The last day of the year has become a celebratory one for me. For the past six years besides planning some sort of event with my family (usually a night in :-), this has also been the day that I complete my reading through the Bible over the course of the year.
I have been blessed with a godly heritage that I want to continue throughout our children. Several weeks I realized as I was reading my one particular Bible that I had a reminder of this impact. Evidently my one set of grandparents had actually given me this Bible for Christmas, per my request. Seeing my Grandma’s shaky signature made me tear up, especially since they are both now with the One who wrote the Book. Today would have been my Grandpa’s 105th birthday – can’t help but think of his impact and smile.
By reading the Bible often, I know that I have a better chance of having His words make an impact in my life. This year I have challenged our oldest to start this lifelong habit, and our second born also seems intrigued. The reward – a dinner out to celebrate next January upon completion. A worthwhile investment to seeing my kids completing this very worthwhile goal.
Since today is only the 2nd day of the year, you only have two days of reading to catch up. Several years ago when I was blogging for a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group, I wrote all about suggestions on making it easier. I actually have two dated Bibles that I rotate between. Rather than rewriting the details, I am just copying/pasting – I figured you would understand. 🙂
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 encouraging notes to you 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!