Daily Bible reading: a confession

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:


I want to second this. I’m following M’Cheyne since 2001 with a pause of one or two year when I tried something different - that didn’t work so well.

I’m also tired of what I’m reading, most stuff from the last 30 years is just crap. Unoriginal, flamboyant, dumbed-down. But the Word is so fresh recently, accurately describing the hearts of men.

Mornings are best, with a standard routine, before you read anything on your smartphone. Yes it’s a little bit harder with kids, but that just means you need to get up earlier :wink: If you have very small kids and the nights are difficult, just read whatever/whenever you can and don’t worry, He will make it up.


This is helpful and encouraging. Thanks Tim.

Reading at the table or right after dinner has revolutionized our family worship times and made us both more consistent and more focused. It’s easy to forget/miss if we have an “unconventional” evening.

I’m hoping to become more consistent and disciplined in my personal reading this year so this post is a needed boost.


Thanks Tim for a sweet post.

I’m embarrassed to say I had never read through the entire Bible until I was in my late 20s. I’ve now read through it a few times. I don’t use a system. I start at Genesis and plow ahead. Like you, I have not been able to stick to regular daily reading. So it’s irregular. I’ve never read the Bible in one year flat.

I used to dread reading the prophets. For one, it was literature I had least experience in. I had read the books of Moses several times, and the history books, and the Psalms, but the prophets, especially Ezekiel, were less familiar and intimidating. Then there’s this legacy of fighting about eschatology/prophecy among evangelicals which I remember and want to distance myself from as much as possible. The prophets just bring all that up, and so I never looked forward to getting to that section of the Bible. This year, that changed. The third or fourth time reading through the prophets, I actually began to get a feel for them and can now follow better what they’re saying. It’s not all voodoo.

It’s not that I’ve become smarter or wiser. It’s just reading them over and over and getting familiar with Scripture.

Once again, I’m embarrassed to say how little I’ve really studied Scripture or memorized basic facts about biblical history. The only reason I’ve started doing so now is that during family devotions we have to sing songs with our little children and we’ve gravitated toward Jamie Soles. Thanks to Jamie Soles I’ve memorized the kings of Judah and gotten a feel for that period. So when a king’s name comes up in a prophetic book, I can situate the book in its context and figure things out.

All this to say, whether you are slow or fast, bright or not bright, if you just keep reading the Bible, little things will begin to become clear, even in those books that seem least clear, like the prophets. Perseverance yields understanding.


I’ve also gone back and forth with being in and out of the habit of daily Bible reading over the years.

This also demonstrates the benefit of memorizing things.

Along the same lines, reading a chronological plan a few years ago helped me place the prophets historically, which was one of my goals.

Which leads me to… we decided our church would have a reading plan this coming year. (And we decided on a chronological plan.) It is my hope that we will be a help to each other doing the reading. Also, we look forward to all being able to talk to each other about what we’ve been reading. We told people that if they got behind to just start back up with that days reading. This is less about reading the whole Bible in exactly a year, and more about getting in the habit, helping each other, benefitting in our times of fellowship, and so forth. One thing I pointed out was that throughout history much of the Bible reading Christians did would have been during public Scripture reading. So a whole church would have read/heard the same thing that week. I’m really looking forward to it.

As usual, @acmcneilly did an excellent job handling all of the details, like picking a plan, making online and printed copies available, etc., and I think it might have been his idea in the first place.


I used to read canonically (Genesis → Revelation), and it probably took me a good 3-4 trips through the Bible to have enough of an understanding of the sweep of OT history to really make sense of a lot of the prophets. I probably would have understood a lot more if I’d done a chronological plan a couple of times. Having some reference material, either memorized like Ben suggested or just available in printed form, probably could have shortcut a lot of that also.

We read through the Bible in a year as a family, and I try to make sure that young ones get a trip or two through chronologically first for that reason. This upcoming year we will do M’Cheyne’s because nine whole months is an awfully long time to go with no New Testament.


I really like M’Cheyne’s also, for the variety. I almost finished it twice.

The chronological order we’re using is more then merely ordering the books, it’s ordering the events and writings. John and Psalms appear on Jan 2nd. Otherwise, no N.T. in the plan until October. The Psalms continue to appear until November, and I’m really looking forward to them intermingling with Kings, Chronicles, and Samuel.

I will need the help of brothers to get through the long stretches. I’m looking forward to it.


I have been reading through the Bible yearly for the past 5ish years, thanks almost entirely to the labor and encouragement of @acmcneilly in our college ministry. It doesn’t surprise me to hear of his good work and encouragement toward that same end in Cincy.


Our church started a church wide reading plan last year along with the women setting up texting groups with one another to stay accountable. It was by far the best I have ever done with my reading plan. I think by the end of the year I had missed 30 days. This year, our church is also doing the chronological plan, and we started at the beginning of the school year in September. It’s been so good! Very thankful for the community and accountability