Not everyone can do it. It’s hard. It takes commitment. It’s easy to get off track and getting back on can be a challenge. But if you have what it takes, I promise you, it will change your life.
I know. A few years ago, it saved my marriage. I’ll share the whole story in a later post, but the short version finds my amazing wife, Christy, sitting with me in a break room where she worked at Focus on the Family, telling me she was willing to give our marriage one more chance. But she wasn’t going to focus on “us.” She was going to do whatever it took to get things right with God, and see what happened. She also suggested I do the same. (For more on my Christy, CLICK HERE)
For Christy, that meant reading through the Bible. She grew up a preacher’s kid, so she’d heard all of her life about the importance of this spiritual discipline. But she’d never fully committed to it. But this time, something was different. And over the next year, I saw Christy grow in her faith by leaps and bounds. But I’m getting off track.
If you’re going to read the Bible through in a year, you need a plan. Here are four that I like:
1. The Classic Cover-to-Cover
This plan is the one you probably tried instinctively when you first began following Jesus. It’s all about opening the front cover of your Bible to Genesis 1:1 and reading through until you get to Revelation 22:13. There’s nothing wrong with this plan, but be prepared: you’ll start getting bogged down about half-way into Exodus and may very well hit a wall at Leviticus. If you’re going to do this plan, you’ll need an extra dose of commitment. You’ll need to read through about 3 1/4 chapters a day to reach your goal in a year.
2. The 90-Day Plan
This is the Classic plan on steroids. It’s the cover-to-cover straight through model, condensed into 90 days. This is a lot of reading, and some days, you may not make it. But the beauty of this is you accomplish the one year goal in a quarter of the time, and the level of comprehension is actually increased greatly, as the overarching themes of Scripture become more apparent. And rather than thinking about a certain number of chapters per day, you should focus on around twelve pages per day. I taught a discipleship class where a young lady took this challenge, and she literally went through a spiritual transformation right before my eyes over those three months.
3. One Year Immersion Plan
Let’s face it, most of us are more familiar with the New Testament, and would rather read it than the Old. There are no wars; less chronologies; and the ending is what we’re living for. But we still need to read the Old Testament. I mean, the New Testament doesn’t make any sense without it. The One Year Immersion Plan is a great option for this. In it, you’ll read the entire Old Testament once, and the New Testament three times. You’ll get a much better grasp on the New Testament, while introducing yourself to unfamiliar passages in the Old. For this plan, CLICK HERE.
4. Prof. Horner’s Bible Reading System
This plan is nearly as challenging as the 90-Day Plan, but is very unique and rewarding. In this plan, the Bible is divided into 10 groupings. You will read one chapter per day from each grouping. Proverbs is one group; Acts is as well. So you’ll read through both of those twelve different times. Others are much longer, and you’ll only get through that group about one and a half times. But this plan is amazing in its ability to help you see connections in Scripture that you never knew existed. This is the plan I’ve been using for some time, and I love it. Here’s an example of some of the unexpected nuggets you’ll discover. This morning, I read through Exodus 21. In it, I learned of the Biblical laws regarding a bondservant. Later, I read through 1 Corinthians 7. It addresses the Christian’s relationship with God as that of a bondservant. I picked up nuances in this analogy that I otherwise would have missed. This happens almost every day. For more information on this plan, CLICK HERE.
Regardless of which plan you choose, reading through the Bible in a year is a noble goal, and one that will bring spiritual growth that is well worth the time and effort.