Sundays @ 10:00am at Dexter McCarty Middle School

GBC Bible Reading Plan Feb 18-24

GBC Blog (17)

Week 7, February 18-24: Lev 18-27; Mark 1-9; Ps 7-12

  • Sun Feb 18: Lev 18–20
  • Mon Feb 19: Lev 21–22; Ps 7
  • Tue Feb 20: Lev 23–25; Ps 8
  • Wed Feb 21: Lev 26–27; Ps 9
  • Thu Feb 22: Mark 1–3; Ps 10
  • Fri Feb 23: Mark 4–6; Ps 11
  • Sat Feb 24: Mark 7–9; Ps 12

This weekly reading set includes parts of three different biblical books. We will finish Leviticus then move back to the NT and start reading the Gospel of Mark. Last week we also started including psalms with the other reading for the day, and that continues this week as well.

As you finish reading Leviticus, notice how the theme of holiness continues right up to the end of the book. Also notice how, in chapter 26, the Lord looks ahead into Israel’s future and tells them what will happen if they are faithful to him and if they keep his commandments, and what will happen if do not listen to him and obey his commandments. Like Deuteronomy 28, which addresses the next generation of Israelites with similar prophetic predictions, this chapter gives a preview of the rest of the OT. All the consequences for sin outlined here end up coming true, including the exile, the scattering of Israel and Judah among the nations (Lev 26:33). But there is also a glimmer of hope in this chapter. If they confess their sin and turn humbly back to the Lord, he will remember their forefathers. He will remain faithful to his covenant promises (26:40–44).


Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. It is also the most action packed and fast moving. In all four of the Gospels, the crux of the narrative is Jesus’ death on the cross. In Mark, the plot moves more quickly than in the other Gospels. You’ll probably notice the word “immediately” occurring often throughout Mark, giving the sense that Jesus is moving with a sense of urgency from one miraculous act to another on his way to the cross. While Mark shares a lot of similarities with Matthew (and Luke too), there are some differences too. (John’s Gospel tells the same basic story, but in the most distinctive way.) It is important to remember that these differences matter. Each of the Gospel presentations stands on its own, with different emphases. Inspired Scripture could have included just one account of these events, but in God’s wisdom he chose to include four different versions of the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

Mark highlights Jesus’ deeds more than his words. Several of Jesus’ long speeches or sermons that are included in Matthew are missing from Mark. Mark also highlights the mystery of Jesus’ identity. Those who should have understood who he was, don’t get it, at least at first. Instead it is often the ones we might least expect who understand that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son. Mark 8:27–30 is a key passage in the book. There, Peter, who represents the disciples, finally gets it, at least partially. In reply to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter says, “You are the Christ (the Messiah).” Unfortunately, right after this he will show he still misses the point when he rebukes Jesus for saying he will soon die. As you read through these accounts of Jesus’ life, try to just take in the story, let it captivate your mind, and let the wonder of who Christ is stir your heart to worship him.


The reading plan also has us reading in the Psalms. The book of Psalms, sometimes called the Psalter, is broken into five parts, or five books. We’ll read through the first book, which goes through Psalm 41, then break from Psalms for a few weeks before coming back to book two, and so on. This way the Psalms will be spread throughout the year. The reading in Psalms is incorporated within the regular OT and NT reading because the individual psalms function a bit more independently than other chapters in Scripture. They all appear to have been written in different settings and they address different circumstances. That being said, they should not be read in total separation from their context within the Psalter. In fact, many recent commentaries and studies in Psalms highlight the coherence of the Psalter and its parts, showing that the individual psalms have been put together strategically with an overall design. As you read Psalms, notice details linking the psalms to each other, or themes that flow from one to the next.


Earlier in these write-ups we were considering two purposes for doing a read thru. First, we read through the Bible in order to meet with God regularly and hear what he has to say. And second, we do it to cultivate a lifelong habit of growing in familiarity with God’s word. There’s more we could say about both points, but let’s just touch on one more aspect of the second point for now. 

When we read through the Bible in a year, we probably won’t have time to dig deeply into every question that might come up. The nature of this kind of reading doesn’t lend itself to lingering for a long time over every verse, meditating on what is being said and studying it in depth. We will probably end up with more questions than answers. And that’s ok! There is certainly a place for studying the Bible (our men’s and women’s Bible studies, for one), and it is important to slow down and meditate and memorize Scripture too. But the value of a read thru is in the long, patient work of reading to build a foundation of familiarity with the overall story of the Bible, to grow in biblical literacy.

Growing in biblical literacy is about becoming more familiar with the Bible over time, not about having answers to all the theological questions that arise as we read. It can be unsettling to have unanswered questions, but we can trust that God gave us his word so that he can be known. We can be confident in his kindness to show himself to us. Over the years, as we read and re-read the Bible, we grow in our familiarity with what God has said. As we do, this begins to shape us, and we grow to be more like him. The story of the Bible—and its God-centered perspective that is focused on Christ—slowly but surely will become the dominating story for our lives.

The Holy Spirit works through the Scriptures he inspired to conform our minds and our hearts to his ways. It is through a lifelong journey of simply reading his word that we grow to know God more, gaining the kind of knowledge that is intimate, personal, the kind of knowledge that can only come about over time, slowly, through long years of being with him and listening to his voice. The more we grow in knowing him like this, the more we will come to worship him and love him and live for him.

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