I’ve never been very good at following through with things just because someone tells me to do them. Usually there has to be a reason for me, I have to understand why and make it real. The same thing held true for reading through the Bible. Sure, I had read a good chunk of the Bible already – in personal devotion times, in Bible studies, and even in university classes. But the entire Bible, from beginning to end? No, I’d never mastered that goal, no matter what I tried. I didn’t want to stop trying, though, so I did what helps me most in other areas of my life. I made a list. Lists help me sort through problems, accomplish tasks, and encourage me immensely.
Here’s my list of reasons for reading the Word of God:
- It is “a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105)
- It helps “that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11)
- The more I know scripture, the more I know Jesus. He is the living and active (Hebrews 4:12) Word of God. He is the Bible made into human form.
And because I love a good challenge, I wanted to do the reading in a year, just like all these other people were doing. The trick was to find a plan that worked for the vision I had for our family life. I wanted one that matched up with special holy days on the calendar – Lent, Easter, and Advent.
Not too much to ask, right? Yes, it was. I tried for years to find a Bible reading plan that fit for me. I cut and pasted plans from others, but nothing seemed right. I could never make it through the whole Bible, and definitely not in one year.
Until… I decided to craft my own plan. This was no small feat, and the plan needs to be changed up slightly every year in the winter/spring months so that it lines up with Lent. But I think I’m onto something good here.
Journaling through the readings was key for me, simply because I am a writer who needs to put words on paper (or screen) for life to make sense. The same thing held true for reading through the Bible.
So here we are… and I did it! I read through the entire Bible from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013! Sharing the readings and daily thoughts on a blog and a Facebook page truly helped me gain the accountability I needed to see the journey through to completion.
And that’s why this book has come into existence. To help others as they journey through reading the Bible. To come alongside and share the load and be accountable and… quite simply, to learn more about God together. That’s the whole point. To know God more. And in the knowing, I think we come to love him more too.
I invite you to join in – no matter if life is crazy and busy and overwhelming. Read what you can manage – as long as you’re reading, that’s amazing! And if you miss a day, or a week, or a month(!), just see where we are on the plan and jump back in!
Well, what do you say? Shall we take a few steps together on this journey and see how it goes?
I have a little advice before we begin… If you miss a day, go on to the next day’s reading. If you miss a week, jump to the next week’s readings. If it takes you five years instead of one, that’s OK too. The whole point is to get an idea of what’s in the Bible, and where to find what you’re looking for, and to soak in as much as we can of the whole of God’s story. We’re just getting to know God and His people a little better every time we open the Good Book.
A couple of notes before we get started…
- I encourage you to make a mess of this book, dig into the Bible, and record anything that comes to mind. Write, doodle, or draw – it helps to process what you’ve read.
- You’ll find the Bible Reading Plan at the back of the book. The plan was designed to be cut out and made into monthly bookmarks to help you keep track of your reading.
- There is a focus on Psalms starting in January – it’s a great way to unwind and find peace after the busyness of the Christmas season.
- There is a focus on the New Testament starting in February, and reading through the gospels during Lent.
- There is a focus on the Old Testament starting in June, and reading through most of that section before Advent.
- Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are intertwined through the year, as those books stand alone in the Bible.
- Also, I’ve slotted 1 & 2 Chronicles in during Advent season, because that is a good summary of Old Testament events – from creation to the fall of Jerusalem.