I love a new year. It’s an opportunity for a fresh start. A time to evaluate goals from the last year and make new ones for the coming year. One of the things I’ve pondered this year is what is important to me? When I look back on my life in five or ten years, what do I want to have accomplished?
Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
I don’t want to float through life. Rather, when I look back on my life, I want it to be said that I loved God and loved others well.
This year I went back to school after twenty-five years. One thing I realized is that if you want to become knowledgeable in a subject, you have to study it–a lot. Sometimes it was fun, other times I’d rather have been doing something else.
The Bible is our guidebook in life. I realize I’m not going to automatically jump out of bed and love God, others, and myself well. I need to read the manual my Maker graciously provided. Some days that’s easy. Others I must choose to prioritize it just like I’ve learned to for school.
There are many many Bible reading plans and ways to read the Bible. In 2020 I want to read the entire Bible. That can seem daunting, the Bible is a big book! There are 66 books or 1,189 chapters. That’s about 100 chapters a month, or between 3 and 4 chapters a day. That’s more doable. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Interested? A quick google search will show many Bible reading plans. I’ll list three to get you started.
YouVersion Bible. It has an app for the phone or it can be read on the computer at bible.com. It’s easy to navigate, and it has tons of reading plans and devotionals. It has a verse of the day and notifications. It’s free.
Dwell app. I love to listen to the Bible while driving or folding laundry. Multitasking rocks! Audible has the Bible on Audio, but it doesn’t break down the chapters by book, which I’d prefer. YouVersion has audio options. I also checked out the free section of the Dwell app (it has a $29.99 a year subscription) and was impressed. It offers six different voices, playlists based on subjects like hope or forgiveness, and various Bible reading plans.
ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal For those who like the feel of paper and are looking for something fresh, this is an awesome choice. Each book of the Bible is separate. And, every page of text is followed by a blank page you can journal or color. I purchased this set last year and love it. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at how large the Bible is, I could pick up a book like Philippians or Colossians and read it in 15 minutes. I read through the New Testament in a couple of months by reading it for a few minutes before bed each night. They also have an Old Testament set available for purchase separately.
Bonus: First 5 app The idea behind this app is to commit the first five minutes of your day to God in the Word. It’s free and I highly recommend it.
It’s easy to get bogged down by all the options. But, in life, it often isn’t about the “how” as much as it is just doing the thing. In writing it’s often referred to as, “Sitting your butt in the chair and writing.” Growth happens when you show up consistently. I’m still deciding which method I’m going to choose for 2020. Maybe I’ll just keep it simple and start at the beginning and read four chapters a day. How about you? Do you have a Bible reading routine?
There’s so much good advice and so many great tools here! Thanks to you, no excuses!