You know the saying, “if you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail”? Well sometimes not having a set routine reading the Bible can be the same way. Having a plan in what you’ll be reading is so helpful to ensure that you regularly read the Bible.
I love what Charles Spurgeon said,“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” The more we dig in, the more we receive from it. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. Well, the book of John is perfect for creating a habit, because it has 21 chapters!
In this reading plan you’ll be reading a chapter a day. Let’s really engage the eyes of the Spirit and ask questions. It’s so easy to just read the Bible because it’s something we need to do (totally guilty ✋) to just check off our list.
I always notice when I’m engaging with the Spirit or whether I’m reading just because it’s what I’m “supposed” to do. When I’m engaged, I stop, I ask questions and think about what is actually being said. I might even spend a few days on the same portion of scripture because Holy Spirit keeps highlighting different elements of the passage. It’s not about how much is read, it’s about spending time with the King.
A little about the book of John.
The book of John is the last of the 4 gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke are synoptic, meaning similar view point, but you may notice that the book of John is very different. John was writing to Jews who had converted to Christianity. John’s desire was for his readers to truly know that Jesus is the Son of God. He does this through the stories of Jesus’ signs and wonders.
The book itself is broken up into two sections. Chapters 1-12 are called “the Book of Signs” which emphasizes Jesus revealing His deity through His public ministry. Chapters 13-21 or “The Book of Glory” are more about Jesus’ intimate times with the disciples. John shares many stories about Jesus’ last week on earth that the synoptic gospels don’t have recorded. This gives us a better glimpse of what has happening leading up to and during Jesus’ trial.
The book of John is also the only book to record Jesus’ 7 “I AM” Statements.
In Exodus 3:14 we read that God tells Moses, “I AM that I AM!”. Jesus seems to give more insight into who I AM is.
As you read, see if you can find all 7 statements. 🙂
Asking questions as I read helps me stay engaged and grow in understanding.
Questions such as:
Who is the author?
Who is he writing to?
What are the circumstances or events surrounding the book?
Are there any scriptures pointing to or foreshadowing Jesus and/or the Redemption plan?
Are there any scriptures that I want to look up and cross reference?
What is the author saying?
What stuck out?
Is there a reoccurring theme?
Are there any promises from God that I need to learn more about?
Are there any words I want to look up in the dictionary or in the Hebrew/Greek?
1. I love having a dictionary handy to dig deeper into scripture, (which you can now access easily through Google. Haha).
2. Another great resource is the Blue Letter Bible App. Anytime I want to search a scripture out deeper or maybe a certain word, I go to this App. You can find the scripture and it’ll break down the whole verse into the Greek or Hebrew words and you can click them to find out the root word or what the actual word means which is great because so many feelings or ideas can get lost in translation. This is a great way to chew on the Word of God. It helps gain understanding and insight to what the author originally meant in its purest form.
3. I keep a journal near by during my quiet time. Sometimes as I’m reading, certain scriptures will jump out at me or I feel God sharing His heart over a matter. I will then stop, write the scripture out, or if it’s too long just write the reference. I then begin to journal what I feel God is speaking to me. I wrote a post on using the S.O.A.P Method for journaling if you want to read about it here. If you don’t have a journal or you’re like me and go through them quickly, Amazon has a cute pack of 5 Journals for cheap.
* Writing is a form of learning, even if you don’t like writing it will help you remember what you’ve read and keep your mind engaged.
4. I’ve also been using color coding to “annotate” if you will, in my Bible. This is something fairly new for me. I use to just underline or highlight with no rhyme or reason (and that is perfectly fine…there’s no wrong or right way). But, last year I decided to color code different things I read. For example, Blue highlighter is the character or an attribute of God. Underlining in Red would mean the salvation plan or prophecies about Jesus. If you missed the blog where I talk about this more in depth, you can read it here. I found that I really love these gel highlighters. They don’t bleed through and you get more colors than what you might find with typical highlighters.
5. If you like having a physical reminder to keep you on track, you can download this PDF of the John Bible Plan.
6. If you miss a day or two just keep going. It’s about steadiness and endurance, not perfection!
I hope this is helpful and encourages you to take the 21 day challenge to begin creating a Bible reading habit! 🙂
Matthew 4:1-10 Jesus used the Word against the devil.
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New Living Translation 2nd Edition,Tyndale House Publishers, inc, Carol Stream, Illinois