Illinois Baptists share their reading plans for 2019, plus tips for Bible study in any year. For more on how people plan to read God’s Word this year, go to Vimeo.com/IBSA/Bible2019.
Doug Munton, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, O’Fallon
For a long time now, I’ve made it my practice to read the Bible through each year, highlighting as I go. This “bulk reading” of the Bible helps me to see the big picture of God’s redemptive work in our world. I drill deeper into the Word as I memorize verses and prepare to teach. Prayer has become increasingly meaningful to me as well, and I want it to be part of my morning devotions and my all-day attitude. Nothing can replace my time alone with God.
Barb Troeger, Executive Administrative Assistant, IBSA
In the past I have used George Guthrie’s “Reader’s Guide to the Bible,” a chronological reading plan through the Bible. I have had some of my greatest “aha!” moments using this book as a strategy for reading through the Bible.
Carmen Halsey, Director of Women’s Ministry and Church Missions, IBSA
I’m currently using the reading plan my discipleship group is going through called F260, which is a 260-day reading plan from Replicate Ministries that highlights the foundational passages of Scripture. Along with reading, the plan includes Scripture memorization, journaling, and prayer.
We introduced this plan last year at our Refresh conference for ministers’ wives, and I’ve recommended it several times to women. They have their own app, and you can also find F260 on the YouVersion Bible app.
Eric Reed, Illinois Baptist Editor
Several years back, I found my Bible-reading plan bogged down somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers. It happened more than once, and I never seemed to catch up with the reading schedule or with Jesus over in the Gospels. I switched to the “start with John” plan, but wasn’t sure what to read after that. Then I happened on a colorful solution at the bookstore.
I found a bookmark with five ribbons in different colors. Using the bookmark to keep my place, I divided the Bible by genre, and slipped in a ribbon at the beginning of each section:
- History (Genesis-Esther)
- Wisdom (Job-Song of Solomon)
- Prophets (Isaiah-Malachi)
- Gospels (Matthew-Acts)
- Epistles (Romans-Revelation)
Now, when I read devotionally, I read five chapters, the next one in each section, and mark each with a small check. I’m still on my first trip through some sections because they’re longer, but I’ve started the Gospels and Epistles over again. This system always keeps me walking with Jesus, and it’s amazing how the chapters in various sections relate to each other on any given day.
I was so happy with the system that I added a similar trip through the Baptist Hymnal to my devotional life: Open with the next hymn as it comes in the hymnbook, and end with a hymn of the week from a list of 50 I want to keep fresh in my memory.
It takes about a half-hour most days, plus prayer time. And I find I’m no longer worried about getting stuck in Deuteronomy.
Jorge Melendez, Church Planting Strategist, IBSA
I am using the Legacy Reading Plan, which has set books for each month and a set number of Proverbs and Psalms to read each week. It aims to give you more flexibility, while grounding you in specific books of the Bible each month.
Cheryl Dorsey, Prayer Coordinator, Chicago Metro Baptist Association
I usually begin my “quiet time” with the prayers from Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21. Then I—
- Read a chapter of Proverbs or a Psalm each day.
- Read one Old Testament chapter each day.
- Read one New Testament chapter each day.
- Journal as the Holy Spirit prompts.
- The things I write down become my prayer prompts for that day.
I’ve been challenged by insomnia over the past few years, and my doctor recommended books on tape. I went him one better and began to listen to Scripture when I go to sleep or wake up in the wee hours. That’s been a blessing as I can listen to different versions of the Bible via Biblegateway.com.
Amanda Hubert, Delta Church, Springfield
This stage of life with little kids doesn’t leave a lot of extra time for in-depth study. Most days, I attempt to read 3-4 chapters a day (one from the Old Testament, one Psalm, one from Proverbs, and one from the New Testament).
I try to start my day by reading even just a few verses. If I can’t finish what I’d like to, I listen to my ESV app while prepping dinner, during nap time, etc. I try to think on and memorize verses in my planner too. God uses what we have to give, even if it is only five minutes. His Word does not return void!