I heard on the radio this week that there’s a new resolution in the Top-10 of New Year’s Resolutions this year: Read more. Perhaps the new Kindles and e-readers everyone received for Christmas inspired this, but it’s a great goal.
Reading more is a particularly great goal for Christians if it refers to the Bible. I guess it is possible to read too much, particularly if we’re not living our lives for Christ. But I suspect that most of us steer well clear of that danger. I want to encourage you to develop a habit of spending time with God. There are lots of ways of doing this, but time spent reading the Bible and praying is a very good starting point.
So, how should we choose a Bible reading plan?
I know that reading the Bible through in a year is a very popular approach. But that’s a big challenge. It’s easy to fall behind early and give up because there’s too much to make up. Also, while there’s value to reading the WHOLE Bible, speed reading isn’t the most effective form of learning. So if you’ve never attempted this I encourage you to give it a go, but don’t feel like a wimp if you choose a different plan.
If you’ve never attempted a regular time for talking with God, or if you’ve struggled to maintain the habit, I recommend finding a Bible reading plan that runs for less days, or requires less time each day. This allows you to ease yourself into the habit and grow it. No one climbs Mt Everest as their very first mountain climb. Some simple plans include:
- Read a chapter of the NT a day (it has 260 chapters so even if you take weekends off you’ll be done in about a year.)
- Choose a Gospel to read at your own pace between Christmas and Easter. (It would be OK to read half a chapter a day or less if you want to make it last all the way to Easter.)
- Read the Gospel of Mark in January. (Half a chapter a day will take you 32 days.)
- Read Proverbs in a month. (31 chapters)
There are lots of combinations you can create on your own.
As I looked around the internet the best resource I found for locating reading plans was YouVersion.com. The site is a bit techy, but I think most people should be able to navigate it just fine. They have several nice features in addition to a huge choice of reading plans:
- Every day they’ll email you that day’s reading for the plan you selected.
- You can let your friends know your goals and the website will allow them to check up on your progress. Great if you struggle with accountability.
- If you have a smart phone, home computer, work computer, i-this or i-that it will sync between all the devices and keep you on track.
- If you fall behind, you can go to the website and adjust the settings so they’ll start sending the emails again from where you’re at.
May God bless the reading of His Word.
If you start a reading plan this year, please share with readers which one you chose and how you liked it. Did you complete it? (It’s fine to brag here…or encourage others. 🙂 )