If we want to know God better and grow spiritually, we need to be in His Word. And that doesn’t happen by accident. We need to be intentional. We NEED a Bible reading plan.
How do you plan to be in Scripture in the new year? It is not unspiritual to plan. At best, lack of planning means our time in the Bible will be hit and miss.
Years ago, before I started using long-term planning, my time in God’s Word was limited to published Bible studies. I was only in the Bible if I was in a study. I did learn a lot, but my knowledge was limited to the scope of those studies. I eventually began to see those wonderful studies as something that should be supplemental to regular Bible reading, not instead of. I needed to let God’s Spirit teach me directly from His Word. And it needed to be a day-to-day habit, not just two semesters of study a year.
Three Different Approaches to a Bible Reading Plan
At different times in my life, I have used all the various approaches to Bible reading listed below. There are advantages to each. Honestly, we need all of them. So, if you’ve been reading one way for quite a few years, consider changing it up for 2024. (Also see “Wide or Deep? Fast or Slow? Best Way to Read the Bible.“)
- Read the Bible Through – Everyone needs to do this at least once! Reading through the whole Bible in a year – or even less time – helps us see and appreciate the Big Story (metanarrative) of Scripture. We see how all the pieces fit together. Also see “What is the Metanarrative of Scripture?”) I do have a year-long plan on my website that will take you through the entire Bible. It’s FREE to download. If you want to take a little slower pace, here’s a three-year long full Bible plan. And if you’re up for a challenge, Mary DeMuth has a full Bible 90-day challenge!
- Book-by-Book – This approach is for those who want to dig deep and savor what they’re reading rather than reading at a pace to cover a lot of ground. I’ve found a good pace for me is about 20 verses. The amount of Bible books you’ll read during the year will depend on how many verses you read each day and the length of the books you choose. There are six years of Bible reading plans with this approach on the Free Resources page of my website. Check them out!
- Topical – A topical plan would focus on a particular topic, word, character, etc found in Scripture. For instance, you could read all about God’s grace or parenting. It’s a little harder to find a full-year topical plan. However, I do have a couple of plans on my website that cover broad categories that are a year. One is the “Christian Doctrine” plan and the other is “Key Bible Character” plan. Check them out on the “Free Resources” page.
Join My Bible Reading Group
I love to help women get into the Word, to encourage them to build a habit, and to equip them with solid study tools. To this end, one thing I do is lead a daily Bible reading group on Facebook. I have led this group consistently for almost 10 years now. We’ve been using the book-by-book approach for the last six. We start a new book – and a new full year’s Bible reading plan – on Monday, January 1st. (The book introduction will post on Saturday, December 30th.)
“Reading the Bible Together” is an encouraging, active community that includes women of all ages and walks of life who want to be in God’s Word. The members pray for one another and welcome all.
We read through one Bible book at a time, maintaining a pace that allows us to go a little deeper each day. The group fits any schedule, you can stop in anytime. We have women from all over the world so everyone reads and comments when it works best for them.
How the group works:
- Readings & discussion questions for Monday through Friday
- Daily posts scheduled for 5am Central time
- Averages 20-30 verses a day
- Formatted to help you get into the Word for yourself
- This group is FREE
- New Bible books begin immediately after one ends
- You can start and stop at any time
This group is for women of all ages and any place on the globe! If you’d like to join, follow the link to the Group Page, request to join, and answer the three easy questions. Note: You do need a Facebook account to join a group.
Additional Resources to Help
The New Year is almost here! Now is the time to prepare so you can hit the ground running with the calendar change. Pick a plan, gather your tools, and commit to a new year in the Word. If you’ve struggled with consistency, here are a few posts that can help you build a spiritually-healthy habit:
What is YOUR plan for being in the Bible in 2024? How can I help?