As I do most years, I started 2012 with some recycled goals, and a few new ones. It is sometimes helpful to have a fresh start on old goals — like Bible reading, for example.
Last year my goal was pretty modest — to read at least one chapter a day. The focus was on sustainable daily reading — I usually read two chapters, but didn’t remember to read every day.
This year, I decided to try something a little more ambitious — Professor Grant Horner’s Reading Plan. Kathy was using this plan, and she often thinks it would be more fun to have me join her in such things, so I agreed.
Horner’s plan operates on a principle of ten lists — you end up reading ten chapters a day, repeating some (like Acts and Proverbs) much more often than others. It takes me about 35 minutes a day to read through the day’s selection — if you’re very familiar with your Bible, you may be able to read it in less time.
On day 13, I came across this passage in Matthew 13:12:
Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
I’ve never really liked that verse; it seems patently unfair to me. But as I began to think about it, in context, I understood that it is referring to those who seek knowledge of God with an eager heart. Such people (who already have an understanding of God) will be given even more, to the point of abundance. Others, who don’t value their knowledge of God, will lose even what little they have. Jesus is explaining a spiritual law every bit as critical to our understanding as the law of gravity.
As I’ve been working on this reading plan, I keep expecting to reach a point where I begin to dread the work of the reading — or where I begin to begrudge the time spent. After all, last year I read my Bible nearly every day, and I spent far less time at it.
Instead, I am discovering that my love and eagerness to read the Bible is increasing, the more I read.
Today, I was reading Matthew 25 (I started the plan late, and I’ve missed a few days, here and there) and I came across almost the exact same words I found in chapter 13 — this time, in 25:39:
For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
This seems to me to be a profound truth — God rewards those who diligently seek Him, as is promised in Hebrews 11:6.
I read the plan on my phone, where the YouVersion people have it waiting for me each morning. If you haven’t started a reading plan this year, it isn’t too late to jump in on this one!