Family Devotion - Scripture Reading

Studying God's Word is the core of your family's daily devotional.  Knowing His Word leads to knowing His character and will.  This in turn properly motivates our prayers and songs.  You should focus on reading directly from the Bible using a good translation such as the NASB, ESV, or NKJV.  This forms the core of your reading, though you may want to add stories from children's Bible story books or read from a good paraphrase now and then.

Your family's reading should take you through all elements of the Bible over the weeks, months, and years that you spend together.  You can either read straight through the Bible, read chronologically, or read various sections of the Old or New Testament as they might apply to your family's current situation.  But over time, you should not be re-reading the same sections over and over while neglecting other parts that may seem less applicable or more difficult to understand.



How Much to Read

Bible in a Year (or 2) - Some families commit to read the Bible in a year, which requires a pace of about 4 chapters a day.  We choose to read about two chapters a day on average.  Sometimes we may read 5 Psalms in a day.  Other times, particularly in the New Testament, we may read only 1 chapter a day.  Even reading 2 chapters a day means there's not enough time for discussion of all the words.  However, if you read through the Bible in a year or two and continue the practice throughout your children's time at home, you will read the Bible together multiple times meaning each issue will eventually be raised in your family discussions.

"Saturation" Readings - The New Testament epistles are packed with such depth and wisdom that you can re-read portions several times to get a better sense of the meaning.  For example, start with Colossians and read the first 3 paragraphs of chapter 1.  The next day, re-read paragraphs 2 and 3 and read paragraph 4 and 5.  On day 3, re-read paragraphs 4 and 5, along with a couple 'new' paragraphs.  Keep reading through the entire book in this fashion.  You get the benefit of picking up the context from the previous day and the reinforcement that comes from multiple readings, plus the interest of a 'new' segment each day.

Chronological Bible Schedule

Our family has enjoyed following a chronological reading of the Bible over the last year.  This helps understand the Old Testament better.  We follow this for the Old Testament and now and then break from that sequence and read a New Testament book.  For example, after finishing Leviticus' explanation of the Law, we read Romans since it speaks in detail about the purpose of the Law and why it remains important even now.  Another idea is to read Galatians after reading the stories of Sarah and Hagar in Genesis, since Galatians explains the significance of these two women and how they illustrate the workings of God's plan.

Here's the chronological schedule we've followed.  I print this out and check off each section as we read it.  If we vary from the listed order due to special events or family interests, I then have a record of what we've read so we can be sure and cover the entire Bible eventually.  For your convenience, a copy of this schedule is attached.

Chronological Order of the Old Testament
Genesis 1 - 22
Job
Genesis 23 - 50
Exodus
Psalm 90
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Psalm 91
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
I Samuel 1 - 16:13
Psalm 23
I Samuel 16:14 - 19:11
Psalm 59
I Samuel 19:12 - 21:15
Psalms 34, 56
I Samuel 22:1, 2
Psalms 57, 142
I Samuel 22:3-23
Psalm 52
I Samuel 23
Psalms 54, 63
I Samuel 24 - 31
II Samuel 1 - 7
Psalm 30
II Samuel 8:1-14
Psalm 60
II Samuel 8:15 - 12:14
Psalms 51, 32
II Samuel 12:15 - 15:37
Psalms 3, 69
II Samuel 16 - 20
Psalms 64, 70
II Samuel 21, 22
Psalm 18
II Samuel 23, 24
Psalms 4 - 9, 11 - 17, 19 - 22, 24 - 29, 31, 35 - 41, 53, 55, 58, 61, 62,
Psalms 65, 68, 72, 86, 101, 103, 108 - 110, 138 - 141, 143 - 145
I Kings 1 - 4
Proverbs
Song of Solomon
I Kings 5 - 11
Ecclesiastes
I Kings 12 - 22
II Kings 1 - 14:25
Jonah
II Kings 14:26-29
Amos
II Kings 15 - 25
Psalms 1, 2, 10, 33, 43, 66, 67, 71, 89, 92 - 100,
Psalms 102, 104 - 106, 111 - 125, 127 - 136,  146 - 150
I Chronicles 1 - 16
Psalms 42, 44 - 50, 73 - 85, 87, 88
I Chronicles 17 - 29
II Chronicles 1 - 21
Obadiah
II Chronicles 22
Joel
II Chronicles 23 - 26:8
Isaiah 1 - 5
II Chronicles 26:9 - 23
Isaiah 6
II Chronicles 27 - 32
Isaiah 7 - 66
Hosea
Micah
Nahum
II Chronicles 33, 34
Zephaniah
II Chronicles 35
Habakkuk
Jeremiah
Lamentations
II Chronicles 36:1 - 8
Daniel
II Chronicles 36:9 - 21
Psalm 137
Ezekiel
II Chronicles 36:22, 23
Ezra 1 - 5:1
Haggai
Zechariah
Psalms 107, 126
Ezra 5:2 - 6:22
Esther
Ezra 7 - 10
Nehemiah
Malachi

Chronological Order of the New Testament
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Acts 1 - 14
James
Acts 15
Galatians
Acts 16
Philippians
Acts 17:1 - 10
I Thessalonians
II Thessalonians
Acts 17:11 - 18:11
I Corinthians
II Corinthians
Acts 18:12 - 20:1
Ephesians
Romans
Acts 10:2 - 28:30
Colossians
Hebrews
Titus
Philemon
I Timothy
II Timothy
I Peter
II Peter
I John
II John
III John
Jude
The Revelation

Austin Bible Church provides a slightly different chronological schedule in a one-year daily reading plan.

Back to the Bible provides this helpful online chronological reading guide.

You may also want to try this plan that arranges the Old Testament chronology into 2 tracks.

Another idea is to use a Bible arranged chronologically, such as the following.  We have not used this resource but mention it as another option.

Thanks for stopping in!

Hello Mark,

Thanks for stopping in at our blog. After Ruthie left a comment about you on our blog, I checked out your amazing site here and added you to our favorites list. I appreciated the chronological and two-track lists you pointed me to and plan to use the chronological list with the family as soon as I am finished with my current read. I have also added you to our blog roll at chapmankids.net blog and plan to visit regularly.

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