So you’ve made that New Year’s Resolution to read the Bible every day. But you’ve also decided that reading through the entire Bible in one year is more than you can handle. So, what do you do?
Here’s a little secret that may surprise you: it really doesn’t matter what plan you follow, as long as you are reading the Bible!
A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with a young man I was discipling. We were talking about the importance of daily Bible reading, and he made the commitment to get started. Three or four days later, I asked him how that was going. He told me that he hadn’t gotten started yet, but he would get right on it. Again, a few days later I ran into him and asked if he’d gotten started. He replied that he hadn’t found the right plan yet. I just shook my head. (To read more about this, CLICK HERE)
If you’re waiting for the perfect plan in order to start reading the Bible, you’ll never start reading the Bible. That’s what I call, “an excuse.”
So, in my own loving, gracious way, I’m here to help remove that excuse. Here are three alternative Bible reading plans to get you started.
1. The Gospels
I once heard the story of a Jewish rabbi talking to a group of talmidim (that’s Hebrew for “disciples”) about what it means to follow their rabbi. The general point he was making is that discipleship isn’t about knowing what your rabbi teaches, but about becoming like your rabbi. In order to do that, a talmid observes every single thing his rabbi does; nothing is too small or unimportant. The rabbi then paused and commented that Christians miss this completely; that we claim to be disciples of our Rabbi, Jesus, but we don’t even know Him. He then said, “Any Christian who claims to be a disciple of Jesus, but doesn’t read through the four Gospels at least once a month is fooling themselves.” Ouch.
After hearing this, I took that challenge to heart. For a solid year, all I did was read through one Gospel per week. It’s pretty easy. Just take the number of chapters in that week’s Gospel, divide it by seven, and read that many chapters per day. On the odd month where there’s an extra Sunday (which is when is started each Gospel), I read through The Revelation that week.
Here’s what happened. After a year, I could pretty much tell you what book and chapter any incident in Jesus’ life was found. The stories and teaching and truths became so much more accessible to my mind. And through this, I came to know Jesus better. I believe it has made me a better disciple.
2. The Torah
This one is a little more out of the box, at least for Christians. But it’s also the oldest Bible reading plan in existence. Millions of followers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, have been following it for thousands of years. In it, you’ll read through the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), along with related passages from the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures (also called the Old Testament). And if you want to include the New Testament Scriptures into your reading, those can be added as well. Here’s a link with all of the details.
Finally, You Version has literally hundreds of topical Bible reading plans on everything from marriage to parenting to burnout to humility to worship to…the list just keeps going. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s there. Here’s their list.
But here’s the most important thing: READ SOMETHING! Don’t wait to find the perfect plan. Remember, the worst plan properly executed is better than the perfect plan you never find. Just start reading. I mean it. Go. NOW! (You’ll thank me later.)