Lord’s Library’s Ministry Leaders Series is a collection of contributed articles written by ministry leaders on key Christian topics. In this submission, You Are More Than Ordinary Author Chris Gebert offers a family Bible reading plan template for beginners to use at home.
In busy family schedules, it is easy to miss out on the peace and life that comes from listening to God speak through the Bible. Spending time together as a family and knowing we are unconditionally loved offers us the emotional safety to be honest with one another and with God.
Here is a simple family Bible reading plan template for beginners to use at home to study God’s Word together:
1. Decide on a Time and Frequency to Read the Bible
Leave the distractions of cell phones and media behind. Have it in a comfortable gathering place in your home. There are no rules. Make this time fit your family’s unique style. If all the members do not want to or cannot participate, that’s ok. My husband was often at work in the evening when we read a Bible story at bedtime.
2. Read from the Bible or an Illustrated Bible Story Book (for Younger Children)
3. Ask for Questions about the Scriptures
4. Ask Where They See the Love of Jesus in the Story
You can also poll family members on who the main characters and groups are in the story, and how God’s love changes them. For a Psalm or a reading that is not narrative, ask what the main point of the reading is. How do you see God’s love for you in this section?
Example: How does knowing that Jesus loves you unconditionally change how you see the good and bad times in your day?
5. Write Down Key Bible Questions That Come Up to Reference with a Pastor or Church Teacher
6. Talk to Jesus in Prayer as a Family
This is a great time for responding to what He has told you in the Bible. Praise Him and ask Him for help with what you struggle with. Finish with The Lord’s Prayer.
7. Sing Familiar Christian Songs or Hymns
To build off the family Bible reading plan template outlined above, these three “sections of Scripture” examples are a great place to get started. If your children are older, feel free to read all of Psalm 139 and John 10. Follow with prayer and singing:
Read: Luke 19:1-10
19:1-4: “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.”
19:5-6: “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.”
19:7: “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”
19:8: “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
19:9-10: “And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
- Who are the main characters and groups in this story?
- How do you see God’s love in this story?
- How does his love change them?
By applying these simple questions you give children an opportunity to discover how forgiving Jesus is that he would go to Zacchaeus and his “sinner” friends who the crowds rejected. It is a great story to talk about times that we feel guilty for breaking rules and also how we can feel prideful and not love others as Jesus did.
Read Psalm 139: 1-5
“O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.”
- What is the main thought of these verses?
- How do you see God’s love for you in Psalm 139?
- How does knowing he is always with you and knows you change how you see the good and bad things today?
Read Luke 18:15-17
“And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of god belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
- Who are the main characters and groups in this story?
- How do you see God’s love for you here?
- How do you think his love changes them?
This is so easy for children to visualize and know that Jesus is calling them and loves to be with them. Children cannot pay for a place in their homes. They simply receive it. That’s what makes this also a super comforting truth for parents who wonder if Jesus loves them. How does knowing that Jesus offers us his Kingdom without any merit on our part change us?
“This impactful book opens with Katherine wishing she was a beautiful princess and Liam dreaming of being a superhero. Jesus comes to them and tells them that they are more than ordinary kids because they are his kids. He tells them the story of David and Goliath to show how God uses ordinary kids for his epic purposes.”
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- A 7-Step Family Bible Reading Plan for Beginners at Home - September 7, 2022