THE DISCIPLESHIP COVENANT BIBLE READING PLANS
by Craig Wesley Rench
It is my great joy to introduce The Discipleship Covenant Bible Reading Plans. For over 47 years I have systematically read God’s Word daily in what I call “saturation reading.” It has been the greatest spiritual discipline of my life. This daily habit of reading God’s Word or listening to it has truly made me who I am in the Lord. My life has been incredibly blessed in every way by reading, studying, meditating on the Bible … and then obeying it! Check out the promises in Scripture that the Lord lays down for those who will read, meditate and obey His mighty, living Word. (See Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; James 1:25; Revelation 1:3)
There are three levels of Bible Reading being offered to you. Choose one that best suits your desired level of discipleship.
ABOUT THE READING PLAN
If you have never spent much time in God’s Word on a daily faithful basis, we would recommend you to start with the basic plan or LEVEL A READING PLAN this new year as you can always “up it” later if you have the time and desire to do more. But get started this January 1 on at least the Level “A” Reading Plan. You will be glad that you gave yourself to this Daily Delightful Discipline!
LEVEL A READING PLAN Approx. 15 minutes / day
This basic plan will take you through the entire Word of God, cover to cover, in 9 months. (January - September) We estimate that this will take the average reader with a fifth grade education about 15 minutes a day. It will involve reading a little less than 7 pages a day in the Bible. Of course, everybody reads at a different pace, so “your mileage may vary.” But, on average, most people will be able to successfully accomplish this plan in 15 minutes a day.
LEVEL B READING PLAN Approx. 30 minutes / day
This intermediate plan will take you through the entire Old Testament in 9 months (January through September) and the New Testament 3X in the same 9 months. Obviously, this is a little more “ambitious” or “advanced” than the Level “A” Reading Plan.
This will require about a half hour of reading every day. The New Testament lays out everything that we need to know to live a successful, victorious, Christlike Christian life. It is in this portion of Scripture that we read and learn about our Lord Jesus Christ, we learn how the Holy Spirit wants to help us live our daily lives and we find the greatest promises from our Lord. You simply cannot read the New Testament too much. Your life will be incredibly enriched and blessed as you focus on the greatest words ever written!
LEVEL C READING PLAN Approx. 45 minutes / day
This advanced plan will take you through the entire Old Testament in 9 months (January through September) and the New Testament 5X in the same 9 months. This is a power-packed plan that will give you a real working knowledge and acquaintance with the eternal words of life.
This plan will take the average reader about 45 minutes or so each day. God’s Word will permeate every area of your life. You will never regret spending time in the Holy Bible. We know people who read the entire Word of God every week! Others we know read the complete Bible once and even twice every month. This discipline of faithful application to the Scriptures will bless you in unbelievable ways. Every area of your life will be blessed! This “Advanced Plan” is not easy… but it is great! It is not for everybody. But, it may be for you!
You need to pray and listen to the Lord about what plan He would call you to pursue.
As you look at the different plans you will notice that we designed each of the plans to be done in 28 days of each month from January through September. This is on purpose. We wanted to build into each month two or three “slack days” or “free days.” This allows a little margin for you to catch up if you have to miss a day or two in your reading. You can “catch up” each month and not fall behind. If you have to miss a day because of sickness, traveling or whatever — “Sweat thou not!” — you can catch up!
Also, you will note that the goal of going through God’s Word faithfully is designed to be accomplished in 9 months. Purposefully, we have allowed for three whole months at the end for you to “catch up” and successfully complete the entire reading plan that the Lord led you to choose before the year ends.
So, if you have to miss a few days or even weeks in your reading plan … don’t quit in discouragement. You can catch up and still victoriously accomplish the goal in the same calendar year. Altogether, counting the “slack” or “free” days monthly plus the three months at the end of the year (October through December), we are building into each reading plan 113 days to catch up each year! You and Jesus can do this! We want you to succeed! God wants you to succeed! You can count on His help to make you successful in this vital endeavor.
A few words about the Four Portions of Scripture that you will read each day:
As you look at the various Bible Reading Plans you will notice that each day we guide you in prescribed reading from four different sections of Scripture. Those sections are as follows:
- Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament)
New Testament (the rest of the New Testament besides the Gospels)
Wisdom Literature (this is the portion of the Old Testament that covers the books of Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon)
Old Testament (that is, the rest of the Old Testament besides the Wisdom Literature)
- Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament)
This approach allows you to daily be immersed with:
Jesus in the Gospels.
The Apostles in the Book of Acts and the letters of the New Testament.
The greatest poetic inspired wisdom of all time in the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament.
The rest of God’s inspired Word in the Old Testament that is the foundation of the New Testament and our entire faith.
This is a “balanced diet” of God’s Word each and every day. If we simply had you start in Genesis and read straight through, (which is one way to do it) many of our readers would not make it through extended passages of Leviticus or Numbers or the genealogies of the Bible. This way, no matter where you are in the readings, you will be encountering Jesus every day! This “balanced diet” approach will allow the Holy Spirit many opportunities each day from different vantage points in the Word of God to engage your spirit and encourage your soul! So, joyfully read from the four different sections and let the Lord speak to you.
HOW TO START EACH DAY
Look up each day’s reading schedule.
Open your Bible to the Gospels reading for that day.
Praise the Lord before you start reading for the great time that you are going to have in His Word that day.
Thank Him for His Holy Eternal Living Word.
I like to pray something like this before I begin reading: “Lord, I delight in Your Word! I love Your Word! Help me to delight in Your Word more today than I ever have! I am expecting You to speak to me today through Your Blessed Word! Help Yourself to my heart, Lord! Speak Lord, through Your Mighty Word — Your servant is listening. Help me to understand and appreciate Your Word right now! As I pick up Your Precious WORD please speak to me through its priceless pages. Reveal the WORD OF THE LORD to me. Speak to my heart … my spirit … my soul … my mind. Help me to change (repent) and become like Jesus as I see the LORD OF THE WORD revealed. Help me to apply what I am learning. Help me to be a ‘EFFECTUAL DOER’ of your Word and not a ‘forgetful hearer’. (James 1:25) Help me to do what You tell me to do today! I love you, Lord!”
Begin to read carefully and slowly. The slower you go — the more you will gain and glean from God’s Blessed Word. “Go Low - Go Slow!”
Have your Journal open and your pen ready to write.
Put the day’s date in your Journal. Begin to note or jot down verses that seem to stand out to you or speak to you as you read through the various sections of Scripture for that day.
After reading the Gospels section move on to the New Testament portion and follow on reading the Wisdom Literature passages for that day and then finish with the Old Testament designated reading.
AT THE END OF YOUR DAY'S READINGS
Ask the Lord 3 simple questions:
Ask the Lord: “Lord, which verse or passage of Scripture that I just read do You want me to focus on and meditate on before You?”
Listen to His Voice.
Then write down in your Journal the reference of the verse or verses that the Lord wants you to focus on. Then take the time and write out (or type out if you are doing your journaling on a computer) the verse so that it is before you. Later, you will be so glad that you took the time and made the effort to write down the whole passage.
Ask the Lord to speak to your waiting heart about that important passage that He has highlighted for you to pay attention to.
Pray something like this: “Lord, what do You want to say to me from this passage of Scripture?”
Listen quietly. Then write down what you sense the Lord is saying to you from that passage. I like to write in my Journal: “Dear Craig,” as I sit before the Lord. I write these words as if the Lord is about to dictate a letter to me personally. (Of course, you would write your own name in your Journal). Then, I sit quietly before my God. Be still and know that He is God!
Write down what you sense the Lord is saying to you from that passage.
Ask the Lord what He wants you to DO about what He has just told you. You could ask the Lord this question:
“Dear Lord, what do You want me to DO about what You just told me through Your Holy Spirit and Your Word?”
Write down what You sense that He is telling you to do or believe about that verse.
Decide before the Lord if you are going to obey or not! For a Christian obedience is not an option! Now decide what you are going to do to truly and fully obey the Lord’s command to you. In other words, decide what are you going to DO about what the Lord has just told you?
Now write out the commitment that, with the Lord’s help, you are going to do about what He just told you to do. Your Journal is becoming God’s Assignment Book for you! Ask the Lord to truly help you to obey His Voice!
Then, “Just Do It!” Obey your Lord and your God!
Later, after you have obeyed, come back and check it off or mark your Journal so that you know that you indeed did what the Lord just told you to do. Your Journal becomes a log of your obedience!
Praise your Lord for speaking to you through His Powerful Word!