Let’s start with the larger, overall view of this plan.
1. The goal daily is to real at least four chapters every day, not for study purposes, but for devotional reading; this means you are reading for the sole purpose of feeding your heart and your mind with truth, reading as if you are reading God’s very words, because the truth is, you are reading God’s very words.
Allow 1 full hour, whether that is before or after breakfast or at your best time of the day.
You do your main daily reading for the exact same purpose that you eat daily meals– for daily nourishment and strength; you are not trying to remember what you read necessarily, because some people do not have good retention skills and cannot remember that night what they read in the morning. I personally am this way. I don’t remember what Linda serve me for meals in May but they nourished me then; that is why I read the Bible daily.
Here’s the view point– I am not reading just to gain knowledge or to be able to remember what I read; instead, I am reading to feed on the truth at the time that I read; I am reading to nourish my heart and renew my mind; I am reading with the goal and purpose that the Holy Spirit will give me something during the reading that will stir me, challenge me, encourage me, help me, and instruct me, guide me, and give me even one promise that I can pray and carry through the day. This is my entire goal in my daily reading, for the Holy Spirit to make my reading that morning to be a real hearty breakfast that both nourishes me and I enjoy. When I realize that God wants me to actually enjoy His Word, it makes all the difference.
1. Pray before reading- Pause and ask the Holy Spirit to give you what you need- “open my eyes Lord to see what you have for me; cause me to be alert and not distracted; cause me to see your truth– give me real food and nourishment for my heart and mind; open my eyes, that I might see wonderful things from your Word.” I always pray something like this before reading.
2. Read at least 4 chapters in one sitting; this can change later, as you may desire to increase it at some point, but at the beginning, always read at least 4 chapters; I currently have a personal practice of reading 12-15 chapters daily– 4 Old Testament chapters, plus 3 Psalms and 6 New Testament chapters. But that is probably too much for someone starting out. Limit it to one Old Testament chapter, 2 Psalms, and 1 New Testament chapter. Each person should do what they have time for and desire for. But 4 chapters would be the minimum to do. This can be done is less than 1 hour.
3. After reading is done, pray again, asking the Lord to make this food for your soul and to gain from it all He desires.
Begin in Genesis, Psalms, and Matthew;
Day One- Genesis 1, Matthew 1, and Psalms 1-2
Day Two- Genesis 2, Matthew 2, and Psalms 3-4 (note: when you come to Ps. 119, just read 1 Psalm for that day since it is so long; then begin with 2 Psalms again the next day)
Keep reading this way all the way through the Bible, 4 chapters daily. This is better than M’Cheyne’s plan in one specific, in that, you are not following the regular monthly calendar, so if you miss a day, you aren’t behind, whereas you would be on M’Cheyne’s calendar of readings.
How do you keep track of where you have read?
In your Bible, make a mark with your pen beside the chapter’s beginning; when you come back the next day, you will know where you left off. Always mark each chapter you begin to read; you will always know where to begin the next day. I mark each chapter as I begin it.
Read right through the Old Testament; but when you come to the end of Job, you will be at Psalms; skip it and go right to Proverbs, then read through the end of the Old Test; the reason you skip it is obvious- you are already reading the Psalms daily, so go from Job to Proverbs.
Concerning reading the Psalms, when you finish Psalms 150, you go back and begin the Psalms over again. The reason for always reading the Psalms is that they are so devotional.They are David’s prayers and praises, and we should always be getting them in our hearts and minds, using them as our own. So you are always reading through the Psalms from beginning to their end.
The New Testament reading will take you straight through the NT, reading 2 chapters daily consecutively. When you finish Revelation, obviously begin again in Matt. 1.
As you read, have a pen and a ruler; for a ruler, I use an old plastic motel key or an old credit card; it is perfect for underlining;
*Underline anything that speaks to you; pray over it or pray it to the Lord; example would be when you read in Psalm 19 where David says, “Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord”. When I read that, I will stop and pray it back to the Lord, making it my own worship and prayer. This way you personalize all you read, reading it as if it’s for you because God intends it to be for you.
*Put a question mark in the margin beside things that you would have major questions about and ask your pastor or someone your questions; you can even keep a simple notebook with the Bible references and questions you have.
Your overall goal is to prayerfully read your daily chapters and soak them in; have a prayerful heart; ask the Lord to make you enjoy it because we always will do regularly what we enjoy; when reading becomes enjoyable and encouraging rather than a drudgery, we will stay at it.
That is not to say that every day we will experience the same level of enjoyment or feeling of inspiration; but I find that as long as I keep praying over my reading, the Lord is always faithful to feed my soul.
This is basically it; you may have questions about the plan so anyone can ask questions they might have about it.
See also: McCheyne One Year Bible Reading Plan PDF