Have you ever read the Bible in one year? Well, now’s a great time to be making plans for 2013, making decisions regarding your personal and spiritual disciplines. Reading the Bible in a year is a great discipline that is surprisingly manageable, yet relatively few Christians actually do it. Let me explain some of the benefits:
- It gives you a greater overall idea as to what’s in the Bible. You get a sort of “big picture” view of the whole of God’s Word, as opposed to spending time exclusively in the New Testament or your favorite passages.
- It adds to your toolbox. The more you increase your general exposure to the Word of God, the greater the wealth of Scripture that’s hidden in your heart to help you combat sin and speak truth to yourself…and to others.
- It’s a worthwhile discipline. Many of us struggle with personal discipline, but this is an easy way to introduce more discipline into our lives. For many of us, though it is manageable, it’s still hard. It is a discipline. But having a Bible reading plan and actually sticking to it s a step toward living a more generally-disciplined life.
- It can help you to lead a holier life. Count on it: the more your filling your heart and mind with Scripture, the more godly you become. If you want to know the mind of God, read and study His Word.
Okay. There are lots of reasons to read the Bible in a year, but those are a few of them. And there are countless ways to go about it, but I strongly recommend having a plan (preferably something actually written down that you can track) and a partner to hold you accountable along the way. Maybe it’s someone doing it with you with whom you can share your findings.
Now I want to endorse my favorite plan. I get no royalties from NavPress for my endorsement; I’m only sharing a link with you and the .pdf. I only get the joy of sharing something awesome with some folks I care about (you all). It’s called the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan.
Now, I have to confess: I’ve never actually completed any other plan. Once I determined to read the Bible in the year (probably 10 years ago or so…) I used this plan, selecting it on the suggestion of a friend and being sold by the many features I’m about to share, and I’ve never been interested in doing any other plan.
First, if you take a look at the link, you’ll see that each reading assignment involves both the Old and New Testaments. There are four passages assigned each day: two from the OT and two from the NT. This may seem like a lot, but if you try it out, you’ll see that it’s not really that hard to keep Genesis and Matthew and Acts distinct in your thinking.
Second, it’s manageable. For me, sticking to the plan amounts to about 20-25 minutes of reading, 5-6 times per week. Further, (my favorite part) there are a scant twenty-five reading assignments per month, so there’s built in wiggle room if you get behind a day or two, or if you tend to not read the Bible on Sundays or something. Or if you’re a machine and never take a day off, you can be done with the Bible sometime in late October.
Finally, and this seems sort of silly, but there are boxes to check off. It’s a written plan that allows for the highly-gratifying practice of checking off your reading assignments as you complete them. (So satisfying, in fact that it can become a goal in itself, and you don’t want to to treat Bible reading like a mere item to be checked off. So enjoy checking the boxes, but don’t make that the end goal.) This enables you to track your progress with ease.
If the idea of reading the Bible in a year seems overwhelming to you, why not try it? There’s no harm in trying. If you never give it a shot, you’re certain to never complete it. But regardless, remember that inactivity is a decision for which we’re all accountable, so I’d suggest coming up with a different plan, but do something. When you do nothing, it’s because you decide to do nothing. So why not try the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan?
So what are you going to do in 2013? Do you have a plan that you have had success employing? Can you share it with us in the comments below? Have you ever used this plan? What did you think?
Oh, and here’s the link one more time: http://www.navpress.com/uploadedFiles/15074%20BRP.dj.pdf
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