You’ve heard that old saying: “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This practical principle is true in every area of life – including our spiritual discipleship. If we want to be in God’s Word consistently, then we need a plan. A plan for reading your Bible.
You may have tried it without a Bible reading plan. Perhaps you settled in to spend time with God, but you aren’t sure where to read. Maybe just opened your Bible and started reading wherever it fell open. Or maybe because you didn’t know where to go, you went to a familiar passage you’ve read a hundred times. Or maybe you felt overwhelmed and ill-equipped so you simply closed your Bible.
BUT… if you have a plan, you will always be prepared when you sit down with God and His Word.
A few benefits of having a Bible Reading Plan
- More Consistency – It’s easier to begin reading if you know where you’ll be reading.
- Better understanding – Reading God’s Word in context promotes a more accurate understanding of His original intent.
- Increased knowledge – Through planning, you can include books of the Bible you are not familiar with! The more we know of God’s Word, the more we will know of God!
- Excitement – When I know what I’ll be reading today, and tomorrow, and the next day, I am excited to get there! That excitement fosters persistence and success!
A few words of caution & a bit of advice
- Plan for success – Choose a plan that will challenge you but not overwhelm. For instance, if you have struggled to read your Bible consistently, don’t start with a “Read the Bible through in a year plan.” Choose a plan that is just a step beyond where you are now. If you are getting into God’s Word about 3 times a week, look for a plan that has 5 days of readings each week.
- Give yourself grace – Shoot for consistency, but know there will be days where you just don’t get to it. And that’s okay!
- Don’t give up – If you get far behind in your plan, it’s really tempting to just throw in the towel. Instead of giving up, start fresh. Start a new plan or begin reading a different Bible book. If you are reading with a group, just jump back in where they are!
A few Bible Reading Plan Suggestions
There is a plethora (Yes, I was looking for an excuse to use that word today. Love it!) of plans available to us today! Here are some options:
- Bible apps – For instance, the “You Version” app has plans built into the app that help keep you on track.
- Online plans – Websites like BibleGateway have oodles of plans available. You can read them online or have the readings sent to your inbox!
- Your Bible – Some Bibles have plans in the back. For instance, this “NIV One Year Bible” divides God’s Word into 365 readings to take you through the whole Bible in a year.
- Make you own plan – Choose a book or books of the Bible. Reading full books are the best way to really grasp the meaning. Determine how much you can read each day and mark the readings on a calendar. You can completely personalize this! You can determine how many days a week you can read and what length each reading will be.
- Other Organized Plans – These can be year-long plans or shorter-term plans organized around a theme. For instance, Advent Reading plans for Christmas time. This is what I usually do. I have even developed several plans that are available for free on my website! Go to my “Free Resources” page to check them out.
Feel like you need some encouragement and accountability to stay in God’s Word? Invite a friend or two to join you! You can use the same plan and meet periodically to discuss what you’ve been reading. There are also online groups to offer help and encouragement. I host one on Facebook. In fact, you are welcome to join us at “Reading the Bible Together.”
What has been your biggest hindrance to staying in God’s Word regularly?
A few other posts you may find helpful:
- 9 Tips to Help You Interpret the Bible
- 11 Tips for Spending Quality Quiet Time with God
- 8 Tips to Help Make Quiet Time a Reality – especially for moms of young children