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A Few Tips on the Southwood 2022 Bible Reading Plan

I know everyone will participate in different ways based on schedule and personality, but here are a few suggestions that may be beneficial to you as we read through the Bible together this year:

1) Read Multiple Times a Day

While there are many benefits to reading each day from several different parts of the Bible, one of the challenges is getting lost in which section you’re in when you read pieces of 5 or 6 different books in one sitting. Consider a rhythm of morning/evening or breakfast/lunch/dinner where you consistently read the same portions each day, and this may help you meditate on God’s Word day and night as well. BONUS: This may help your kids engage with you in one of these times if perhaps the reading each day is too much at their age. That’s OK – help them participate in some way and build a love for God’s Word alongside you!

2) Slow Down and Don’t Miss the Story

I take great pleasure in checking off the little boxes on my reading plan each day. The danger I find is that this can become a task to complete rather than a relationship to enjoy. Remember that merely reading is not the goal but truly knowing God more, deepening our heart for Him as we meet Him in his Word. The Bible is a story, a great love story in fact, of a gracious God creating, redeeming, and restoring his people and his world through the Hero of the story, our Lord and Savior. As you jump around to different chapters, slow down to orient yourself to where that chapter fits into the big story so you can contemplate and share God’s heart rather than merely complete a reading list.

3) Pray and Reflect As or After You Read

If we read God’s Word slowly and thoughtfully, it should often lead us to prayer – praising Him, asking for his help to understand, confessing our self-focus, pleading for his direction in our lives, etc. – so stop while you’re reading to do that. If you are struggling, reflect on questions like “What does this passage teach me about God?”, “Where does this passage challenge me?”, or “How does this passage make Jesus bigger in my eyes?”. Such questions (write your own!) will keep your heart open to the Spirit’s work as you read and lead you to pray to the God who is speaking to you already through his Word.

I don’t know where God will meet you in his Word this year or how He will use it to change your life and deepen your relationship with Him, but I look forward to sharing in that with you as we delight in his Word together.