Tuesday, December 18, 2018

If It's Wednesday, It Must Be the Psalms


Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Advent arrives on December 2nd, officially ushering in the season of Christmas.  For many of us, it's a time when our to-do list ramps up into a whirlwind of demanding activities:  shopping; decorating; baking; sending Christmas cards, attending parties - Whew!!!  The hustle and bustle can all too successfully turn the joy and peace we long to enjoy into a downward spiral of end-of-our-rope exhaustion.

More than ever, we need to retreat to a place of quiet and rest on a daily basis, so we can renew and recharge ourselves in the presence of God.  After all, anticipating Christmas isn't about all the stuff to get and things to do, it's about celebrating God's love for us by sending Jesus, His only Son, to save us from our sins.  And besides spending intentional time with the Lord in prayer, I can't think of anything better we can do than to immerse ourselves in His eternal Word.

Those of you who have followed Meditations of My Heart for any length of time know that in my daily Bible study, I adhere to the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan.  The onset of Advent initiates my fourth year of reading the Bible, via this plan, all the way through.  I've found that no matter how crazy or busy my days are, reading God's Word every day in this format is absolutely doable, not to mention rewarding and refreshing for my heart, mind and soul.

As I explained last year in a previous blog, the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan breaks the Bible up into seven categories, one for each day of the week:

  • Sunday - Epistles
  • Monday - The Law
  • Tuesday - History
  • Wednesday - Psalms (This book lasts the entire year, hence the title above!)
  • Thursday - Poetry
  • Friday - Prophecy
  • Saturday - Gospels
Some of you may think this is a disjointed way to go about reading God's Word, but for me, I like the rhythm of the change-up.  If you don't have a regular Bible reading routine, why not give the 52 Week Bible Reading Plan a try?  Yes, the first Sunday in Advent is behind us, but you can start this study on any Sunday of the year.

Or perhaps, you already have a study method that works wonderfully for you.  If you do, please share with all of us in the comments section.  The more, the merrier!  Oh, and do let us know if you decide to use the plan described here.  I, for one, would love your feedback!

And remember, it doesn't matter the way in which you read the Bible, it matters that you read it!

Amen!

29 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea and plan, Martha. Do you know of a similar one online? I use this:

    https://www.catholic.org/bible/daily_reading/?select_date=2018-12-18

    But I don't think it does the whole Bible in a year.

    God bless you, and thanx.

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    1. I hadn't heard of this plan, Victor, but I will certainly look it up at some point. Thanks so much for sharing it with everyone here!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. Thank you, Victor. I plan to look this up.

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  2. Like you, Martha, I love to shake up my devotional rhythms. New translations, journaling, music, devotional books, coloring {gasp!}

    One of my favorite ways to read Scripture is to do it chronologically instead of book by book. I get a fuller understanding of the timeline of God's plan. Sometimes I've read with a commentary, other times I've used something simple like THE MESSAGE.

    Our God is creative and inspiring. How wonderful that we can connnect with Him in ways that are a bit out-of=the-box!

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    1. Linda, I do like to use different translations of the Bible when I'm doing my reading, too. The Message is one of my favorites, except for the Psalms. A chronological study sounds so intriguing, too. If you could recommend one we can download, I would so appreciate it!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. The bane of all excitement is sameness. To do something the same just for the sake of doing something is not good. I like to mix it up. I read through the NT this past year and am now almost finished with Exodus. For the first time since I can remember I did not read Psalms or Proverbs on a daily/monthly basis. I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing (other than continuing to read the OT) this year. But you state the most important thing at the end: it's not the way but that you read it.

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    1. Yes, Bill, absolutely! No matter what version, translation, OT or NT, the only thing that matters is that we read God's Word regularly. It never ceases to amaze me how God speaks in profound ways no matter how familiar I think I've become with a book or particular verses. No end of inspiration!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Love this and am going to share it with our parish. This verse and following a bible plan is a big push here for 2019. You are inspiring me!!

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    1. I'm so excited to hear this, Jean! That's how I got started on this plan - our pastor encouraged us to take up the challenge and provided printouts that we could pick up in the narthex after the service. It's been my constant companion ever since! Glad this inspired you!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I have been reading my Daily Catholic Bible plan for six years now. Sometimes is seems disjointed to me, too, but there is a rhythm to it, as you mentioned with yours. I cherish my devotional time too.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful study guide, Terri! Although I'm not Catholic, one of my daily delights in my inbox is 3-Minute Retreat published by Loyola Press. Always gets my day off on the right foot!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. I'm embarrassed to admit, it's been a long time since I've sat and studied my Bible. Too long ... but I'm done making excuses. Your 52-week plan has me intrigued!

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    1. Oh, Mevely, you won't be disappointed, I promise! It's so easy to use and so easy to find time to use it.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Martha, Thank you for sharing the importance of reading the Word of God in its entirety. As you know, I've been reading the Bible from cover to cover each year (usually more than once!) since 2005. This year I've added some extra reading in the form of a chronological Bible, as well as a Bible that is set up to cover an OT reading, NT reading, a Psalm, and a Proverbs passage. It's a blessing to do this, the time spent is worth it.

    My mentor says it a good thing to read the Bible chronologically--it really does help in getting a sense of the whole of God's story.

    By the way, your plan does sound intriguing!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. I really need to look into this chronological method of reading the Bible, Kim. Danny has expressed interest in the same. Which chronological Bible do you use? I'd love to purchase one for Danny and me to share.
      And yes, this plan works for me, especially when I have those hectic and distracted days that I wish I didn't. Just spending some time in God's Word each day is so comforting and uplifting.
      Another note: The year you started reading the Bible all the way through was the year Danny and I got married. Coincidence? I think not! :)
      Love and blessings!

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  8. I'm going to be reading the Bible in one year chronologically. I like the plan you have suggested and will keep it mind for a change. By the way, I will choose a verse or short passage to write out in my journal using the SOAK method as Patty Schell and I outline in our study "Legacy: Living NOW for Future Generations."

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    1. Beckie, I did order "Legacy," and do plan to integrate it into my Bible study this year. I hope others will do the same! As I asked Kim above, can you recommend a reliable chronological Bible? Would love to have one.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. I have done this, done the Chronological Bible, and a couple of others. It is always good and I always learn something new!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Another vote for the chronological Bible! Never realized before asking this question just how popular it is. I guess I'm going to have to get one, Lulu, and give it a whirl.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Love this, Martha..."After all, anticipating Christmas isn't about all the stuff to get and things to do, it's about celebrating God's love for us by sending Jesus, His only Son, to save us from our sins." Amen. And I like the 52-week plan for reading the Bible. Thanks!

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    1. So gratified that you liked this post, Karen! I loved your most recent one, too. Think we were exploring the same theme? :)
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Thanks for the boost to get back to reading God's word. I'm whisker close to reading it through yet again. And each time is more amazing than the one before.

    It's good practice and soothes the soul.

    Thanks, sister.

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    1. I agree, Floyd, that each read through is more exciting than the time before. God is ever revealing His truths in ways we can never foresee. Makes for one exciting ride! Glad to know you plan to get back into reading His Word.
      Love and blessings!

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  12. You echo my thoughts exactly, sweet friend. I just finished a post for Biblical Minimalism recently called, "When Stillness Calls Loudest" and how it is possible to find that stillness even at Christmas. I love, love, love to read and study God's Word, too. My method for the past several years has been to seek the Lord and read to wherever my Bible falls open. I have been amazed at how, when the Lord is really trying to get a point across to me, He has allowed the Bible to fall to the same place more than once over a course of time. I agree with you that it doesn't really matter so much HOW we get our reading in, just so we read it! I so enjoy visiting with you, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! Many blessings to you!

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    1. Wow, Cheryl, God has richly blessed you with opening the Bible for you at just the place of wisdom and inspiration you are seeking in that moment! One way or the other, He will get His point across to us, that's for sure. I would sure love to read the article you mention here, and hope you will re-post it on your blog, or send us the link.
      May you and yours have a Joyous Christmas, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  13. Amen. CHRISTmas is about the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. I love to sit with the CHRISTmas lights twinkling and reading my morning devotional. I agree that it doesn’t matter how you read the word but that you do read it. As usual, you have given me much to contemplate this season. Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you, too, Nells! And I'm with you about those twinkling Christmas lights - so cheerful and soothing.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Wow! That is a great plan for reading through the Bible. Usually in my morning devotions we read a Gospel passage (or could be an Epistle), something from the Old Testament, and a Psalm. They usually are in some way connected. But I like your method, which would get us through the whole Bible if we stayed on task all year long. Great idea.

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    1. Everyone has a preferred method, but this one really works for me, Pamela. I like your formula, too!
      Love and blessings!

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