For the last four years, maybe more, I forget, Marcy and I have been reading through the Bible together each year. We had installed OliveTree Bible Reader on our cellphones which had a reading program. I learned that it helps me to check boxes so that’s what I did. When the next year came around Marcy suggested unchecking the same boxes and that worked as well. The phones were Windows Mobile phones and were soon outdated. They kind of gave out as cell phones are wont to do. The great thing about this reading program was that you could start on any day of the year. Sometimes we miss a day or two but always manage to catch up. The trick is not to always be reading to study. Read it to enjoy the most wonderful and influential ancient text in the history of mankind, the Holy Bible.
Next time around we tried Android phones which were great. We got hooked on the Android operating system and bought Android tablets. We use both the phones and the tablets all the time. Fortunately, OliveTree has a program for Android. Unfortunately it didn’t have the same Bible reading plan; at least we couldn’t find it. When we finally did find it you could not start on any day of the year, you had to start at the beginning. We didn’t want to do that as we were half way thorugh the year already.
I wanted to share the reading program with my Mexican friends so I went through the whole list, wrote down the passages and made up an Excel file with the reading program in Spanish. Eventually I even managed to convert it to a pdf file as a form with check blocks that can be saved and used again and again. In the process I discovered that this reading plan dates from the 19th century and was designed by a well-known Scottish Reformed pastor, Robert Murray M’Cheyne. From the OliveTree version comes this explanation:
This unique reading schedule created by Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, a 19th Century Scottish minister, guides readers through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year, and through the rest of the Bible once each year. IN M’Cheyne’s reading schedule, four readings are offered each day. M’Cheyne considered the first two readings of the day to be «Family» readings, to be read aloud in family devotions, while the final two readings were labeled «Secret» or «Private» readings, intended to be read and meditated as part of one’s personal devotions.
We didn’t know it but had been reading through the New Testament and the Psalms twice a year plus the rest of the Old Testament once a year. I think I’ve learned as much about the Bible in the last few years just reading it as I did in seminary and for a lot less money! If you are not reading the Bible through at least once a year, may I suggest you try this? I guarantee you will not be disappointed, even when you have to read what seem to be interminable genealogies.
You can read a biography of M’Cheyne for free on your Kindle from Amazon.com. Find it here: The Biography of Robert Murray M’Cheyne by his close friend Andrew A. Bonar. What struck me about the biography was the following quote from the introduction:
“The Great Head had a purpose of blessing for the Church of Scotland. Eminent men of God appeared to plead the cause of Christ. The Cross was lifted up boldly in the midst of Church Courts which had long been ashamed of the gospel of Christ. More spirituality and deeper seriousness began a few years onward to prevail among the youth of our divinity halls. In the midst of such events, whereby the Lord was secretly preparing a rich blessing for souls in all our Borders, the subject of this Memoir was born.”
Two things caught my attention in this quote. First, that God had a purpose of blessing for the Church of Scotland, that is a purpose to make the church a blessing to the nation, “a rich blessing for souls in all our Borders.” Second, that it was a youth movement. Can we not pray for such a blessing for our homeland as well as for all the nations of the earth? This is God’s purpose in history and the purpose of this webpage, to glorify God and bless Mexico by building the intellectual foundations for the future Christian civilization in Mexico. Have we given up on this possibility for the United States? I hope not. Christ controls history and He will not be stopped.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne was born on May 21st, 1813 and died on 25 March 1843, a mere 29 years. He died during an epidemic of typhus. The book was first published in 1844. The English is typical of that age, a little romantic for our cold and crude ears. I figure reading it might civilize and gentle us a bit in an age of cynicism. It was reprinted in 116 English editions within 25 years and it was thought that by 1910 there were half a million copies in circulation including versions in other languages. The story has been influential in the lives of many Christians over the years including Charles Spurgeon, John Stott, Luis Palau, and John Piper.
You can get a copy of the reading plan in English for your Kindle Reader here M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan for $2.99. Or you can download the pdf I made here for free. It is in Spanish but you can probably make out the names of the books. Download it Here
May God richly bless you through the reading of His Word.
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