In last Sunday’s sermon I pointed out several marks of someone who is anticipating the return of Jesus Christ. One of those marks is a commitment to reading the Word of God. 2 Peter warns of people who would take and twist scripture to their own sinful purposes. The best way to recognize and respond correctly to false teachers is to know the truth. It makes sense then that after warning the church of the dangers of false teachers in chapter 2, one of the first exhortations made in the next chapter is to read and remember the predictions of the prophets and the teachings of the apostles (the Old and New Testaments).
2 Peter 3:1-2 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
As we wait for the new heavens and the new earth where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13), we are to be reading God’s Word. I have yet to meet a person who has fallen into confusion from false teaching or is experiencing a lack of gospel growth because they are reading God’s Word too much. So let me encourage you to be faithful in your efforts to “remember” the glories of the gospel through regular reading of God’s Word in 2016.
Before we get to the list of resources, here are a few reminders:
- Keep it simple. Don’t make it overly complicated. Your Bible reading plan could be as simple as starting in Genesis and reading for 15 minutes a day until you end at Revelation.
- Keep it personal. Don’t assume that just because John Piper or D A Carson have a certain plan that they follow and enjoy, that it will be the best option for you.
- Keep disciplined. There is a danger with any of the spiritual disciplines to fall into the sin of legalism. Knowing the difference between a life of godly discipline and a life of hypocritical legalism is important. The legalist says “I will read my Bible through this year in order to be a better person (God will like me more if I read more).” The one pursuing godly discipline says, “I will do my best to read my Bible through this year because I understand my reliance upon God’s Word to know and understand truth. Because I understand my tendency to forget the truth, I will be disciplined in my pursuit of godly truth.” Study through 2 Peter 1:3-11 for the correct motivation for spiritual effort. Don’t allow a fear of legalism to keep you from pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Below you will find a list of various online resources to help you with a Bible reading plan for 2016.
- Bible Reading Plans compilation by Ligonier Ministries – look through 15 various reading plans.
- ESV Bible reading plans – some of you may already have some of these plans in your ESV study Bible. Chronological, Daily Light on the Daily Path, OT / NT / Psalms, Bible memory plan, and more.
- Bible.com – for those digitally oriented people, install the app, learn to highlight and take notes, and get reading! There are a variety of reading and devotional plans available for free.
- Logos.com – another great multi-platform digital resource with lots of features and options (many are free with the app)
- Bible Reading Calendars – for the anti-digital; those of you who work well with wall calendars that actually hang on your wall.
- Professor Horner’s Bible Reading System – read 10 chapters each day from various sections of the Bible. This will take you through the Gospels four times, the Pentateuch twice, Paul’s letters 4-5 times, the Psalms twice, Proverbs and Acts a dozen times, etc.
- Clarifying the Bible – while not a Bible reading plan, this is a helpful resource for those who struggle to see the connections within the “Big Story” of the Bible.
To get an idea of what the Clarifying the Bible resource is like, here is an example: