Why read the Bible? Isn’t a couple of hours on Sunday spent worshipping God through corporate Bible reading, preaching, and singing enough to get a person through the week? Maybe sprinkle in a Bible-based podcast here and there between Sundays?
Reading the Bible on a daily basis is important for a number of reasons: first of all, because God commands it, in both the Old and New Testaments (Joshua 1:8 and Matthew 4:4). Second of all for our benefit, according to 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Not only can reading the Bible teach us doctrine, but it can dispel fear (Psalm 56:4), keep us from sin (Psalm 119:11), give us faith (Romans 10:17), bless us (Revelation 1:1-20), and set us free (John 8:32), just to name a few benefits.
Being a Christian on Sunday is easy. Most people are on their best behavior at church: well-dressed, smiling, agreeable, very spiritual. How easy is it to be a Christian on Monday morning when the alarm goes off for work or school. Tuesday evening when your co-workers invite you to go to the bar with them, Wednesday afternoon when your boss asks you to lie for him. Thursday night when a porn site pops up on your phone. Friday at lunch when another student slips you the test key for the upcoming exam. Saturday when you would rather sleep all day instead of facing chores at home? What is it that will keep you focused and choosing the right thing instead of pushing back that gnawing feeling in your conscience as you go along with everyone else?
Reading your Bible on a daily basis will go a long way in helping you move from being a Sunday-only Christian to an every day of the week Christian.
The Christian life is a constant battle. You will have to fight to read your Bible. It won’t come naturally nor will it be easy, but, with steady practice, reading your Bible will become as natural as taking your next breath. Developing a plan is the best thing you can do to ensure your success in creating this habit. The first thing you should do is commit this to the Lord. Ask Him to give you the ability to say yes to Bible reading and no to the excuses. Ask Him to guide you as you choose a plan. Psalm 119:18 is an excellent verse to pray each time you read the Word, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law”
Reading your Bible through in a year is a worthy cause, but don’t expect to go from 0-100 overnight. If you have not been reading on a daily basis, trying to follow a plan that requires multiple chapters a day will render you discouraged. Try reading a verse a day. Write it out on a 3×5 card to take with you to work or school so you can reflect on it throughout the day. Start small and grow from there. Reading through the whole Bible at least several times in your lifetime should be a goal to work up to.
With so many options when it comes to Bible reading plans, it can seem overwhelming and daunting to know which one to choose. Pray about it and then pick a plan. Commit to it for a whole month to see how it works for you. If you need to switch plans the following month, do so, but do not give up entirely. If you miss a day, pick back up where you left off. Clearly, January 1st has come and gone, but don’t let that deter you. Pick a plan and start on whatever day it currently is. Check out the following options to see if one fits you.
- This site offers themed monthly plans you can choose from. All the plans have 31 days so they work for any month.
- These plans are 21 days that are updated so you can flex your way through the month. If one passage really speaks to you, read it a second day. Each month is a different theme.
- Printable bookmarks to read the Bible through in two years can be found here.
- This book does have a cost but offers seven different plans along with guides on how to develop a Bible reading and Bible study plan. Included are Scripture timelines, authors and genres, themes and key verses – all very helpful in understanding the Bible.
- If you are already a daily Bible reader and have read the Bible through in a year, try a new approach. Read through it chronologically, like this plan offers.
- If you want a unique perspective on how the whole Bible fits together, Professor Horner’s system is amazing. Do not be intimidated by ten chapters a day. It is possible and very much worth your while.
- If you are a parent, there is no better habit to instill in your child than daily Bible reading. This site offers a year’s worth of printable calendars for your child to cultivate the habit of reading their Bible. This one does have a cost, but what better way to spend money on your kids!
- You can find a Here is a free sample to check out before you buy here.
Commit to being in God’s Word on a daily basis and you will be blessed and changed for it!