For the past six years I have been reading through the Bible each year. It is only by the grace of Christ that I am able to complete this each year. For the first three years I used a different translation each year to keep the reading fresh. To see things from a different perspective. To allow the Word of God to infuse my spirit and flow freely in my life.
The next to years I read through the Word of God chronologically. If you’ve never done a chronological plan, believe me when I say try it. It will truly amaze you. The Word of God is alive and when you read chronologically it will jump off the page to you and refresh you daily. You’ll see things that you previously missed. You’ll understand more especially in the Old Testament.
This year, 2015, I decided to read through the Bible using my ESV Daily Reading Bible. Through the Bible in 365 Days based on the popular M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan. Sounds official doesn’t it? The M’Cheyne Bible reading plan is basically a chapter from the Old Testament starting in Genesis and then a chapter from the New Testament beginning in Matthew. On the same day you then read another Old Testament text starting in Ezra and finish off the day with Acts in the New Testament. The M’Cheyne plan will take readers through the entire Bible in one year and through the Psalms and the New Testament twice. I am in love with this plan.
But, one thing that has really made the ESV Daily Reading Bible come alive to me this year is I began successfully for the first time to mark my Bible as I read. I’ve attempted Bible marking before only to become discouraged and quit. It was too much work and it was taking away from the Word in my own life. I was too concerned with using the right marking system, highlighter or pen and choosing the right colors and symbols and I missed out on the Big Story contained within the pages of the Bible. So I quit.
Not this year. I am currently using the Women Living Well Bible study and Courtney Joseph shared the SOAK method with us for the first time. Never heard of it? Me, either until this year. The SOAK Bible study method consists of:
K=Kneeling in Prayer
Kind of similar to the SOAP method that has been popular for Bible study for years. But the thing that brings the SOAK method to the forefront of Bible study is the Printable Bible Coloring Chart. As I’ve shared above, I’ve tried Bible marking before and failed miserably. Not this year. The Good Morning Girls or Women Living Well Bible Coloring Chart is simple, easy and user-friendly. It truly helped me to read God’s Word slowly and to retain what I read. Sort of like Lectio divina. You meditate on God’s Word as you read. For me I read from my ESV Daily Reading Bible. I read the first passage from the Old Testament through once. Then I grab my Bible highlighters. Currently, I am using a mixture of highlighters, pens, twistable crayons and twistable colored pencils. You can find a copy of the Printable Bible Coloring Chart on the Women Living Well website by clicking anywhere within this post on their name.
Prepare to be amazed. I know I am. I am only on the second month of reading and coloring, but I have truly discovered that this system works for me. I don’t know if it is the slowly reading through more than once and then marking the items, but I am discovering things that I never before seen in God’s Word. I’ve read through the Bible six times previous and before that read different chapters over and over. It is awesome. I am also journaling as I read the new things that have astonished me, the things that have convicted me, the new things that have stood out to me. And I am loving it. The Word is speaking to my heart. I hear the words of God and they become alive, personal and yet part of a huge picture. The focus is not so much on self, but on His Word and what He has to say. I am learning so much about God’s character and about the people contained within the pages of the Bible. I just had to share this with you.
So if you are feeling a little parched. Your time in the Word is no longer alive but feeling more like an obligation than a desire, I challenge you to stop by and check out the SOAK method and the Bible coloring method and see for yourself.
Until Next Time,