Reading the entire bible can feel like a daunting task. It’s easy to get distracted with commitments to family, work, or our social lives. The busyness of life can prevent us from doing one of the most important things we can do which is to sit down and read the bible. The urgency of the issue can’t be understated. Who is God? How do we know what pleases Him? What does it mean to be a Christian? How can we know that Jesus is the messiah? How do we answer the challenge of skeptics? What is the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives? To answer those questions, we must read the bible.
To successfully complete this endeavor, it’s best to start out with a plan. In my case, it was my New Year’s resolution to do this. I got myself a reading plan that would take me through the bible from the beginning of January to the end of December by date. You can see the plan that I chose to use here. Although that’s the one I used and found helpful (especially when I started getting behind), I’d actually suggest another method of getting through the bible.
I found this website a lot more convenient from a glance. It has different plans that are specific to what you may be looking to accomplish. There are plans for particular books, just the old or new testament, there’s both testaments in a year, there’s both in three months, there’s a plan that ties themes together that are told throughout the bible, and more plans of varying difficulty. There’s even a two year plan for those of us that are really busy or are slow readers. It’s a tool for the young and mature in the faith!
No matter what plan you decide to go with, the important part of all this is to stick to it. You need to know what’s in the bible. You need to know what you believe when you confess Jesus as Lord. One read through isn’t going to give an in depth knowledge of everything, especially not in a one year plan. That is true. There’s not enough time to sit and meditate on the truths of scripture when you’re on a schedule like this. Nevertheless, it’s good to intake it all and be exposed to it. Think of it as a foundation to build on.
After you’re done with your first read through, then you can pick a more thorough reading plan for the book or topic of your choice. Personally, I decided not to go with another rendered plan. I read books of the bible at my own pace, and then I’d either find a podcast, sermon, or website that addresses parts of the text I’m wrestling with (NOT suggesting at all that it’s something everyone can or should do, but it’s been helpful for me).
Besides the two websites I have listed here, there are plenty of other options available. Check out the many bible apps for your smartphone or mobile device of choice. Both Google Play and Itunes have a plethora of them that have plans and reminders included in the software. If you’re a slacker like me, you can use an audio bible while you’re on the go to catch up. Faith comes by hearing, right?!
Once you get into some deep study, then the fun stuff like commentaries, concordances, and journaling come into play. None of those things are necessary as they aren’t biblical practices, but they sure do help with engaging the scriptures.