In order to benefit from a Bible reading plan, I need to not just do the reading; I need to meditate on God's word. Here is a quote from George Mueller on this idea:
"...the first and great primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. ... the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the word of God, and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, by means of the word of God, whilst meditating on it, my heart might be brought into experimental communion with the Lord. ... The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord's blessing upon his precious word, was, to begin to meditate on the word of God, searching as it were into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the word, not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon, but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that, though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. When thus I have been for a while making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the word may lead to it, but still continually keeping before me that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation." (emphasis mine)
I want a happy soul, a soul that is rich in communion with God! George Mueller's ideas are so helpful toward this end.
What does meditation on God's word look like, practically? Here is an example from some of my own recent study. As a sort of theme verse for my current reading plan, I have memorized 1 John 5:20-21. "And we know that the Son of God has come..." Here I can stop and marvel that Jesus Christ has come to be the Savior of the world. What an amazing truth in those ten words! The Son of God has come, he has taken on flesh, broken into the sinful world, died on a cross, and provided redemption. "...and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true..." Not only has Jesus come, but he makes a way for us to know him. We have opportunity to grow in understanding of the infinite God. "...and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ..." I am saved by God incarnate, I can know God infinite, and I can abide in God. My life is wrapped up in him, and in him I am seen as righteous. "He is the true God and eternal life..." He is the only true God, and he is the only true eternal life. Why would I go anywhere else for happiness and satisfaction? "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." I need this reminder. I am God's child, yet I am prone to worship other things. I need to be on guard against idols, and especially right now the idol of having a child. I could go on, but see how meditation makes our experience of reading God's word so much richer? When we meditate, God's word intersects with our lives and sinks deeper into our souls.