Bible Reading Plan 2018
ENCOUNTERING JESUS FACE TO FACE
Over the summer our Sunday morning talks have given us the opportunity to enjoy hearing different people telling their stories about their relationship with Jesus - How God reached out to them and brought His power into their lives. Everyone’s story is different, but at the heart of every story, is Jesus’s intimate knowledge of each one of us — our deepest physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Our relationship with Jesus is what defines us as Christians. So this series is all about Jesus—who He is and what response He invites us to make to Him. And is an opportunity for each of us to allow God to develop His Story of Grace in our lives, through face-to-face encounters with Jesus.
This plan draws almost exclusively on readings from the Gospels. The plan is not created following any particular chronology of Jesus’s life—or particularly carefully constructed to follow themes—although inevitably some themes emerge. It is more intended as an opportunity to wander through the gallery of the gospels allowing us to stop and wonder at different portraits we come across
In effect we are standing alongside those people who met Jesus face-to-face in his earthly ministry. We can hear his words, see his reactions – and observe how those whom He met responded to him. Yet these readings are not meant to simply place us in the role of spectators—although as even as spectators we may well find ourselves ‘amazed’ at Jesus, just as many of those who met Him during His earthly ministry were. Our readings are not an academic study; they go further and call on us to be participants in the events: to be taught, challenged, rebuked, and encouraged by Jesus.
Above all, however they are invitations to deeper intimacy with God the Father through Jesus—whether that is the start of a relationship or a new stage in a long-standing relationship.
How to read these passages
In this plan we have focussed on shorter readings. These shorter readings may be good ones for meditating on– or trying to commit to memory. They are also meant to be provocative… what is God saying to you through these verses. So you may find it helpful to follow this simple 4-step approach to get the most out of our daily readings – PRAY
P-ray. Clear your mind of your busy-ness by contemplating God’s greatness, asking forgiveness for anything that’s spoiling your relationship with Him and then thanking Him for His wonderful love for you in Jesus. Then ask the Holy Spirit to speak through what you are about to read.
R-ead. Don’t be casual or rush through your reading – read according to a plan and meditate prayerfully as you go.
A-nalyze. Or think. Perhaps identify a key phrase that sticks for that day and jot it down where you’ll see it regularly.
Y-ou. Finally remember the Bible was given to transform us. So finish each session by asking God how He wants to change you through what you’ve read (journaling might be helpful here) and pray for His Spirit to empower you to make the change real S
To get you started we have included a simple reflection of prayer for each reading designed to provoke a thought or two. But that of course is only a start—Let God speak to you through His Holy Spirit and take you where He leads. As before we have included a small space for you to make notes as you go on what God says to you as you read these passages.
May God bless your reading richly.
Note. If these readings whet your appetite for me you might want to get a copy of “2 minutes in the Bible with Jesus by Boyd Bailey—which provided the inspiration for this plan
You can download the plan here