In my last post, I told you about my fulfilling year of reading through the Bible and why I finally succeeded. You can read Part 1 here.
Today, I share the nuts and bolts of what worked for me.
What Worked for Me: The A, B, C’s
A. Find a plan.
Many methods and suggestions for reading through the Bible exist. A mentor suggested reading it chronologically—the order in which events happened—the first time through. I found this plan on biblestudytools.com and printed a copy of the daily readings.
I used both my Bible and the YouVersion Bible app on my phone. YouVersion offers an audio translation of the Bible in several versions. I chose NIV to match my Bible. When time allowed, I listened to the app while reading along in my print Bible. Using both eyes and ears enhanced comprehension and helped me focus. And I could highlight verses in my Bible I found meaningful. These were the ideal mornings.
Life is going to interrupt our best laid plans. One morning during week one, I had the pleasure of taking my grandchildren to school. On such days, and there were others, I listened to the readings via my app while driving or walking.
Additional Insight ~ It helps to read the introduction
When starting a new book of the Bible, read the introduction. The intro tells us about the author, the timeline, and puts the events in context.
B. establish the habit.
Luckily, I already set aside morning quiet time for prayer and journaling, so I simply added my reading plan there. When the minutes are limited, I journal less or not at all.
I use a bullet journal to establish daily habits, such as taking vitamins, exercising, drinking water, etc., so I listed Bible reading to my habit tracker.
After years of childrearing and teaching school, I understand daily quiet time is a luxury. Finding a spare hour, or even a half-hour, might be impossible right now. However, the readings take only about ten to twelve minutes, and you can listen to an audio version while unloading dishes, walking, or applying makeup. Feel free to increase the speed if the audio seems draggy, as I did. It’s important to create the habit.
Additional Insight ~ Go easy on yourself
Most mornings, but not all, I awoke eager for the next installment of whatever book I was in. I brewed my first cup of coffee and began, eager or not. I missed a few scattered mornings altogether due to unusual events, but I easily caught up later in the day. Or the one after. It’s okay when this happens. Don’t quit.
C. Keep the Main Thing the Main thing.
A challenge for me was to resist the urge to take copious notes as I read. This comes from years in academia writing research papers and learning about exciting topics like composition theory.
I fought the desire to tape timelines to my walls and create genealogy trees to learn everything I could.
Additional Insight ~ View the first time through as a fly-over
Reading through the Bible the first time is a big picture approach. You’re not going to understand everything with one reading, nor should you try. Accept you might end up with more questions than answers.
Other Bible Reading Plans
Reading through the Bible in a year is ambitious. If you prefer a slower pace, check these out:
Two-Year Reading Plan: This busy life plan takes you through the Bible in a little under two years.
Three-Year Reading Plan: With this plan, you’ll cover about a chapter a day. I may have had more success with this plan when I was younger.
Thematic Approach: This thematic plan sounds interesting.
Reading the Bible nurtures and sustains our relationship with God. One of the most important things I learned is the more time we spend with God, the more time God spends with us.
I started my second year of reading through the Bible in February and just completed Day 40. This year’s plan, found within my YouVersion app, leads me through 2-3 chapters in the Old Testament, a partial chapter from the New Testament, and a few verses from either Psalms or Proverbs daily.
I like the variety.
If you haven’t read through the Bible, I encourage you to give it a try. I had many starts and stops before I accomplished it. I’d love to hear about your experiences and which plan you like via email or in the comments. I’ll need another one in about 325 days.
If you have questions about the resources or process mentioned, don’t hesitate to email.Reading the Bible nurtures and sustains our relationship with God. One of the most important things I learned is the more time we spend with God, the more time God spends with us. #Bible #faith Click To Tweet
Hoping signs of spring surround you!
I moved into a different house last fall, so this is the first spring I’ve lived here. Bunches and bunches of these little guys are popping up on an embankment in front of my home. I think they’re day lilies of some sort. Can’t wait to find out!