Nathan A. Finn

Historian, Theologian, Teacher, Preacher



December 2010



My Devotional Plans for 2011

Written by , Posted in Books, Ministry

Several of my friends are blogging about their Bible reading plans for 2011. I think this is a very edifying use of a blog, so I’ve decided to do the same. I hope you find it helpful. Here are my plans:

  • Unlike many of my friends, I don’t read the Bible through every year. This is mostly attributed to my tendencies toward ADD–I have to mix up my reading strategy year-by-year to keep from going insane. But I’ve decided that I want to read the whole Bible again in 2011. In the past, I’ve read through the Bible using the NASB and ESV. In 2011, I’ll read through the HCSB, specifically the Holman Christian Standard Study Bible, which I highly recommend.
  • I’ve used several Bible-reading plans in the past, including The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan, the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan, and a “canonical plan” I developed for Between the Times back in 2008. This year, I’ll be working through the plan developed by Treasuring Christ Church in Raleigh, which is very similar to my own aforementioned plan (TCC calls their plan “compositional” rather than “canonical”).
  • The elders at the First Baptist Church of Durham are encouraging all members to pray through our church membership role each month. I hope to do this. They’ve made available a small directory that can easily be prayed through page-by-page during the course of the month, with a handful of “catch-up” days built in so that you aren’t totally thrown off if you miss a day or two.
  • I’m taking up my friend Tim Brister’s challenge to memorize the book of Philippians before Easter Sunday 2010. Leah and I have ordered our moleskins, downloaded Tim’s guide, and are ready to go. I’ll be encouraging my Bible for Life class at FBC Durham to do the same thing. I hope this challenge will help encourage me on those mornings when infant-induced semi-sleepless nights tempt me to stay in bed rather than get up and meet with the Lord through the Scriptures and prayer.
  • I also though of a new discipline to try and cultivate this year. Like many Baptist churches, FBC Durham has a church covenant. Unlike many Baptist churches, the covenant actually means something. All prospective members must affirm the church covenant as a condition of church membership. The covenant guides us as we walk together, especially when it becomes regrettably necessary to exercise church discipline against an incorrigibly sinful member. I have printed out a small copy of our covenant that I keep in the same place I keep my Bible reading plan. I hope to spend the week prior to our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper praying through the covenant and using it as an aid in “examining myself” before participating in communion (see 1 Cor. 11:17-34).

This is how I hope to spend my devotional time this year. Lord willing, I’ll also be able to work through three or four devotionally helpful books; I find such books particularly helpful Lord’s Day reading. First up will be finishing Jerry Bridges’ Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate. Then I hope to work through Don Carson’s The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story.