The new year is upon us, whether we would have it or not.
Have you planned your bible reading for this new year?
There are many plans available to help you read through the bible in the course of a year, or two, or three. The import thing is to have a plan, and keep reading.
The bible as food
The bible is food for your soul. Feed your soul the way you feed your body. Sometimes you eat what tastes good, but you know you need to eat a balanced diet regularly. So now and then take a break and read the part of the bible that appeals to you at the moment, but then get back on your diet and read all of it.
In 2014 I did not read the whole bible through. The focus of my daily reading was the Psalms. I spent all year reading and meditating on the psalms. I have a few devotions to share with you in the coming weeks as I look back over my 2014 journal. But even as I meditated on the psalms, I read other books of the bible that were interesting to me at different times throughout the year. And I spent a lot of time in the books of Ruth and John as I prepared sermons.
The point is, it’s ok to skip around a bit and enjoy reading whatever you’re hungry for, but you need to have a reading plan and stick to it regularly.
Read every day
You eat food every day I’m guessing. Perhaps you might skip a day intentionally (if you are fasting), or by necessity (if you are impoverished), but no one skips a day by accident. We make plans to eat. We seek food out.
Do the same with your bible reading. Seek it out daily. If you skip a day, do so because you planned to, not because you forgot to eat.
And don’t gorge and starve your soul. You wouldn’t gorge yourself for two or three months and then barely eat enough food to stay alive the rest of the year, would you? Don’t do that with your bible reading either.
Don’t start off the year by reading 10 chapters a day for a month or two and then stop. You’ll be better off to read 1 chapter a day consistently (and read the bible in about three years), than to read large amounts January through March and then not read at all, or only sporadically, the rest of the year.
Our 2015 bible reading plan
This year Lauren and I are planning to read the entire bible together as a couple. Having a reading partner can help keep you motivated.
We’re starting in the Old Testament and reading straight through, cover to cover.
One thing I’m excited to do when we reach the NT, is to pay attention to places where the NT authors quote the OT. I intend to go back into the OT and highlight these passages noting the NT quotation. This will help me let the bible interpret the bible for me, as I see how the NT speakers and writers used and explained the passages they quote.
Bible reading roundup
Here are a few links you might find interesting as you’re planning your reading for this year.
Reading the bible in 2013 – This was our post from two years ago with several reading plans and some good tips for reading and meditating on the bible.
How to read the bible in groups – A few helpful tips for reading the bible aloud in a group. If you have a reading partner for this year, such as your spouse, these tips still apply.
How long does it take to read the bible – This handy little calculator lets you tell it how fast you read, and how many months you want to take to read the bible through, and then it gives you a reading plan complete with an estimate of how long each day’s reading will take. At an average reading pace, you’re looking at about three chapters a day, which should take you about 11 minutes on average, to complete the bible in one year.
Bible reading plans for 2015 – Ligonier Ministries offers a roundup of 15 bible reading plans for 2015. They offer a brief description and a PDF download of each.