Most Christians — and I’d certainly hope most Lutherans — know that reading the Bible is important. After all, the Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to create and strengthen saving faith: Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. (Rom. 10:17) The Lutheran Confessions do not say that the Lutheran Confessions themselves are the main source of teaching we need to have, but rather,
1. We believe, teach, and confess that the only rule and norm according to which all teachings, together with ‹all› teachers, should be evaluated and judged [2 Timothy 3:15–17] are the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testament alone. For it is written in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” St. Paul has written, “even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
FC:Ep: Art. 0, par. 1 Concordia : The Lutheran Confessions. 2005 (473). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.
So, yeah, the Bible is important. Reading it — regularly and even daily — is important. The problem is that our sinful, lazy selves have a hard time doing that. We find reasons not to read. We get bored quickly. We let the busy-ness of our everyday lives get in the way.
To help myself with these problems, I’ve found it’s important to come up with a plan of attack when it comes to reading the Bible. Right now, I’m using a Bible reading plan that’s pretty aggressive; it goes through the whole Bible in a year, and the most important books twice. (If you want to check out an older version of this plan, download it here. I think this plan originated with Prof. Brug at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.)
For those who might want shorter readings, there are other options. The WELS website has a nice plan set up to get through the entire Bible in 3 years. The site is http://www.wels.net/spiritual-help/through-my-bible . Every day the site is updated with the current reading to get through the Bible in 3 years. If you don’t get to it and want to see past readings, you can find them in the archive link on that same page. You can even download a file with the entire 3-year schedule of readings if you’d rather.
Another option for the internet-minded person is through a new blog I just found by WELS Pastor Ben Kratz. Check it out at http://lutherswhatdoesthismean.wordpress.com. Basically, he’s using a 2-year through-the-Bible reading schedule. He then puts up reading thoughts and devotions to go with each day. Some might find something like this helpful.
There are lots of other reading options out there, too, such as the Treasury of Daily Prayer, which I have also used at different times. Do you use a certain Bible reading plan or have one to recommend? Share it in the comments!