Reading the Bible in a Year Without Giving Up
Reading the Bible in a year can seem like a daunting task even though it shouldn't be. It should be a blessing! The word of God always comes with a blessing, so why do so many struggle to sit down and spend more time in God's word? Because it's spiritual! But there is more... I have been on the quest to read the Bible in a year as well and after many failed attempts, I finally figured out how. If you have been struggling to read your Bible from Genesis to Revelation, here are some tips to help you succeed.
Allow God to Lead You
This first tip seems logical but it is not at all - it is a spiritual insight. When I became a born-again Christian many years ago I was so excited to dive into the word of God but I approached the Bible like any other book. I sat down to read it like a novel and although the old testament gives "story time vibes" sometimes, reading the Bible is not for entertainment at all. The Bible should edify and equip us for the work of God and the mission He has set us on. Therefore, the best, in fact, the only way, to read God's word is by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and teach you through the word.
Set Goals for Your Bible Reading Plan
Just like with pretty much anything in life, it's good to set goals for your Bible reading plan. It will help you to remain focused when distractions try to come your way. That you have set the goal of reading the Bible in a year is already a great start but getting a bit more granular might contribute to completing your Bible reading plan quest. What about setting a goal for a specific time of day, for example? Specific milestone goals like "Reading the first 5 chapters of the Old Testament by February" could be the determining factor if you get through the Bible reading plan.
Don't Give Up
This is a big one! Don't give up is probably one of the most used sentences of encouragement but this is the real deal when it comes to completing your Bible study goal. The enemy is not happy about you wanting to grow spiritually because he is aware and afraid of your capabilities, so he will come at you with everything he got to keep you from continually studying the word of God. The Bible reminds us in Ephesians 6:10-12: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” So be ready, and prepared, and don't give up!
Don't Entertain Any Setbacks
You had a busy morning, rushed out of the door, and maybe even had to work longer. Got back home, prepared (or at least ate) dinner, and got preoccupied with house chores. You were so exhausted that you called it an early night and oops you missed continuing your Bible reading plan for the day. That means you're already a day behind, yikes! Well, don't let that deter you, keep pushing. Whether you're two days behind or two weeks, don't entertain the feeling of failure. Keep at it, and do whatever it takes to get back on track with your Bible study plan.
Be Strategic About Reading Your Bible
This is similar to the point above about goal setting but is more aimed at reading your Bible in a year in a strategic and organized way. Precisely, keeping track of your Bible study progress. One way I am keeping track of my progress is with a Bible in a Year Reading Planner for Google Sheets that I created. It's a daily Bible study planner that allows me to tick off every completed day of the Bible reading plan. It includes passages from the Old and New Testament for every single day of the year and allows me to write down my thoughts, questions, and prayer points for each day - as the Spirit leads. It's so convenient, keeps me accountable, and allows me to review my notes and have them handy if I want to discuss my thoughts and questions with others. If you're curious, you can access the Bible in a year reading planner here. All the proceeds will be poured back into ministry work.
Hopefully, these tips were helpful and you feel encouraged and empowered to give reading your Bible in a year another go. I pray that you do because that investment will be the best you ever made.