Can you believe that half the year is gone already?!
As we pass the midway mark of 2021, I can’t help but think back to January–the time when we set goals for the coming year.
What did you want to achieve this year in your Christian walk? Was one of your goals to read the entire Bible through again–or maybe for the 1st time?
It can be easy to start strong and then start to waver as the time goes on.
I understand completely what that’s like. In the past, I felt like I would never be able to do it.
Methods I had tried:
- A Bible reading calendar.
- Reading part of the Old Testament and New Testament and Proverbs at the same time.
- Reading a book of the New Testament once a day for 31 days each along with 1 chapter of the Old Testament per day.
However, for me, personally, I never found success with any of these.
By no means am I saying the above are not good methods-they are–they simply didn’t work for me.
With the dated calendars, if I missed a day, I felt behind. Reading chapters from various books a the same time confused me and it all seemed to swirl together in my brain. And reading a book a day for 31 days each was beautiful with smaller ones like Peter and John, but overwhelming when it came to the lengthier books such as the Gospels and Revelation.
So, every effort I put forth to read the entire Bible from beginning to end, seemed to be met with failure.
Now, if the Lord gives me life, at the end of 2021 I will have read through the greatest love letter to humankind 4 times!
So what changed?
That’s what I’d like to share with you today–a Bible reading plan that has worked with my personality and some tips to help you put you own plan in practice and start reading God’s Word more consistently today! (I will also share some suggestions of some helpful study tools towards the end of the article)
If you’ve ever shared similar experiences with Bible reading plans, maybe these will work for you too!
Pick a Place
Where we choose to meet with the Lord will be different depending on our routines, personalities and home. For me I know one place I should NEVER read my Bible is sitting on the couch in the morning. It takes me 3-5 times longer because I always start to fall asleep. ALWAYS. It’s the only place in our house where this happens. My husband, on the other hand, frequently reads on the sofa–sometimes even when it’s still dark outside and he’s covered in a blanket. We’re all unique so, take into consideration your personality as you are deciding.
And despite what Instagram may lead you to believe, you don’t have too have a quaintly decorated space, full of candles and beautifully framed Scripture.
All you need is a place to sit without distractions, a place for your Bible, pens/highlighters + maybe a journal.
Whether it’s the kitchen table, a quiet corner in your living room, the outside patio, or your closet, choose a spot that is both quiet and practical.
Things to Consider:
- Where am I least distracted?
- Where am I most distracted?
- In the past, where have I been able to concentrate on my reading best?
Pick a Time
No matter how intensely we may desire to grow in our walk with the Lord, if we are not intentional about when it will happen, our time in the Word will be sporadic at best.
Without having a specific hour set apart for meeting with God in His Word and prayer, it’s almost inevitable that we’ll push it back later and later into the day thinking we’ll have enough time when before we know it–the day’s over, it’s time for bed and we’re exhausted.
As with anything, if we don’t make time for it–it won’t happen!
Does the Bible provide us with direction about this?
Although the most important thing is that we actually get into the God’s Word, there is a very obvious pattern found throughout Scripture from Abraham to Jesus of rising early to seek the Lord.
I am not a morning person by nature and for years I read later in the day or around bedtime. Until one day, the college/youth pastor at my church pointed out that we don’t fight many spiritual battles in our sleep.
It’s during the daytime when we are bombarded with the fiery darts of the enemy. And the Bible is our only offensive weapon.
If we leave home without it (in our hearts), we’re not equipped when inevitable temptations arise. Just as we dress our physical body fully everyday, let’s not fail to put on what our souls, minds, and hearts need most-the armor of God, specifically the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Benefits of having Your Quiet Time in the Morning:
- Being completely dressed for the day. (Put on the whole armor of God.)
- Starting the day with a God-ward and Heaven-ward mindset by seeking the things of above 1st.
- Having the assurance that nothing that comes up later in the day with prevent you from being with God.
Pick a Plan
The one plan that has consistently worked for me is the simple one you’ll find below.
Complete the Entire Bible in:
- 2 years = 2 Chapters a day. (1 in the morning & 1 in the evening)
- 1 Year = 4 Chapters a Day (2 in the morning & 2 in the evening)
- 6 Months = 8 Chapters a Day (4 in the morning & 4 in the evening)
When reading Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson, I noted she mentioned by reading 4 chapters a day the entire Bible can be completed in 1 year. I liked the simplicity of it and with the Lord’s help, I put it into practice and have never looked back.
- It’s flexible.
- No schedule to remember.
- Easy to see your progress.
- Never feel like you’re behind if you miss a day.
To form your Bible reading plan you only need to prayerfully consider 3 questions.
- How many chapters a day should I read?
- Will I read all at the same time or divide it between the morning and evening?
- The Chronological Bible or the normal Biblical order of the books. (If the second, do you plan to start in Genesis or Matthew?)
If you’ve never read the Bible through before, I encourage you to take it a little more slowly. That’s what I did my first time. And it was sooo beautiful and helpful in building a better foundation for each successive time reading it through.
Don’t rush it. Read difficult passages more than once, if necessary, and pull out your commentary and concordances. The idea is to know what we are reading, not just to say we read it.
Some helpful study Bibles/Commentaries that I have used:
- The Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Hardcover, Softcover)
- ESV Study Bible (Hardcover, Softcover)
- Wiersbe Study Bible (Hardcover, Softcover)
- The Day by Day Chronological Bible
- Women’s Study Bible, NKJV (Hardcover, Softcover)
- Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
- Mark Dever’s commentaries on OT & NT: Promises Made-OT & Promises Kept-NT
- Strong’s Concordance
The above are just a few suggestions. Don’t feel like you need all or any of them to start reading God’s Word. But if you’d like, start with one. Pray and ask advice from your pastor and/or other mature, women of faith in your church on which to choose. You are also welcome to email me.
Remember, the goal isn’t to check something off our religious TO-DO list, it’s to meet with the King and Ruler of the Universe and get to know Him more deeply.
Now that you have your place and time chosen, you can place your Bible, pens/highlighters + journal, if you’re using one, in your spot the night before. You can also make some of my Homemade Cinnamon-Ginger Tea to enjoy as you’re waking up. That way all you have to do is get out of bed and go directly to spend time with the Lord of the Word!
- Confess (Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 19:12, 1 John 1:9)
- Give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Colossians 3:17, Psalm 107:1)
- Ask for His help. (Psalm 119:18, Psalm 139:23-24)
- Respond to what you read. (Psalm 119:32,62)
Remember Your Why!
It can be easy when we set a goal for our focus to shift towards completing it rather than the motivation that moved us to want to do it in the first place!
“God is the Only desirable good; nothing without Him is worthy of our hearts…The life, the glory, the blessedness, the soul-satisfying goodness that is in God are beyond all expression.”
And Remember to Be Flexible!
Sometimes my personality is to make a schedule or plan and feel the need to continue in it even though I reach the point that it is no longer working in my life.
If you need to change the place, time or pace, do it! And don’t feel bad about it!
This one is self-explanatory, but remember, the idea isn’t to have a perfect set-up and plan, the goal is to get to know God better through the reading of His Word and talking to Him in prayer.
So open up God’s love letter to you, fortify your life with His Word and above all delight yourself in Him!
Be Kind. Be Encouraging! Be a Multiplier!
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What are your best tips for reading God’s Word more consistently? Share them with us below! Blessings!