You Gotta Have A Plan!
My spices are alphabetized. The clothes in my closet are organized by color. The coins in my car are heads-up, facing the windshield.
Would it surprise you to know I use a reading plan for my Bible study? A reading plan is such a great way to:
- Create a flow in the narrative.
- Keep you accountable and on track.
- Connect you to your Creator.
Read at your pace!
I’m sure you’ve heard about these overachievers who read the whole Bible in a year. I can tell you I have done that. I have read the whole Bible cover to cover in eighty days, and what I got out of that was bragging rights.
One chapter at a time
I don’t recommend power reading. Recreational reading should be enjoyable, so I read one chapter a day. One chapter of the Bible a day. Most days—not every day, but most days—one chapter of the Bible. (I don’t use a reading plan with dates, so if I miss a day, I just pick up where I left off without the guilt or having to “makeup” or get caught up.)
I start in Genesis, and I go all the way through to Revelation. Takes me about three years to get through the Bible. I love that system because it gives me continuity and flow; it gives me the complete overarching story of the Bible; and it gives me a sense of accomplishment and success.
If this is your first time to tackle reading the Bible, I’d read through the New Testament then circle back to the Old Testament.
15 minutes a day.
Another way to read through the Bible is to set a timer and read for XX minutes a day. Whether 5 minutes or 30, read till the timer goes off then put it down and move on with your day. Tomorrow, start where you last left off and read for that many minutes.
Letting it soak in.
In past seasons, I have read the same book of the Bible over and over. No matter how many times you read the text, you will find a new nugget with each reading. Choose Proverbs or a gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) or the Creation account in Genesis, or the miraculous escape in Exodus. Hanging out in one book of the Bible will reveal God’s character and cement His love for you in your mind and heart.
Dave spends most of his quiet time reading the Red Letters. Typically, the red letters are the words of Jesus. Oh, he may read some around the red letters for context but Dave wants to know what Jesus said, not what others said about him. Dave says, “If you know what God (Jesus) said then, you’ll know what he’s saying now.”
If you’re really new to the Bible or bored with your reading time, read Bible stories. The Old Testament—or the first section of the Bible—is packed with fascinating accounts of Bible heroes and heroines, ordinary people trusted God to do extraordinary things.
Read about Moses, Deborah, Abraham, Esther, Ruth, Jonah, Jacob, David, and Goliath. Even if you think you know these stories, read them for yourself again, and the stories will come alive.
You will see things that you had no idea were in there. You’ll realize that you’re believing things about these stories that you thought were in there that aren’t.
The Bible is full of great stories, practical wisdom and glorious principles that will set you free to dream and dance in the spotlight of God’s love and forgiveness.
Using a reading plan will create a flow in the narrative, keep you on track and connect you to your Creator.
What do you use?
Do you use a reading plan? What is it and why do you like it? I’d love to learn from you! Leave me a comment below. I read every one!
Verse for today:“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Prayer: Lord, thank you for writing down your word for me to read, study, memorize and apply. It is life to me and I know there have been seasons when I didn’t honor it or utilize it. Sorry about that. Help me find a reading plan that works for my life so you can remind me of who you are and who I am to you. Thanks. Love you. Amen
The habits we develop determine the person we become. Thank you for encouraging ladies to start a great, life-enriching habit!
Ooooh, what a good word, Jeannette! Thanks for posting!
I make every effort to read the Bible every day and the entire Bible every year. I do it different ways. In the past I have used the plan with the Daily Bible devotions that I do each morning which has you reading some from the Old Testament and some from the New Testament each day. I have also done the Chronological Bible laid out in a daily format and this year I am using the Daily Bible in Chronological order. I have started at the beginning and read straight through to the end…and used various formats from different sources.
I am always looking for really good Bible Studies to add to my studies. I miss a good meaty study with a group. I hope that will change soon!
I do look forward to your emails….keep them coming!
God Bless! Keeping you in my prayers!
Hi Judith, I too, am looking forward to meeting in person to study the bible. So glad you mentioned the Chronological bible. Great idea! Thanks for posting.
My husband and I use YouVersion plans. We read and listen every day. Going through the Bible this year but have done different plans other years. Always learn new things!! God keeps teaching us.
So true, Jan. The more you read, the more you see/learn. Love that you and your hubz do it together. Lovely. Thanks for posting!
Thanks Robyn. For many years, I would start a bible reading plan then feel guilty when I missed a day or several days. I felt like I would never catch up so I stopped reading. I can’t even count how many times I read Genesis and/or even through Numbers but then gave up as part of a “daily plan”. This year I gave myself permission to not feel guilty when I miss a day or two and just keep going where I left off. I do what I can. I don’t like the plans that skip around from the new to the old to the proverbs or psalms. You have to find what works for you. We are not being graded, it is not a contest. I am not reading it so I learn to defend His Word as I have heard other’s say. I just can’t imagine arriving in heaven not having read it from cover to cover. His Word is important to me. But is it? That was the question gnawing at me. I’ve read other books and studies cover to cover, many in fact. What was the difference? That is how I approach my daily bible reading, no guilt, I don’t have to rush to keep up. So I made a plan for me, just like you said and its working. Thank you for confirming there is no right way to read the bible. I started in January; I may have missed a few days or a week or two and I am now in Proverbs.
Debbie, I LOVED reading this. When you wrote “We are not being graded, it is not a contest.” I cheered! Way to go, Girlfriend. You are an inspiration!
WOW! This is me! thankyou for shaaring!!
Thank you for this wonderful suggestion I needed a reading plan , so I will do this one ?
Dear Robyn, I met you a few years ago in Stevensville, Michigan and at a Women’s retreat in Kalamazoo. I read your e-mail this morning and it was quite interesting. I do a Bible Study at my home and also through BSF, we are finishing up Genesis. I have tried to read the Bible through without success, I think one I finally got out of Exodus and tried Leviticus I was completely lost and didn’t understand a thing they were talking about. Most people start with Genesis, but you say read new testament first and then read the old testament and maybe that makes sense. I love the Lord with all my heart. I haven’t really shared God with any one but with my daily devotion that I do in the morning by Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling” has bible verses to look up and then I decide with the Lord’s help which one to put on Facebook. Unfortunately only my Christian friends will reply with a like and so my hope for outreach isn’t what I exactly had in mind. I want to say doing this devotion has helped me . I never realize what wonderful verses are in the Bible. It has opened me up. I’m not good at memorizing, but I try to remember where the verse was or at least try to remember its in the Jesus Calling Book. The verse itself isn’t in there but the reference is. I just want to thank you for sending this e-mail and thank God that I saved it and actually read it. No I must confess I don’t read all your material, but I know I had a need and you through God and this e-mail answered it. I have revaluate my life and have been serving God since then. I know God could come get me at any time. Like you I also lost a husband, it will be 38 years this year. I have remarried, but he isn’t Mr. Wonderful like yours is, but I pray for our marriage every day. I guess I do kind of preach to my husband about God, but he acts like it goes through one ear and out the other. One day the Lord will have him. I know I have rambled on, but I want to give you a little background on me.
Wow, Irene you’ve been through a lot. I admire your resilience and tenacity! I believe we should all be reading the Bible so well done on that. Your best evangelism tool is your own story. How has God shown himself to be faithful or present or miraculous in your life That’s what people need to hear about even more than memorized verses. 🙂
WOW! This is me! thankyou for sharing!
I’m going to start in John, and pray He doesn’t take me home before I’ve read it all 😉 I have never read the whole Bible. 🙁
Way to go, Rita. You can do it!
Thank you, Robin for your encouragement to be all we can in Christ! love you and your heart!!