “The reason we can’t say no, is because we don’t have a big enough yes”.

This really spoke to me, as early in our married life I always felt I had to justify why I couldn’t do a certain thing for someone, or take on a commitment – especially if that time in which I was needed was “spare” time.

After all, if I have spare time, why would I say no?

It always felt much easier to say no when I had something “important” happening already, but if I was just “at home” with Becky and the children, I felt uneasy about that being a reason to say no.

Maybe you can relate?

Maybe you are the type of man or woman who others speak of by saying, “they would do anything for anyone”.

I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but that’s not always a noble description, and sometimes it can indicate a flaw which needs addressing.

Quality or Quantity?

Quality time is never a substitute for quantity of time. This is simply because quality time, can only ever come from a quantity of time. Furthermore, it is in the “normal” moments we spend together as a family (“sit in your house”, “walk by the way” – Deut 6:7) that we get to normalise God’s Word, God’s presence, and God’s glory – so our children don’t just think that only kicks in on Sunday mornings.

Quality time involves bringing God into every aspect of life, naturally, joyfully, yet intentionally.

“The reason we can’t say no, is because we don’t have a big enough yes”

Yes, we should desire to be busy and productive for the Lord, but fruitful and effective ministry will only ever flow from a family environment in which much time, affection, energy, and emotion is invested.

If you want to read a sobering account of a man who said “yes” to the needs of others but at the same time said “no” to the needs of his family – with devastating consequences – click here to read the story of Bob Pierce.

 

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

So don’t feel guilty by saying no to a task or commitment, because you had planned to just “be” with your spouse or children.

Don’t feel like you have to justify spending your time this way, or even explain it. I used to do this, now I just say, “sorry I’m not available that night”.

Be proactive with time spent with your spouse and children, not reactive. To be reactive means we have seasons of neglect, broken only by erratic, pre-crisis circumstances. To be proactive means we are saying a big “yes”, to simply being with our family, which makes it easier to say “no” when we need to.

Of course, it needs to be said there is a time to say “yes” – even when it’s sacrificial for us, our spouse and our children. However, when it is the exception, not the norm, and when other priorities are in place, our families don’t suffer the consequences of sustained neglect.

In summary – when a family is committed to spending quality time with the Lord (personal and family devotions) and quality time together, without distraction, free from the expectations of others – such a family is then in a much stronger place to be very effective in serving others.

A family good at being together will be good at doing together.

For thought, prayer and application: One of the things our family has found very helpful, is to plan ahead each week or month the time we will commit to hospitality, ministry, meetings and various other activities – making sure we allow plenty of time for our family to be together. This ebbs and flows, gets neglected at times and is far from a perfect system. However, it does help us to say “no” when seemingly urgent demands come up, that can, in reality, wait. Likewise, it allows us to say, “yes” spontaneously at times, because we know the time we have already prioritised will absorb some flexibility and sacrifice. Prayerfully consider how you can make more of a “yes” with your family time, so you can avoid that time being used up on less important activity.