Practically, for Christians, how do you approach reading the Bible…?

This question is often asked by my students. Often, it is not about “method,” though they learn that. It is a practical question about how they should choose which parts of the Bible to read, in what order, and in what depth. Do you read through the Bible in one year? Why? Others advocate reading the Bible more slowly and studying one book of Scripture a month. That is all fine, but how do we KNOW how to approach reading the Bible?

1. Is there some guide IN Scripture (either in example or directive)?

2. Did the early church have a plan?

3. Now that every Christian has his/her own Bible, we are in a very different place than the early church. What is our responsibility?

4. Do you read the Bible differently at different stages in your life as a Christian? (e.g., reading certain parts more when you are a new believer, such as the Gospels; or reading the Bible broadly and quickly to saturate your mind as you are more mature in your faith?)

These are all questions my students are asking, and I honestly don’t have a very “researched” answer. I am fortune enough the study the Bible daily as a part of my “vocation”! However, before seminary, I was a bit haphazard in my method. I often did the one-year Bible, but it was not as sanctifying of a method as I had hoped.

Anyway, I am very open to your thoughts and practices, but I am particularly interested in WHY you study the Bible the way you do (again, practically regarding what books to read in what order, and how broadly and quickly).