Read Through the Bible in Two Years

For the last several years, I have done a Read Through the Bible in One Year plan. I like plans like this that include a reading from the Old Testament and New Testament, plus a Psalm and Proverb. I think it’s important to read the entire Bible, every word of it, and I’m glad that I’ve done that.

But, I’ve found that the whole Bible in one year is a lot to absorb and it doesn’t give me much time to reflect and meditate on what I’ve read, so this year I decided I wanted to do a “Read Through the Bible in Two Years” plan. Simple enough, right? Nope.

So, I made my own and I’d love to have you join me.

The plan is set up to read through each book of the Bible from beginning to end, alternating between Old Testament and New Testament books. I tried to keep the Old Testament books in chronological order. For example, Job is read after Genesis and before Exodus. I also intentionally placed New Testament books with related Old Testament books to help us see the connections in the text. For example, Hebrews is read between Leviticus and Numbers. I love to read one chapter of Luke every day from December 1-24, so each year ends with reading the book of Luke.

You’ll also notice that the Bible reading plan is set up week by week rather than day by day. One week you will devote every day to the four chapters of Philippians. In this weekly format, you could read the whole book on the first day of the week, then reread little parts the other six days … or you could read half of each chapter every day. You decide. Another week you’re assigned to read fourteen chapters of Leviticus – you might read several chapters one day and just one chapter another. Having a week by week format allows you this flexibility, but still keeps you on target.

One more thing, Psalms and Proverbs are not included in this reading plan. This, too, is intentional. I suggest that you use three sticky notes. Place one sticky note wherever you are in the Two-Year-Bible-Reading-Plan, then place one in Psalms and one in Proverbs. Begin each day with a passage of Psalms, then a few verses in Proverbs, and end with your daily reading. Each day move your sticky notes as needed, so you’re ready for the next day.

I’m going to start Week 1 on Sunday, January 1, 2023. Who wants to join me?

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You’re welcome to share this reading plan, but please include my reference info, and don’t charge for it.

A Discharge of Blood: Leviticus 15 meets Luke 8

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 15

Yesterday I wrote about the Levitical laws about leprosy and Jesus healing the leper… Now we come to Leviticus 15, the Levitical laws about bodily discharges and menstruation and other discharges of blood. Ugh.

I’ve never been a leper, but I’ve had plenty of times of menstruation over the past thirty-plus years!

First I was reminded of Genesis 31:34-35 which takes on a whole new depth of meaning in light of these laws – which hadn’t yet been given, in writing at least. “Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel’s saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household gods.”

But then I was reminded of the woman who had suffered with a discharge of blood for twelve years. You can read her story in Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.

Luke 8:43-47 ESV

How lonely she must have been. How desperate for healing. Twelve years is a long, long time. And how terrified she must’ve been that she might get in big trouble for touching the rabbi.

Yet, Jesus was not angry with her for touching Him. Rather He spoke these tender words to her,

“Daughter, your faith
has made you well; go in peace.”

Luke 8:47

Are we tender like that with those who need healing – or do we join in ostracizing them and putting them outside the camp?

Do we go to Jesus and grab hold of the fringe of His garment when we need healing ourselves?

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, there are men and women in our midst who need healing. Help us to see their need and respond tenderly to them. Help us to introduce them to Jesus, the only one who can heal them. Father, we all need healing in various areas of our life – healing from bitterness, healing from emotional pain, healing from physical ailments. We come to You, the Great Physician, and lay all of our needs at Your feet. Help us to reach out to You and cling tightly to You. It is in the Almighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Touch the Hem – Sam Cooke

He Touched Me

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 11-14

Last Sunday morning, as I was sitting in our church women’s Sunday school class, I was overwhelmed by the deep sense of love and community that I felt from the women gathered there. Earlier that week I had been told that I had a stress fracture in my right foot, and I’d have to use a boot for several weeks until it healed. The women gathered there were all asking about me and listening intently to what I had to say. I found genuinely seen and heard and cared for.

It’s hard to explain, but it’s something I had never experienced before being a part of the body of Christ. These women loved me for just exactly who I was – not some fake, cleaned-up version of myself … but me.

Reading about the Levitical laws for those afflicted with leprosy broke my heart. Listen to these verses and imagine how that must have felt,

“The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.”

Leviticus 13:45-46 ESV

And now imagine this scene between a leprous man and Jesus.

When [Jesus] came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”

And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:1-3 ESV

He touched him. He could’ve just said the word. He could’ve told him to go wash himself far away in the river … or go roll around in the dust outside the camp … But, no, Jesus touched him. Intentionally.

Jesus didn’t have to worry about becoming unclean. The leprous man’s disease couldn’t contaminate Him – and neither can yours.

Jesus came close to me. He touched me and cleansed me and made me whole. Has He done that for you? He can.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your loving touch and care for me. Thank You for bringing me in from outside the camp, for welcoming me in while I was a stranger, lonely and alone. Thank You for making me a member of Your body, filling me with purpose and meaning and hope for a brighter tomorrow. I pray for the many people in our world who are still living their lives outside the camp. Alone. Please send Christians into their lives to welcome them in and to share the hope of the gospel with them. In the name of Jesus – the Ultimate Welcomer – I pray. Amen.

He Touched Me – Gaither Vocal Band

Drink No Wine?

Read through the Bible: Leviticus 10

This chapter begins with the death of Aaron’s two oldest sons who foolishly burn “unauthorized” incense to the Lord. Then the Lord tells Aaron,

“Drink no wine or strong drink,
you or your sons with you,
when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.”

Leviticus 10:9 ESV

Do you think there’s a connection between alcohol and Aaron’s sons making this foolish choice? I’m not sure, but it sure seems like a reasonable guess.

In fact, just yesterday I was preparing to teach a study on 1 Timothy 3, so I was reading Chuck Smith’s commentary on 1 Timothy 3:8, “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine…”

Read this very interesting, and timely, excerpt:

“We have a very interesting case in the Old Testament when God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle and He gave him specific instructions as to the materials and the dimensions and the sizes, the whole thing. He gave him his careful instructions in building. Once they had built the tabernacle, had set it up, had set up the altar and the whole framework for the sacrifices, the time came to inaugurate now the temple or the tabernacle worship of God. And so the altar was built, the sacrifice was placed upon it and fire came from heaven and sort of lit the fire of the altar. A supernatural manifestation of God. The presence of God came down, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. The priest, because of the glory of the Lord, sort of swooned, they weren’t able to stand up.

And in the midst of this moving of God among the people, a couple of Aaron’s sons got excited. And they had little bowls with incense that they were to offer before the Lord and they went in to offer this incense in the excitement of the moment and the fire came from the altar of God and consumed them. And later, God commanded Moses to speak unto Aaron that when they were doing the service to God, they weren’t to drink wine. Made very specific commandments. The intimation is that the two sons of Aaron perhaps had been drinking a little wine and had lost their sense of good judgment. And that is why they were consumed by the fire of God when they sought to offer strange fire before the Lord.”

Chuck Smith – Commentary on 1 Timothy 3-4

And what about Ephesians 5:15-18 ESV? “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,”

I’ll close today’s lesson with Chuck Smith’s own prayer from his 1 Timothy 3-4 lesson –

Father, as Your Holy Spirit has again tonight caused us to look in the mirror, to see the truth, to face the reality of what we are, help us, Lord, not to be so foolish as to just go away and forget what we saw. But Lord, I pray tonight that there might be within our heart that renewed commitment to the things of the Lord. Things of the Spirit. Lord, we know that we are in the last days. Many have departed from the faith. Have been caught up with these seducing spirits, following after the flesh, turning away from the things of God. Being drawn into the things of the world. God, help us in these days to be like You. God, give to us a renewed experience in the Spirit that we might walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit and be led of the Spirit. A new sense, Lord, of spiritual values. The examination of our priorities, our energies going into those things that are going to fail and those things that are going to crumble and those things that are going to be reduced to ashes while we neglect the eternal. Physically fit but spiritually bankrupt. God, may that not be our case. Renew our hearts in the things of the Spirit, our walk and life with Thee. In Jesus’ name, Father, Amen.

The Only Sinless Priest

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 9

“So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.”

Leviticus 9:8 ESV

Just think – even Aaron, the man chosen by God to be the first high priest, must make an offering for himself. Even he, himself, has sin which must be atoned for. And so do you and I.

But Jesus …

“He has no need, like those high priests,
to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins
and then for those of the people, since he did this
once for all when he offered up himself.”

Hebrews 7:27 ESV

Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Jesus Christ, the only high priest without sin, the only God-man, Your only begotten Son, to come to earth and to die a sinner’s death in my place. He is the only worthy one. His death and resurrection have freed me from my slavery to sin and the penalty of sin: death. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. I am forever grateful for Your sacrifice. In the Name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Amen.

“Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson – Performed by Highrock Church

Unity in the Body of Christ

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 8

At the consecration of Aaron and his sons, the Lord tells Moses to assemble all the congregation at the entrance of the tent of meeting, so they can see this blessed event.

Moses washes Aaron and his sons with water and dresses them in their sacred robes and ephods and turbans. Moses pours anointing oil onto their heads as well as on the tabernacle and the altar and its utensils.

And he poured some of
the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him.

Leviticus 8:12 ESV

This passage reminded of Psalm 133.

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Psalm 133:1-3 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father, what a beautiful gift it is to dwell in unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray for unity within my local body of believers as well as unity of purpose in the global body of Your church. I pray that our unity would dwell within Your truth and holiness. Make us Your priests, anointing and washing others in the water of the Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. By the grace of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

There is One Gospel by City Alight

Keeping the Fire Burning

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 5:14-7:38

“The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it;
it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.
Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually;
it shall not go out.”

Leviticus 6:12-13

The Lord is faithful. Day after day. Night after night. Morning after morning.

He pours out His blessings upon me. He fills my lungs with breath. He causes the earth to continue to spin and the birds to continue to sing. Where would I be without Him?

I need Him every hour. In the highs and lows, on the mountain tops and in the valleys, in the darkness of nights and on the brightest of mornings, His praise will ever be on my lips.

Pray with me.

Heavenly Father, Let me not let the embers of faith grow cold in my heart. Help me to fan them into flame. Help me to abide in You and let Your Word abide in me. Let me not forget that I need You every hour and every day. Let my love for You not grow cold. Remind me of the love I had at first – the passion and hunger and deep gratitude that I felt when I first met my Savior. Make me a bright, burning fire, pointing the world to You. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Sins of Ignorance

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Levititus 4:1-5:13

The Lord here provides specific directions for how to atone for unintentional sins, sins of ignorance.

This reminded me of so many other passages, like Paul’s beautiful testimony from 1 Timothy 1:12-16

“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.”

Listen to Jesus’s words when He was being crucified,

“Father, forgive them,
for they know not what they do.”

Luke 23:34

But what about when you continue willfully in sin? How about those who have heard the gospel again and again and yet they choose to turn their back on God?

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Hebrews 10:26-31

Rather than questioning what God will do with those who have never heard the gospel, we ought to ask ourselves these two questions:

  • Am I prepared to meet God?
  • Have I been faithful to share the good news with the people that I know?”

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, I, for one, am not ignorant. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Even when I was darkness, running away from You, You had written Your law on my heart. I knew that it was wrong to lie. I knew that it was wrong to say hateful things about other people. I knew that it was wrong to slander and gossip. I knew it, but I did it anyway. Thank You for saving me while I was yet a sinner. Thank You for sending Jesus to die in my place, to be the sacrificial lamb who died outside the camp, who bore my sin and shame. Now let me take this knowledge and share it with others, so that they will not meet You in ignorance. I pray also for those who have heard the truth and have willfully rejected it, who are intentionally running away from You today. Please, Lord, save them! Draw them to Yourself. Send Your Word, Your angels, and Your children into their path. May Your courts be filled with people from every tribe and tongue from around the globe. In the Name of Jesus Christ, the only Name that saves, Amen.

The Priest and the Offering

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 1-3

In these chapters, I see again and again the role of the priest in all of these detailed offerings. A person cannot make these offerings themselves. They must go to the priest who will sacrifice the animal and throw its blood on the altar and burn it. They can’t do it themselves. They have to go to the priest.

Some churches have taken this to mean that people must now continue going to a priest, that they cannot go directly to God, but that is in absolute contradiction to the Scriptures.

For there is one God and there is one mediator between god and man,
the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

Jesus Christ Himself is our great and perfect priest. He is both the priest and the offering. We can – and we must – go directly to Him.

Let’s pray!

Heavenly Father, Thank You for sending Jesus to earth to be our perfect High Priest, our Mediator and our Lamb without blemish. May we confess our sins directly to Him, the only priest able to forgive us completely. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Perfect timing

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 40

“On the first day of the first month
you shall erect the tabernacle
of the tent of meeting.”

Exodus 40:2 ESV

One year earlier, God had established a new calendar for the Israelites, establishing the month of their Exodus to mark the first month of every year. Every year as they shout HAPPY NEW YEAR, they will remember when God delivered them out of their slavery in Egypt.

One year later, on the first day of the first month, the Israelites are now commanded to erect the tabernacle.

Coincidence? Not at all. God is a God of intentional timing. God has a plan and purpose in His foreordained timing. He is a “that very day” God. You can trust Him in the waiting.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your perfect timing. You are never late. You are always right on time. Please grow our faith as we wait upon You. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen

Well done, Good and Faithful Servant: Exodus 39 meets Matthew 25

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 38-39

“According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work.
And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”

Exodus 39:42-43 ESV

So the people have painstakingly carried out all the details of what the Lord had commanded through His servant, Moses. And when Moses saw their good work, he blessed them.

This reminds me of the parable of the talents that we read last month in Matthew 25. Both servants who invested well their talents – whether they had received two or five – were praised by their master with the very same words.

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little;
I will set you over much.
Enter into the joy of your master.’

Matthew 25:23 ESV

Heavenly Father, help us to serve You with a cheerful, willing, eager heart. Strengthen us to give back to You out of the abundance that You have lavished on us. Help us, also, to be encouragers, to speak honest words of praise and blessing to those we meet – whether our children or our husband, or the cashier at the grocery store, make us quick to give honor where honor is due. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.