The beginning of the new year brings a sense of new hope to all of us. We see fresh starts happening and have a hope for something new and lasting to come. Many of us set resolutions or determine new habits. Some of us declutter our homes or set new budgets. Others may start a new diet or determine a health change, like joining a gym. But we all crave this new.
New Year’s Resolution
On January 1, 2016 I began a New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible in a year. I had never done it before. Oh, I had started many that fell apart. I would get behind because of, well, life, and then become discouraged that I couldn’t get caught up. But December 31, 2016, I finished reading all the way through the Bible for the first time.
I’ve considered since that time what changed to make me finally muster on the grit needed to complete such a lofty goal. I finally concluded a few things that might be helpful to others.
First of all, I believe my understanding of the importance of the Word of God changed. I had always had the habit of daily devotions but much of my time had been spent reading someone else’s ideas of what the Bible said. While there is nothing wrong with this periodically, I realized that it was really someone else’s idea after they were sitting at the feet of Jesus. I was starting to grow hungry for the Lord to teach me from His Word.
Secondly, I was beginning to gain an understanding of Logos…..the Word.
John 1:1 is, by far, my favorite verse. This is where we learn about logos. Logos means “word” or “the expression of thought”. Strongs Concordance describes it as “the personal wisdom and power in union with God”. We call the Bible the Word of God. Jesus was called the Word. He was God’s expression of thought to us. Jesus was the personal wisdom and power in union with God.
To take the Word of God into my heart is to take in Jesus. To hide the Word in my heart was to hide Jesus there. The more I know of the Word, the more I know of Jesus. I reasoned that dedicating time to read his Word was the very best way to spend my time rather than in other’s devotionals. This was no mere new year’s resolution. I was about to build a lifeline for myself.
How to Make it Work?
I understand what it is to feel like I have very little time on my hands to add one more thing. It seems impossible, at points, during those seaons to find the time to be in the Word. I walked for many years deep in the trenches, so maybe I can offer some help for how to make a Bible reading plan work.
There are so many great Bible reading plans but my favorite is the Five Day Bible Reading Program. Why? There are grace days worked into it. If you miss a day, then you can make it up on the grace day. I, for one, usually get behind because of speech and debate tournaments with my children. If I did get too far behind for those two grace days, I would split the days up and do a little extra to get caught up. For instances, one day split into two days along with the noral reading for those days.
But Wait!! There’s More!!B
This reading plan only took me 15 minutes a day. I am not a fast reader. More so, as a homeschool mom, i love efficiency and brevity, so I decided I would allow a Bible app to read to me while I followed along in my Bible. Reading along with the app allowed me retain the words and keep my mind from wandering. It’s also a little multi-sensory, which is my favorite way to teach and learn.
I usually do my reading in the morning but it can be done anytime. I am doing my most recent Bible reading plan in the morning at the breakfast table with my children. It can be done in the car while driving to school, waiting in the carpool line, or running errands as well.
Another advantage is being able to do the reading plan with your family. I am a firm believer in introducing children to the word of God early. Small children may not comprehend what you were saying but that doesn’t mean you are not planting seeds.
A final advantage to this is it’s digital. Yes, that’s right, digital. With the Reading Plan app (a similar app for andriod phones can be found here) you can keep track of your reading daily. It will also send you reminders. And if you don’t like the Five Day Reading Program, you can pick from many other plans. There are many churches who have started to include their plans on this app.
You Can Do This!!
Reading your Bible daily is one of the best habits you can build for the year. And you don’t have to wait until New Years to start this. That’s the beauty of Bible reading. You can start anytime. And the above methods will help keep you on track. The important thing is to start. I encourage you to get creative with your schedule. Ask the Lord to help you find 15 minutes in your day. The goal is to get into the Word everyday. You won’t regret building this habit.
How have you made Bible reading successful in your life?