In his book Disciplines of a Godly Man, R. Kent Hughes argues that the effective Christian life is one of discipline and intentionality. I completely agree. I recently preached a sermon on the intentionality and discipline it takes to stay on the path of wisdom. None of us just “coasts” into holiness. If we desire to be more Christlike, we must follow Paul’s instructions to discipline ourselves just as athletes aspiring to win a race (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
In his book, Hughes tells the story of Lt. General William K. Harrison, Jr. (1936-1987). General Harrison was part of the US Army’s 30th Infantry Division during World War II and received numerous accommodations during his military career. However, one of the most important disciplines in his life, arguably, was his disciplined reading of scripture. Even in his demanding life, General Harrison made time to consistently stay in God’s word.
Starting as a young cadet at West Point, he began reading through the Bible every. He would read through the Old Testament once each year and through the New Testament four times each year.1 He continued this reading process until he died at the age of 91, having “read through the Old Testament seventy times and the New Testament 280 times!”2
One’s life will certainly be influenced by such prolonged exposure to God’s word. Hughes noted that “[Harrison’s] godliness and wisdom were proverbial,” “people marveled at his knowledge of the Bible and the ability to bring its light to every area of life,” and “his presence brought a distinct sense of Christ.”3
Reading Hughes’s account of Harrison’s discipline inspired me to put together this Bible reading plan based on the known details of his Bible reading process. By reading six chapters each day, it allows you to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament four times in a year. In addition, you will read through the Psalms twice.
I commend this Bible reading plan to you as a resource and tool for those looking for a disciplined plan for daily scripture reading. My prayer is that this tool would help others develop a disciplined practice of daily Bible reading that influences their lives in much the way it influenced General Harrison.
- Lolana Thompson, “Guide To William K. Harrison Jr. Papers” Dallas, TX: Dallas Theological Seminary, 2017, https://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/HarrisonWK_CN038.pdf.
- R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines Of A Godly Man, 2nd ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001.
- Ibid., pp. 75-77.