North Georgia Bishop Mike Watson is urging United Methodists to read through the entire Bible in 2009.
Every Christian should read the entire Bible. If you have never done so, now is the time to begin — and here is a plan to help you. This guide (PDF) is designed to keep your place as you read through the Bible.
By keeping this guide with your Bible and checking off each day’s reading as you complete it, you will be able to follow a schedule that will enable you to read all the way through the Bible in one year. You can do it by reading approximately 15 minutes a day.
God continues to speak through the Bible. Daily Bible reading offers strength, direction and empowerment to live within God’s will. I hope you will join in this opportunity for spiritual growth.
Bishop Watson also recommends the daily devotional book, A Wesleyan Spiritual Reader, edited by Bishop Reuben P. Job (Abingdon, 1998).
Not only is it a wonderful devotional resource, but also it provides contemporary Christians with an opportunity to reflect upon the wisdom and insight of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement.
In a 1782 letter to John Trembath, Wesley wrote:
O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercise. You may acquire the taste for which you have not: What is tedious at first will afterwards be pleasant.
Whether you like it or no, read and pray daily. It is for your life: there is no other way….
Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow.
I believe John Wesley’s insight can assist us as we examine the condition of our souls and put our faith into practice in today’s world.
Join with me in a daily time of devotion. Do it for your soul — and to strengthen your ministry in God’s world.
You can preview A Wesleyan Spiritual Reader here, courtesy of Amazon. (If you want to get the book right away, you can buy it as a downloadable Adobe eBook from Cokesbury — readable with the free Acrobat Reader.)
Bishop Job, editor of A Wesleyan Spiritual Reader, is also the author of Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living. Abingdon has released a 2009 Daily Planner based on that book (a PDF sample is here). The planner may further help you maintain spiritual disciplines in the new year.
Another option for Wesleyan-themed daily devotions is Renew My Heart: Daily Wisdom from the Writings of John Wesley (Barbour, 2002).
This low-priced paperback, out of print but easily available, features excepts (with wording updated slightly for modern readers) from Mr. Wesley’s sermons and his Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament.
A good tool for keeping track of your consistency in maintaining a daily devotional time is this single-page Quiet Times Calendar (PDF).