Do you read your Bible on a regular basis?
If you are like me, then you have probably attempted to read through your Bible in the past, only to stop because you got too busy or found the way you were trying to read it was just too difficult.
You stopped. You beat yourself up. And you might be allowing fear to keep you from starting again.
If that's you, then I would like to share some tips and Bible reading plans that I've picked up along the way. I pray this post encourages you and hopefully helps you in your faith journey.
Ask yourself the following three questions:
(1) How do you show someone you love them? By spending time with them.
(2) Do you know that God has written you a love letter? It's called the Bible.
(3) When was the last time that you opened your Bible? (or Bible app)
Regardless of your answers to the questions above, I want to encourage you to take your next step.
Below you'll find several reading plans and ways of the reading the Bible. You'll also find (a) tips that I think are helpful (b) links of things to download and (c) links to books you can purchase online or at your local Christian bookstore.
TIP: The Olive Tree on Bultman either has or can order the books I'll mention. I've linked to Amazon for ease of use and so that you can see the book, read reviews, etc. Don't forget, it pays to #ShopLocal.
TIP: I encourage you to mark in your copy of God's Word. I don't know about you, but I can't remember everything. By marking, mainly underlining for me, I have a great visual for the truths, promises and examples of God's great love and faithfulness. If I have a few minutes between meetings, I'll typically thumb through my Bible and read some of my highlights. As I'm sure His Spirit will do you for you, He tends to bless me all over again by reading those things I've underlined. I need those reminders. They've helped me.
WAYS YOU CAN READ YOUR BIBLE
Title: Psalms and Proverbs
Ease of reading: Easy
An easy way to jump into God's Word is to start in the book of Psalms and Proverbs.
The great thing about this plan is that it is a good place to start. I checked off the Psalm, near the chapter heading, after I read it to keep me straight as to which one had been read, etc.
Also in Proverbs it is easy to remember which one to read. How many days are in a typical month? Thirty (30) or thirty one (31), right? Yes. For example I posted this article on August 13, so today I would read Proverbs 13. Just read the chapter in Proverbs that corresponds to what day of the month it is. Easy, right?
** I encourage you to keep scrolling because I've included other resources that might help you as well.
Title: Walk Through The Word
Ease of reading: Easy
This book, Walk Through The Word, is a great way to walk through the New Testament in a year.
"Fifty-one other pastors have joined me in contributing time and expertise to bring Scripture alive for each day of Walk Through The Word. We invite you to embark on a meaningful journey of reading through the New Testament in a year. If is our prayer that you will grow in your faith and deepen your walk with God along the way." --Dr. Johnny Hunt
This is a great book. I love the format and ease of reading. It is a devotional, however it relies heavily on the Word and then has a blurb written by a pastor at the end. So the Word comes first. That's never a bad thing, right? Each day's entry is about 3/4 the Word of God and then a devotional thought. Most devotionals are the the opposite. They feature a verse or two and then expound on a truth from that passage.
Title: Discipleship Reading Plan (Gospels in a year)
Ease of reading: Easy
This is a great little plan, Discipleship Reading Plan. I learned of this plan from Pastor John Sorrells when I went through some discipleship training at Crosspoint a years ago. It is easy because it is obtainable. It is a great first step for reading through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in a year's time.
BONUS: Read the 7-up challenge. A great challenge for all of us. These two documents are a great thing for your small group or Sunday School Class to go through.
Lastly, there is a great book that went along with the training I went through. It is called, Disciples Are Made Not Born: Helping Others Grow to Maturity in Christ.
Reading the Bible in a year (or two)
Ease of reading: Moderate
This plan is going to take some commitment and dedication.
You can read your Bible straight through (Genesis to Revelation) or chronologically. You can also buy a Chronological Bible or you can use a Bible you already own and navigate using this handy dandy PDF from the back of my Chronological Bible. This plan has a one and two year tracks.
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chamber
Ease of reading: Easy, but hard. He will make you think!
While this isn't a reading plan, I would be remiss if I did not mention it. I have to thank Mark Champagne for turning me on to Oswald Chambers. When I would read Chambers at first, I would end by saying, "Lord, what did I just read." Chambers is a brilliant mind, who has had far greater impact in death than he had in life.
I then approached this material asking God, "God, just give me a nugget, one nugget when I read this."
Chambers will challenge you. Not for everyone, but some good, deep stuff.
Oswald Chamber is credited with saying one of my favorite sayings and nuggets of truth: "Never live on your memories of past experiences, but let the Word of God always be living and active in you."
You can buy the book from The Olive Tree or you access his devotional each day, online for FREE, http://utmost.org.
90-Day Reading Plan
Ease of reading: Moderate to hard
This is an intensive plan to say the least, but the investment is so worth it. You can use any Bible and simply use this 90-Day Reading Plan to keep track of your process and to know how much you have to read.
These are just a few of the plans that I've run across, I know there are many more.
Lastly, I'd like to encourage you with some additional links and resources that I've found as well.
LINKS OF INTEREST
YouVersion Bible App
Read. Listen. Watch. Share.
A great tool. Yes, you can even listen to the Word being read. Syncs across all your devices and the web as well.
YouVersion Bible Reading Plans (from app above)
This is really cool. They have TON of great ways to read the Bible. Just hop on and check out their library. Great plans from awesome pastors/teachers; topical devotionals; short reads; long reads. Just check it out.
**I personally love technology, but there is something about having an actual copy of God's Word, where you can turn the pages, underline and hold it in your hands. You gotta get what fits best for you!
What a list. I hope this helps somebody out there.
What reading plan(s) have helped you?
I'd love to hear how you are taking your next steps. Chime in via the comments below or on Facebook.
I'm praying this will help you take your next step!