In 2020 I decided to go through a You Version plan to read the bible in a year. Although there were several days that I missed in a row, I’m happy to say that I was still able to complete what I set out to do. I want to share my thoughts and take-aways from reading through the bible this way as I experienced it.
PROS OF GOING THROUGH THE “BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR PLAN”:
consistency. to be able to read through the plan for each day, it required me to be consistent.
perseverance. I’m the type of person that when I set a goal for myself, I will do what I need to do to meet it, so even on the days I didn’t feel like reading the plan I did. (I was always glad on the days I read the bible even though I didn’t want to.) God blesses our obedience.
priorities and time- management. Going through this plan meant that I read usually from 3 or 4 different books in the bible along with the devotional for each day. It meant that it took time for me to read through each section and I have to set aside time in order to be able to accomplish that. Typically I read the bible plan right before bed. I accessed the plan from my phone and usually did the daily reading right before I went to sleep. This was a routine I started early-on and I would usually make sure I went to bed early enough to be able to complete the reading.
It always helps to read through the bible to understand the context, instead of just picking and choosing certain verses. Also the way the readings were set up, many of them had common themes and it was neat to see that through the different books of the bible.
Through reading through the Old Testament, I learned that many of the rulers were corrupt and “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” I would read through that certain kings would do what God asked them to do (tear down altars, other temples, etc…) only to have the next ruler undo what was just done. I kept thinking to myself, ” How frustrating!”
Actually reading through the ups and downs during each kings rule, has helped me through the happenings of the world currently (speaking of the most recent presidential election and what happened at the capital last week.)
I’m reminded again that God is not shaken or scared or concerned. He knew this was coming. He knows the outcome… In fact in trying to process through what happened last week and reading through some social media comments, I keep reminding myself,
I know the end of the story, I know who ultimately wins and gets the victory.
So while those without Jesus are shaking in their boots, Those of us that have a relationship with Jesus are continuing to look to Him as our only Hope.
Our Only Savior.
If there was anything that somewhat gave me comfort as I read through the happenings in the Old Testament, it is that what happening now is no worse than what happened then.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV
Every leader that obeyed God seemed to be followed by one (or several) other rulers that “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
It seems as though their government failed them time and time again, their God did not.
In all things and through all things, God redeems and God restores. By reading through the bible plan I was able understand this in a whole new way.
CONS OF GOING THROUGH THE “BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR PLAN”
Setting myself up to read from 3 or 4 different books of the bible each day in order to stay of track, ulitmately set me up to do it just to get it done. I had zero interest in digging deeper most days, and I really just did it because I felt obligated to.
Reading through the plan, I focused on completion instead of comprehension. Have you ever read through certain parts of the bible where they are listening names or describing the temple? I gave myself liberty to skip those parts, I kept scrolling because my goal was to “get it done” and not to meditate on the word.
If you know me, or have read a few of my posts, you probably know that I love setting goals (through the direction of the Holy Spirit) and I think that our goals are best met broken down into smaller more manageable chunks instead of trying the absorb several pieces of information all at once. (I even have a chapter in my book, titles how do you eat an apple, focused on not trying to eat a whole apple, core and all!)
So I think the year plan is great in theory, but for me, I always felt like I was racing against some imaginary clock to get the reading done so I could check it off on the app. It’s important to remember there is no rule anywhere in the bible that says you need to read through the entire bible in a year.
I think starting a habit of reading the bible some each day, was really good and it is something that I’ve carried over into this year! (Not whole books, but short passages through a study)
I’ve had to retrain my brain to remind myself that a few verses to mediate on at a time is ok.
It’s not about how much you can get done (or read through at a time) but about what God reveals to you as you’re reading and what you are going to do about it.
I started doing scripture writing plans in 2019 and the whole plan is centered around taking a few verses around a common theme each day and writing them out and mediatating on them as you write and reflect.
Somewhere, somehow I got the impression that this wasn’t enough and I needed to read more, or do more in order to deepen my relationship with God.
Sweet friends, if there is one piece of encouragement I can give you:
Drawing closer to God is not a result of doing more, but surrendering more.
It is true, we need consistency, perseverance, time-management and obedience in order to be able to do the good words God has prepared for us in advance to do (Ephesians 4:20 NIV)
It is also true that God doesn’t base His love on How much time we spend in the bible or even in prayer.
So for this year, among many other things (see my previous post for my word of the year) I am working hard to view my quiet time as a I get to and not a I have/need to.
So far when I’ve shown up without a specific checklist to accomplish or plan to hurry and read through, God has been faithful to show me great and marvelous things.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3 NIV
I think going through the bible in a year plan was a nice appetizer plate, where I was able to get a taste of several different “flavors” at one time.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him Psalm 34:8 NIV
I’m really excited to start to read my bible and treat each book of the bible as a main course, there is so much to read and digest and meditate on, that I know it’s ok to just focus on short verses or passages at a time.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV
I would love to hear from you, are reading through a bible plan? Going through a bible study? What helps you consistent in your bible study?