Reading the Bible Through This Year
Resolutions or not, just do it!
Do you make resolutions for the new year? I used to make them. Lose twenty pounds this year. Read thirty books this year. Clean out all the closets in the house this year.
My past resolutions usually include numerical significance. Twenty pounds. Thirty books. ALL the closets. Why do I do this? Maybe that numerical factor gives the resolution an added hope for success.
There’s another resolution with a large numerical goal that has made my list many times over the years. Read the Bible all the way through.
Thirty-nine Old Testament books to read, plus twenty-seven in the New Testament. That’s a total of sixty-six books—and thirty-six more than my resolution to read thirty book-books in a year! (This is the Protestant Bible, by the way. If you’re Catholic, your book numbers are even higher.)
That’s a lot of numerical goals, and the weight of such can turn daunting really quick. Before you make it through the books of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) you may be asking yourself, “What was I thinking?” At least, that has been my experience several times over.
Before I go on, let me mention it is my opinion a brand-new Christian may not need the pressure of attempting to read the Bible through in a year. So, if that’s you, hang on. Last year, I wrote another blog post for you, and I’ll share it later.
You may disagree with that last paragraph, and that’s okay. I do think it depends on the individual (brand-new Christian), and whether they are ready to take on the whole of the Scripture in a set time frame.
As for me, I fall into a different category. Raised a preacher’s kid, church was my life. As a minister, my father studied the Bible daily. My mother has read the Bible through yearly for as long as I’ve been around. My siblings and I received our first Bible at an early age.
By the time I graduated from high school, I’d been listening to all the Bible stories in Sunday School, children’s church, and youth group for seventeen-plus years. I could recite most of the stories back to you. Had I read the Bible all the way through? No, but how I wish I could say I had.
To my younger friends, please, please read the Bible through while you’re young. This will help you to get a glimpse of the Scriptures as a whole, and it will only enrich your life for the years ahead.
In my young adult years, I would make the resolution to read the Bible through. I can remember doing this nearly every January. Then, a few weeks into the reading plan, I’d begin to lose focus. If the book of Leviticus doesn’t discourage your progress, I don’t know what will. And at that point, you’re only three books into this thing!
As a wife and mother, I often made a committed effort to read the Bible all the way through. Our pastor would sometimes announce a church-wide Bible reading plan and encourage participation. I would join up, but not finish. It makes me sad to say so.
Years later, I completed two university degrees in ministry. I had become a student of God’s Word, served as a worship pastor, and taught others. Still, I had not read the Bible all the way through in a year’s time.
Friend, I am not suggesting that reading the Bible through in a year is a requirement for entry into heaven. Looking back, however, I do wish I had been more diligent to complete the process.
This past December, I felt the Lord nudging me to try again. I kept seeing an ad for the NLT One Year Chronological Bible. Another voice said, “You will never finish, so don’t spend the money.” I was compelled to listen to the right voice, and ordered a copy of this Bible.
As I write this, I am eleven days into my year of reading through the Bible. I’ve chosen to view this not as a New Year’s Resolution, but a commitment to a deeper understanding of the whole of Scripture.
If you are a regular at reading through His Word in a year, pray for me to stay the course. Or, if you have never done it, why not join me? It’s not too late to begin. Resolution or not, just do it!
Find the NLT One Year Chronological Bible by Tyndale House wherever Christian resources are sold. (Mardel Christian bookstores, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, and more)
For the brand-new Christian, the mom who can’t maintain her focus, or the one who is struggling to engage with the Scriptures—here’s the post I wrote last year: A Simple, Rustic Plan to Read the Bible and Love It.