“Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path.”
This beautiful image gives you a visual overview of the Bible: the number of books in the Bible, the length of each book, and the thousands of cross reference connections between the books.1 I want to encourage you to read through the Bible this year so you can have an overview of the content of the Bible, the Word of God.
In Paul’s farewell to the elders at Ephesus, he said,
You cannot know God’s whole counsel if you have only read part of His Word. Your eyes can delight in this visual overview of the Bible; this year let your mind and heart delight in a word for word overview of the Bible.
In House on the Rock, In the Jungle of Jordan, and The People Who Know Their God, I’ve written about why it’s so important to read God’s Word. In Read the Bible in 2023, I’ve written about the how of reading through the Bible. That posts explains some of the various Bible reading plans and links to them so you can look them over and decide what it best for you.
Keep a notebook to jot down your thoughts as you read. Write down what you’re learning. Write out your prayers as you think over what you’ve read. Ask yourself what am I learning from God’s Word that is a light to my feet and a lamp to my path. What have I learned? What am I to do?
In 2011 as I began reading through the Bible, I started posting through the Bible writing down my thoughts and reflections on what I read. As the year went on there were some gaps in my posting. I’ve since filled in some of them. Because Michael Coley’s Bible reading plan (one page PDF to print) begins with the Epistles on a Sunday, and New Year’s Day this year is also on a Sunday, I’ve decided to take those old posts, edit them as needed to add new thoughts and work toward finishing posts on the entire Bible during 2023.
Coley varies the daily readings between seven different categories of the Bible. Here’s an overview of his plan:
Sunday: Epistles ◊ Romans–Jude
Monday: The Law ◊ Genesis–Deuteronomy
Tuesday: History ◊ Joshua–Esther
Wednesday: Poetry ◊ Psalms
Thursday: Poetry ◊ Job–Song of Solomon
Friday: Prophecy ◊ Isaiah–Malachi, Revelation
Saturday: Gospels ◊ Matthew–John, Acts
As I used Michael Coley’s plan in 2011, I found I loved the way he divided Bible readings into one category for each day of the week. I liked the change from one book to another, and I was intrigued to learn more of how Scripture itself gave insight from one section to another.
I also liked the idea of beginning with Romans because it’s my favorite book in the Bible. I’ve again printed out Foley’s chart to keep in my Bible. Having the chart on a piece of paper I can keep with me will also help me know what to read next if I’m not at home. There are no dates, so I think that helps take off some of the pressure of keeping up. If you miss a reading, you can go on to the next day of the week and catch up with the other reading later.
I’ll be posting my own thoughts and reflections on what I read, but my posts aren’t comprehensive in covering the chapters; what I’d like to happen is for the posts to whet your appetite to read and study God’s Word for yourself.
I’ll include a small amount of background material from various commentaries, but for detailed explanation of a passage after you’ve read it, I recommend talking with your own pastor or, if you have difficulty finding someone with whom to discuss a passage, look at John MacArthur’s sermon archive at his Grace to You ministry site. You can listen to or read his excellent expository preaching of the Bible. I keep a link to this site in the right sidebar under Bible Study & Encouragement.
Each quarter will be listed on a separate page under this one or you will be able to use one of these links:
May God’s Word be a lamp and a light this year to all your paths, wherever they may be. May the Lord be with you and bless you in 2023, granting you a greater love and knowledge of Him through the reading of His Word.
1Visualizing the Bible® Chris Harrison. Used by permission. This image was named one of the best science images of 2008 in National Geographic News. Chris explains: “The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. Books alternate in color between white and light gray. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc – the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.” If you’d like a print, Chris sells it at Etsy here.
2ESV: English Standard Version. The word counsel is translated as purpose in the NASB and the LSB. The HELPS Lexicon of The Discovery Bible states the word is, “used particularly of the immutable plan of God which purposefully arranges all physical circumstances, guaranteeing every scene of life also works to His eternal purpose.”
Silvesterzug Laterne: Bk muc. (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Copyright ©2011–2023 Iwana Carpenter