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The Best Read Plans…

Category Book Reviews
Date January 1, 2018

The close of December can be a time when well-intentioned resolutions are made about reading the Scriptures in their entirety in the year to come. An honest desire to know God’s Word more can quickly flounder, however, when pushed back by the reality of busy days and divided attention. While this can be symptomatic of our times, it can also be a result of reading schedules which are not well tailored to expose us to the sheer variety of Scripture. The freshly felt joy of reading three chapters of Genesis in January are steadily crushed by reading the same amount of chapters in Leviticus in the early spring. Our best ambitions to read the Bible for ourselves often wither with the snowdrops.

Having experienced this frustration for many years, I embarked in 2002 on the journey of using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne Daily Reading Plan. Given my abortive attempts at entire Bible reading plans in the past, my optimism levels were not high. Remarkably, my expectations were exceeded by some measure. In the almost sixteen years that have followed, I have read the M’Cheyne plan for fifteen of them (with a one year foray into the NIV Bible in One Year). This plan has become part of the fabric of my spiritual life, an indispensable companion in my daily walk with God, and a gracious means of growth in the path of Christian discipleship. What set this plan apart from others for me, and what benefits have accrued from it?

1. The pattern of four chapters per day balances wholesale sections of Scripture with daily variety.

Some sections of Scripture can be easily read, while others are more challenging. The M’Cheyne plan allows me to engage with the tougher passages while still deriving rich sustenance rfrom the more plain portions set out for the same day.

2. There is a beautiful harmony in the chapters and books which are chosen for each day.

It is hard to ascertain how much of the convergence of readings in the plan was intentional on M’Cheyne’s part, and how much came about by raw providential ordering, but over and over again there are lines of comparison and contrast between sections which are refreshing and faith affirming.

3. The exposure to the Psalms and New Testament twice in the year gives the M’Cheyne plan a unique advantage.

A second pass at these portions allows the reader to really be immersed in their shape and content in a way that other plans don’t allow.

4. The divisibility of the plan across one year or two years means that all reading speeds and levels can be accommodated.

Pastorally, it has been an extraordinary experience over the past years to see people take two years over M’Cheyne rather than one, and for the first time read the whole Bible for themselves. Two of our church members in their seventies who have never read the whole corpus of Scripture for themselves before have, in the past four years, read it twice. Theirs is only one story among many.

5. Reading the same plan year on year entwines Scripture with our lived experiences.

I well remember turning to the M’Cheyne readings on the 18th October, 204, the day of my father’s funeral. 1 Thessalonians 4 came to me with all the consolation of the risen Christ and the coming Day. My grief was contextualised, my hope was put in order, and my heart was fortified to bury my Dad with trembling expectation of Christ’s return. Now every year on the 18th October, I am reminded of the pastoral grace of God to me in that grief, and of the ever nearer moment when Christ Jesus appears. These kinds of repeated readings mean that Scripture itself becomes our annual Ebenezer amid the trials and conflict of life.

Of all the options open to us in our aspiration to read the Bible for ourselves, the M’Cheyne plan is to be recommended in the strongest of terms. It has been proven by many to have real capacity for making daily Bible reading the delight that it ought to be. Why not exchange your best laid plans for this best read plan, and rejoice in the truth of God’s Word in a new way in the year to come?

Feed Your Soul This Year

    Read the Bible in a Year

    Read the Bible in a Year

    Calendar of Daily Readings

    by R. M. M’Cheyne


    price $0.50 $0.45
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    Description

    The close of December can be a time when well-intentioned resolutions are made about reading the Scriptures in their entirety in the year to come. An honest desire to know God’s Word more can quickly flounder, however, when pushed back by the reality of busy days and divided attention. While this can be symptomatic of […]

    Valley-Of-Vision

    The Valley of Vision

    A Collection Of Puritan Prayers

    by Arthur Bennett


    price From: $12.00
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    Rated 5.00 out of 5

    Description

    The close of December can be a time when well-intentioned resolutions are made about reading the Scriptures in their entirety in the year to come. An honest desire to know God’s Word more can quickly flounder, however, when pushed back by the reality of busy days and divided attention. While this can be symptomatic of […]

    Treasury Of His Promises

    Treasury Of His Promises

    366 Daily Bible Readings by Graham Miller

    by J. Graham Miller


    price $19.00 $17.10

    Description

    The close of December can be a time when well-intentioned resolutions are made about reading the Scriptures in their entirety in the year to come. An honest desire to know God’s Word more can quickly flounder, however, when pushed back by the reality of busy days and divided attention. While this can be symptomatic of […]

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