This morning I happily finished a yearlong project. In fact this is the fourth year (in a row) that I have managed to complete my goal. Pretty amazing feat for this mama of four who tends to have piles of stuff that I never quite get to …
I read through my Bible in a year!
Nothing else impacts my life the way that this does. This habit has transformed me from the inside and out. The more the Scriptures are read, the more that His Words impact me.
New Year’s resolutions are easy to break. Weight comes and goes. The house becomes messy again. Fluctuating checkbook totals often remain. Supposedly the amount of time needed to form a habit is 21 days. Only 3 weeks! If you can stick with reading your Bible for that amount of time, you will see an immediate difference and want to continue. Forever. This will always be something that I do – this habit has become that important to me.
Need to know where to begin? I wrote about this twice on the MOPS blog where you used to be able to find my reflections. So, I am pasting excerpts from that. Pretty sure I have permission since I was the author. 🙂 Anyway … where to start:
I revitalized a college habit that I now feel like I will continue to do every year: reading through the Bible. I cannot say enough about how this practice has changed my life. The commitment can seem large, but the result is SO worth the effort! To be honest, since I am a quick reader who happens to comprehend well, I spend about 10 minutes a day to read the selected passage. Hardly any time at all to reap such a benefit. Even as busy moms of preschoolers, we usually can manage to hold on to 10 minutes of time alone. Since this can seem like a daunting task, I wanted to share a couple of methods that may make reading through the Bible in a year easier.
When I was in college, I subscribed to the Navigator’s Discipleship Journal. This is an outstanding magazine that I am not currently getting due to time constraints, but their Bible reading program was what I followed initially. Their plan is unique in that it assigns passages for 25 days in the month – giving you a bit of wiggle room if you are unable to get to your Bible reading a day or two. This program has you “ read four places in God’s Word every day to better grasp the unity of the Scriptures.” They have another plan that I have not personally done that is their “book-at-a-time” reading plan which “intersperses Old and New Testament books in each month’s readings, with the four gospels spread throughout the year.”
Not up for the challenge of the whole Bible? They also have a program for reading through the New Testament. This is what it says on their website about their 5x5x5 program: “5 minutes per day, 5 days per week, 5 ways to dig deeper. Takes you through one chapter each day. Read the New Testament in one year.” My nine year old is following this program – I am so excited about that. Reading the whole Bible would be a bit daunting for him (plus there are too many adult situations in the Old Testament I do NOT want to explain to him yet :-). So far, he has read the first five chapters in Mark – would be easy to catch up even though we are nine days into the new year.
To download any of these plans, please visit: http://www.navpress.com/dj/content.aspx?id=138
Since I do my reading while I walk on the treadmill, flipping through the Bible would be a bit challenging (and maybe dangerous). So I now use Bibles that are dated, so that I can just read my section for the day and be done.
I have gone through this Bible now four different times. Amazing! The Bible is actually compiled in chronological order (as best as they can date the events), so this Bible definitely helps in understanding what happened when. So you read the psalm that David wrote about God’s protection right after the section that you read about David fleeing from Absalom his son. Definitely helps to understand the order of the Bible.
This year I felt like that God was asking me to switch up a bit. So armed with a $5 gift card and granted a 30% off coupon, I spent just under $10 to get this Bible.
This Bible goes in traditional book order, but you read a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, a Psalm (or part of one) and part of a Proverb. So far I am enjoying the new perspective – sometimes the stories end at a different place than I would expect, forcing me to ponder a bit more. I also felt like God was challenging me to go a step further, so I am reading this book again.
The One Year Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller.
She picks one of the four passages from the daily Bible reading and writes a devotional on the importance of prayer. For instance, today’s devotional focused on the psalm from today – Psalm 9. So, this also causes me to stop and ponder the Scripture that I have just read even more!
If this is something that you want to begin but feel like you need some accountability, I would be glad to help if I can. Please send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. While I cannot write every day (nor would you want me to!), I am willing to send you a weekly e-mail to check in with your progress for as long as you want to receive one. God’s blessings on pursuing this life changing resolution!