Many people see January 1 as a great time to set new goals. Perhaps that’s exactly what you did this year: set a goal to read through the Bible. Now we’re almost halfway through the year, and you’re looking at your track record with disappointment. Leviticus and Deuteronomy threw you for a loop, and now you aren’t sure where to start reading in the Bible.
We can all relate to the quiet-time struggle! If you’re stuck in a devotional rut, consider reading through the Bible chronologically. There are some amazing benefits to this reading plan that will help you stay on track for the rest of the year and gain a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
Here are three reasons to start reading chronologically today.
1. It provides a big-picture view of Christian history.
The Bible is a collection of documents and letters. These documents, written by different authors who all attest to the same theological principles, were not compiled in chronological order. The Israelite scribes recorded the work of God prior to Christ, which Christians embraced as the foundation for Jesus’s ministry (Matthew 5:18). The gospels and the letters of Paul, along with the work of other apostles, are included in our New Testament as further revelation from God and instruction for how to live the Christian life.
These two testaments—literally, testimonies—to God’s love for mankind together provide the “big picture” of Christian history. Reading the books of the Bible in chronological order give us the long-term perspective of God’s plan, bolstering our faith for the future.
For more information on how the Bible was compiled, read this post.
2. It provides structure for quiet time.
If you’re overwhelmed by choosing a reading plan for your quiet time, a chronological plan may be a good fit. You will read through the whole Bible, but you’ll be moving through different books, sometimes reading in more than one book in a day. This makes chronological plans great for the “ADD” Christian!
Chronological plans also give you structure for your quiet time; you’ll know what to read each day and can approach your devotions with intentionality. This makes note-taking much easier, which in turn provides a more solid takeaway from the passages you study.
3. It opens our eyes to the gospel.
Reading the Bible in the order it occurred grants us a powerful perspective of the gospel. As we journey through the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David and so many more, we see how God’s perfect plan was moving in their lives. While the heroes of the Old and New Testaments may not have known what God was doing at the time, we get to see the ending. We benefit from their experiences and can apply the truths we learn to our own questions and life battles.
The gospel of grace was God’s solution to the problem of sin, which began as early as Genesis 3. Reading the Bible chronologically grants us a deeper understanding of God’s love, kindness and patience with this world, and with each of us who puts her faith in Him.