2 months or less. Really and truly!
1. Purchase an inexpensive large print Bible.
- You will only be using this Bible for a couple of months to a year, so it doesn't need to be high quality.
- Keep an eye out at yard sales, thrift stores, and bookstore clearance sales and purchase large print Bibles in advance.
3. Choose a broad topic.
- Women is a great Bible-wide topic with immediate importance.
- Food, money, music or another area of our physical existence you want to learn more about.
- Grace, holiness, mercy, or other Bible-wide themes
- I'm doing a "why" Bible this year (2014). I highlight in green every portion of Scripture that tells why God did something or why he gave a particular command. It's a powerful study that reveals the character of God in a new way. I'm also encouraging myself to consider and meditate on why God included the portion I read each day in His Word.
- I'm partial to Professor Horner's reading plan, but it requires a commitment of about an hour a day. I'm an ornery rig, so I need to be in the Word several times a day to keep an eternal focus. This plan is ideal for me.
- The Slacker's Bible reading plan is another awesome choice for a 20-30 minute commitment. It is based on reading a portion from each section of the Bible on a different day. It isn't intended to be completed in a year -- you just pick away on the part of the Bible for that day until you've read the whole thing.
- Sunday: The books of poetry
Monday: The Pentateuch
Tuesday: O.T. history
Wednesday: O.T. history (There is a lot of it.)
Thursday: O.T. prophets
Friday: N.T. history
Saturday: N.T. epistles
- Highlight any direct mentions of your theme. For our example, we'll use mercy/merciful.
- Mark stories (vertical line down the margin) that demonstrate either the positive or negative aspect of your theme. How did God show Adam and Eve mercy? Mark the verses that demonstrate God's mercy even though the word "mercy" doesn't appear. When did God not show mercy and why? Mark it!
- If you have a meditation you don't want to forget, jot it in the margins. *God may choose to show mercy to my children and descendants because of my relationship with Him.
- When you reach a verse or story that deals with an area that you KNOW you'll want to come back to again and again, put an asterisk in the upper corner of the page where you can just flip through and find it.
- If you are using the Prof. Horner or Slacker's and Shirker's plan, you'll want to put in cross references as one part of the Bible illuminates another part you've just read.
- When you are all done, affix a label to the spine that indicates that Bible's theme and place it on your bookcase. Take it out and refresh your mind on that topic occasionally by reading just the highlighted portions.
- If you want to go all R. A. Torrey on this study, you'll need to open a file on your computer or grab a journal and write down what you're learning in an organized fashion. At the end of the study, write up a summary. This extra step would be ideal, but just the focused reading, highlighting, and review can be very powerful.