Reading Through the Bible in a Year

For those of you who are thinking of reading through the Bible this year, here are a few resources that might be helpful.
  1. 365 Day Bible Reading Plan can be done in 12 minutes per day. 

  1. If you’re more of a visual learner, Faithlish has resources to guide you through the Bible visually. 

  1. The Bible Recap is a plan that would be helpful if you’d like to read through the Bible with a friend.

  1. The Bible Project plan has videos that accompany the reading.

  1. 52 Weeks in the Word is a realistic pathway through the Bible.The book has 52 reflections and prayer prompts to take you through the entirety of God’s Word.
Here are a few reminders as you start this year-long journey:

1) Remember that you should not love the Bible study plan you choose more than you love God’s Word. Your tools of study should not become more important than the blessed object of your study. 

2) You may need to self-impose a fast from reading other things - even devotional books - until you finish reading the Bible through.

a) Remember to differentiate between what is helpful and what is necessary in your walk with God. The Bible is necessary.

b) All of the devotional/religious reading that’s available to us is such a blessing. Other Christians are writing some really great things from which we can definitely benefit. However, for a heart check going forward, remember Simon Peter’s words recorded in John 6: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” What anyone else has to say isn’t better than what God’s Word says and no one else can say it better than God’s Word says it.

3) A lot of spiritual activity with reading lists and the devotional gymnastics of journaling, color coded prayer lists and the like, can contribute to a self-righteous attitude. When some of those things are removed from our routines to make more time for Bible reading, it’s shocking to realize how much we might rely on them for a secure standing before God instead of Christ’s work on our behalf. We may not “feel” as spiritual because we aren’t jumping through all the self-instituted hoops to “get to God.”

4) There are times when reading the Scripture is more force feeding than enjoyable feasting, and that’s OK. It’s not hypocrisy to read anyway. It’s obedience. But we can continue to pray that God would change our hearts and help us taste the sweetness of it…even in the chronologies!  Reading the Bible isn’t primarily about us and how it’s suiting our palates on any given day. It’s about tracing his rule over his people in his ordained place. It’s his story and, although we’re part of it, we need to enjoy and love reading about what he has done, is doing, and is going to do because we love him.
These lessons aren’t profound. However, even my Bible reading plan has surfaced sin struggles in the seemingly unlikely place of my devotional life. Maybe that’s something to which we all can relate. The Scripture provides encouragement and hope for these kinds of sin struggles too. “…everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)