Tonight one of my teenage daughters came to me. She said, “I know that reading my Bible is important, but I don’t really do it. I know lots of Bible verses. And I know what I believe. So, I just kind of coast on that. Mom, can you help?”
Absolutely! But before I got there, I asked her, “Would you say that I know lots of Bible verses and know what I believe?”
She answered, “Well, yeah.” (Honestly, I don’t know that many Bible verses, but I knew that in her perception I do.)
So then I asked, “If I know lots of Bible verses and know what I believe, then why do you think I spend time reading my Bible?”
“Well, because that’s how you hear from God. God speaks to you when you read your Bible. And that’s how you get to know him.”
From there we had such an amazing conversation about her belief and mine that God primarily speaks to us through His Word. Although we both believe that God still speaks through visions, dreams, signs, etc., we are in agreement that his primary vehicle for communicating with his people is through his word. And, that he will never, never, never speak in a way that contradicts the Bible.
So, I spent a little time showing her my journal and my schedule for Bible reading. We talked about not using the Bible as a Magic 8 Ball. And we talked about my experience of having God speak to me personally and directly as I read my Bible.
I showed her the section of my Bible reading plan that moves chronologically through the Gospels. I talked with her about fixing her eyes on Jesus and the transformation that happens in us when we focus on him. And I gave her specific instructions on how to systematically and consistently read, journal, and pray the Bible.
“Neat!” she said. “I want to do that.”
So, I took my reading plan and reworked it so that she has a systematic chronological reading plan for the Gospels.
And, since I pulled this plan together for my daughter, I’d love to share it with you. All you need to do is copy and paste the table into a document and print it out. I suggest sizing it so that you can tape it in the back of your Bible. When you complete a Scripture reading, place a check in the box.
Below the table, I give the “how to’s” that I shared with my daughter.
Scripture Scripture Scripture Scripture Luke 1 Matt. 8:1-13 Matt. 18 Matt. 23 John 1:1-14 Luke 7 John 7 Luke 20 Matt. 1 Matt. 11 John 8 Luke 21 Luke 2:1-38 Matt. 12:22-50 John 9 Mark 13 Matt. 2 Luke 11 John 10:1-21 Matt. 24 Luke 2:39-52 Matt. 13 Luke 10 Matt. 25 Matt. 3 Luke 8 Luke 11 Matt. 26 Mark 1 Matt. 8:14-34 John 10:22-42 Mark 14 Luke 3 Mark 4 Luke 12 Luke 22 Matt. 4 Mark 5 Luke 13 John 13 Luke 4 Matt. 9 Luke 14 John 14 Luke 5 Matt. 10 Luke 15 John 15 John 1:15-51 Matt. 14 Luke 16 – 17:10 John 16 John 2 Mark 6 John 11 John 17 John 3 Luke 9:1-17 Luke 17:11-18:14 Matt. 27 John 4 John 6 Matt. 19 Mark 15 Mark 2 Matt. 15 Mark 10 Luke 23 John 5 Mark 7 Matt. 20 John 18 Matt. 12:1-21 Matt. 16 Matt. 21 John 19 Mark 3 Mark 8 Luke 18:15 – 19:48 Matt. 28 Luke 6 Luke 9:18-27 Mark 11 Mark 16 Matt. 5 Matt. 17 John 12 Luke 24 Matt. 6 Mark 9 Matt. 22 John 20 Matt. 7 Luke 9:28-62 Mark 12 John 21
What you need:
1. Bible2. Journal 3. Pen
1. Pray – Open your Bible and pray something as simple as, “God open my heart to hear your voice. Please speak to me as I read the Bible. This is not a long extended time of prayer for the nations, the presidential election, or all the very real needs in your circle of friends, family, co-workers, etc. You simply are asking God to speak to you and enable you to hear His voice.
2. Read – Read the passage of scripture, or a section of it. You may find that you only get through a small section of the passage. That’s fine. The next day you’ll just pick up where you left off.
3. Write – Now, here’s where your journal and pen comes in. In your journal, write today’s date and then ask yourself these questions:
- What do I learn about Jesus in these verses?
- What is Jesus doing?
- What is Jesus saying?
- What is Jesus experiencing?
- What do I learn about mankind?
- What does this have to do with my life?
4. Reflect – Look back at what you wrote and think about it. Pray as you’re thinking. Below where you wrote answers to these questions, write your reflections, and possibly your prayers. When you do this, you’re taking God’s Word into your heart, your mind, your life. You’re reading it, applying it, praying it. By actively engaging in what you’re reading, you’ll be much more likely to actually apply it to your life.
5. Pray – Your quiet time is almost done. Most likely you’ve prayed as you were writing, so this is really just a prayer to close out your quiet time. Again, it can be as simple as, “Lord, thank you for your Word. Thank you for speaking to me. Help me to remember your Word through the day and live it out.”
This is certainly not the only way to have a quiet time. It’s just the way that I do it. What about you? What does your quiet time look like? Do you have any questions for me about my quiet times? Feel free to leave your questions and comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.