If we want to prioritize God’s word in our lives, we need a plan for reading God’s word. Without some sort of plan, I will find myself sitting with Bible in hand, closed, unsure of where to turn and what to read. That uncertainty quickly leads to discouragement, and before I know it I’m not even picking up the Bible for private devotion anymore. So for the past couple of years I have had specific plans for my quiet times, and my love for God’s word and its fruit in my life have grown. Now, it is vital to keep in mind that a plan is a tool. If you can’t follow your plan, don’t feel condemned. Take hold of grace, make adjustments to your plan as needed, and start again. Also, feel free to take breaks from your plan. For instance, for about a year and a half, I was following the daily readings in D.A. Carson’s For the Love of God (Vol. 1). Most days, I read the passages that were listed in order. However, there were times when I felt the need to focus on putting a particular sin to death, or on rereading some Scriptures about suffering, or on a topic related to the teaching at church. So I would set aside my plan for a time (anywhere from a couple days to a couple months) and pursue that other focus. The point is that a plan should be helpful, not rigid, and you should continue to ask the Spirit’s guidance as you follow your plan. Lastly, I find it helpful not only to plan for what I will read but also to plan for when I will read. Most weekdays, I sit down with my breakfast, my Bible, a journal, and any supplemental books I might be reading. This is what works best in my current season of life. My husband, who gets up much much earlier than I do, finds that he is too groggy during his morning at home, so he tries to get into his office 30 minutes or so before he needs to start work, and he spends time in God’s word there. Find a plan for what to read and when to read, a plan that works with your schedule (and you may need to rearrange some things, like bedtime, to make God’s word a priority), and you will benefit!
My current plan is to study God’s character. After looking at the topic of idolatry, I thought it would help my soul to love God more than anything else if I learned to see him more fully. So each day, I read a small section from one of the chapters about God’s attributes in Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine. Then, I spend time reading and meditating on specific passages of Scripture that Grudem references in the section I’ve read. My view of God is definitely growing larger as I study his infinity, his holiness, his presence, his goodness. I’m looking forward to what I will learn as I continue this reading plan. I’m also always looking for new ideas for plans to take in God’s word, so let me know if you have a plan to recommend!