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Reading the Bible daily is a habit we know is important, so why is consistency so difficult? Find a Bible reading plan to help you get in God’s word regularly.
We’re focusing this month on making small changes to one habit at a time that add up to lasting change. And why not start with the most important habit of all…being in God’s word regularly. In reality, it’s no exaggeration to say that no other habit matters more than this one.
My husband and I are teaching the youth at our church this Sunday. Our lesson is going to be on how to make God-pleasing decisions. What we’re finding as we prepare our lesson is that we keep coming back to this truth: Knowing what God’s word says on a topic is key to being able to know His best for us. Even more than being key, it’s essential. (Seeking Godly counsel is up there, too, but that’s a topic for another day).
So if we know reading the Bible daily is vital…why don’t we do it?
I’ll go through seasons where I’m diligent in my daily Bible reading, and then one day I’ll realize I haven’t opened my Bible just to read it for awhile. I’m at church twice a week, I’ll justify, teaching at least one of those times. So it’s not like I’m not reading or hearing Scripture.
Still, that doesn’t compare to soaking in His word and spending time listening for what my Good Father wants to speak to me.
Have you been there?
Maybe you’ve found, like I have, that having a plan makes all the difference in consistency. I’ll be honest, the first time that I committed to read through the Bible in a year it was maybe not for the best reason. Someone I knew said that she read through the Bible each year and I thought, “Well if she can do it, I can do it.” Not out of a pure desire to develop this vital habit, but because I didn’t want to be outdone. Let’s call it what it was: Pride.
Regardless of my motives, however, God used that year to grow me and change me in many ways.
Find a Bible reading plan that works for you
Whatever your motives are in wanting to develop this habit…God can bless you and speak to you in ways you can’t even imagine. Promise.
And besides our personal motives, we are all motivated differently by a plan that works for us. When it comes to spending time in God’s word daily, whatever works for you is the right plan. So let’s look at some different resources and find something that works!
Read through the whole Bible in a year
There are lots of plans that map out ways for you to read through the entire Bible in 365 days. (Note: You don’t have to start on January 1st, btw. Your year of reading can begin whenever you decide to start).
My sister loves her One Year Chronological Bible. She has read through it every year for…well, I’m not sure, but for a long time! Seeing how Biblical passages align with one another, who lived at the same time as who, and reading historically how events played out can bring Scripture to life. I tried this, but struggled with feeling a bit bored.
This page has compiled quite a number of Bible reading plans to choose from. Several are one year plans, others are ongoing. Many have printable checklists you can use to track your reading. My favorite is the 5-Day Reading Program. It maps out passages to read five days a week. I like that it pulls from the Old Testament, New Testament and Psalms/Proverbs each day. The variety is nice (I think skipping around like this would drive my Chronological-Bible-Loving sister crazy). 🙂
This link at the One-Year Bible Online has a similar method, but has readings for every day: One year Bible reading plan.
The plan I’m using this year is the same one I used the first time I read through the Bible in a year. It’s actually called a prayer journal, but includes daily Scripture readings. The reading plan includes a couple of chapters as well as something from Psalms or Proverbs each day.
My favorite part about this journal is the space to jot down what stands out to me from my daily reading each day. A verse. A phrase. Maybe a truth that God is speaking into my life. Often, this little nugget will stick in my mind throughout the day. And because I often spend time in prayer while I’m doing my daily reading, the prayer journal aspect fits nicely with my reading schedule.
I think this may have to be an annual purchase from now on. I love it!
Topical Bible reading plans
There’s no rule that says that you have to read through the Bible cover to cover, you know.
- This page offers a daily devotion and over the course of 2019 will be covering the whole New Testament as well as the book of Proverbs.
- This page at Blossom in Faith has a number of free topical Bible reading plans. If you’re wanting to grow the fruits of the Spirit in your life, these topics are right on point. Love, joy, peace…self-control, they’re all there. Each topic has a few verses to read each day for a month.
- Another neat way to get in the Word every day is a Scripture-Writing Plan. This site has lots of free printables of topical studies to go through. You can subscribe to her site to gain access to the printables, or you can search old posts for topics like Bible verses for anxiety or Bible verses on my identity in Christ and find individual plans online.
There’s something about writing it that makes a verse stick in our head. It also makes it more personal, somehow. You can use this technique with any Bible reading plan you try, choose a verse or two to copy into a journal or onto a note card.
The habit of daily Bible reading
Nothing gets our eyes fixed on Him more or sets our hearts on things above more than being in God’s word every single day. As a fan of less structure rather than more structure, I can get in the habit of just opening my Bible and reading what my eyes fall upon. There’s benefit to this, no doubt. But I’ve found that it’s not ideal for growing on a consistent basis.
There is something beautiful and complete about following a plan that forces you to read portions of Scripture you may otherwise skip over. Something lovely about asking Him to speak through the familiar passages in a new way.
Tell us–what’s your biggest struggle in reading the Bible daily OR how do you do stay consistent in this habit??