Keeping That One Resolution We All Make…
It’s one of the most common New Year’s resolutions among followers of Jesus: “This year I will read the entire Bible!” And we start out all gung-ho and read every day for 3 or 4 days, maybe a week… Then we miss a day or two – we plan to catch up “soon,” and we make a couple of stabs at it, but eventually, we just forget about the whole thing…
We know reading the Bible is important. We know it feeds us and teaches us and shapes our lives, our decision-making, the very quality of our lives on earth… But many of us feel defeated when we try to keep up with a Bible reading plan.
So here are some tips and a link to a plan that just might make 2013 the year we actually read the entire Bible:
- Get a version of the Bible you can read and understand. This cannot be stressed enough – (and I’ve got zero interest in debating with anybody who thinks there’s only one “authorized version.”) For most of us, the King James or the New American Standard versions are not very readable. I recommend the New Living Translation – I’ve used it since 2008 (here’s a blog post about why I changed versions: The NLT and Me).
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT open your Bible up at Genesis and start reading with a plan to go straight through to Revelation! You will get bogged down pretty quickly in some boring stuff – legal codes, census counts, obscure history – and your eyes will glaze over and you’ll give up. There are better ways to do it – more on that in a minute…
- Read earlier in the day rather than later. I used to try to read at bedtime – I lost count of how many times I fell asleep on God’s Holy Word. Make it a practice to read early in the day, maybe at breakfast or on a coffee break.
- Relax – don’t get stressed if you miss a day. There’s no law, or Bible verse, or church requirement that says you can’t miss. So if you get behind a day or three or 30 – just pick up reading on the next day. The object is to read the entire Bible – if it takes you 18 months to do, no big deal.
Here’s a plan that might work well for a lot of people. Advantages include:
- Providing variety throughout the week by alternating different types of scripture. The benefit is you don’t get bogged down for days in the less than stimulating portions of the Bible.
- Providing continuity by reading the same scripture type each day of the week.
- Providing an opportunity to see the many interconnections between sections of Scripture. One day you may be reading Paul’s teaching about God’s covenant with Abraham in Romans, and in the next day or two you’ll be reading about the actual establishment of the covenant in Genesis.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works:
- Sundays: New Testament Epistles
- Mondays: Penteteuch/The Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
- Tuesdays: Old Testament history
- Wednesdays: Psalms
- Thursdays: Old Testament poetry
- Fridays: Prophecy
- Saturdays: Gospels
We have hard copies of this plan, and several others, including the Daily Walk magazine available in the foyer at New Hope – or here’s a link to a printable copy in PDF.
If I can help you with finding a Bible or a plan to help you read it – please drop me a note!