Quiet Time Tools for 2009
Some of you know I’ve been looking into preparing family worship for my family in 2009. It’s been a very interesting and fruitful research so far. I’d like to take a few moments to show you a few potential quiet time tools that I’ve found that might assist you in your own devotions for the upcoming year. This post will eventually become a page of its own as “Recommended Reading.” Look for it in the near future.
There are several excellent Bible reading plans that can be found quickly and easily on the internet. I have decided for my family worship that we will use the Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Bible reading plan (PDF in brochure format, click here for a full-page format). It is nicely set up with four readings per day so that you could have family devotions twice a day, presumably morning and evening, and then afterwards each family member could have at least a twice daily quiet time after these family worship times with the remaining two readings. If you use this, you will read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice within a year.
There are lots of Bibles out there geared towards daily readings through the year. I own a One-Year Bible, but I don’t like it too much — it’s NIV and I’ve never liked the NIV, and I just found the format too difficult to keep up with. Those of you who have an ESV Study Bible will have another excellent Bible reading plan in the back of the book. A trip to your local Christian bookseller will show you several options for through-the year Bibles.
I’m not a big fan of devotional books in general. I find them to be quite shallow, superficial things. That being said, there are some good resources for daily devotions to supplement your Bible reading. A couple I would recommend would be John Piper’s What Jesus Demands from the World and Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die. Both are set up so that you can read one chapter a day and meditate on the chapter. I would also suggest Piper’s A Godward Life. It comes in 2 volumes and can cover an entire year. I wish more people would write stuff like this instead of the garbage most stores offer.
This category is more robust. It is a daily reading intended to give depth to your Scriptural and devotional readings. First and foremost, I would point you to the Puritan Reading Challenge in the sidebar! This challenge is not confined to 2008 but can be done any time. Follow the monthly schedule of Puritan Paperbacks (which can be ordered from Banner of Truth) and read at least 10 pages per day after your Scripture and/or devotional readings. For most of the paperbacks, 7-10 pages per day, 20-30 minutes per day, will get you to read the entire book in a month. I can’t recommend this challenge enough. I may well do it again in 2009!
This year’s reading experience is related to the Calvin 500 celebration; that is, this coming year 2009 is the 500th birthday of the Reformer John Calvin. The boys at Reformation 21 are going to be blogging through Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and have provided a reading schedule which will allow you to read the entire 2-volume work in a year. It follows the same general format the Puritan challenge does — you will read at least 4 to 7 pages per day. I plan to do this challenge along with our Scripture reading.
I hope this post has helped you to spark some ideas for your family worship and personal devotions for 2009. I am still not finished looking around and planning. Praise God for the abundance of wealth He has provided for the growth of His people!
[Stephen’s Note: In the above picture (from The Writer’s Nook), we at The Silent Holocron do not endorse the methods of in-Bible highlighting and notetaking depicted. For those wanting to be shown a more excellent way, please read Jesus Saenz’ excellent article on what to use for writing in your Bible. You won’t regret it.]