If you are in a relationship, it’s natural for you to desire to be connected with that person you are in a relationship with. And by now, you already know that relationships grow by constant communication.
However, for some of you, your understanding of communicating with our Lord is just one way. Where you tell your requests and frustrations to God, then that’s it!
But do you ever enjoy being with someone who only talks about himself and never bothers to listen to you?
Know that a one-sided relationship never grows.
So, as a follower of Jesus, it’s also natural for us to desire to know what God wants us to learn in this short life. And that is possible through reading God’s Word every day.
All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 AMP
Did I just say that you read your Bible every day? That’s exactly right. It’s because the Bible is a meditation literature. It’s supposed to be read again and again and again.
But how to read the Bible?
For some of you, you just open sections of the Bible (often your favorite ones or the already familiar passages), and never really intend to finish the whole Bible.
Have you ever thought of reading the Bible from cover to cover? And why is it important to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation?
Think with me for a moment.
You can’t say that you understand the whole Narnia series (seven books) if you’ve read just one book, can you? The same goes for reading the Bible.
If you do not read it in its entirety, you will only be familiar with one part and not the other parts. For some of you who believe that God is only about anger and judgment, then you just dwelt on the aspects where God was angry and giving judgment. For some of you who believe that God’s love tolerates sin, then you just dwelt on the “feel good” passages. But only if you read the whole Bible will you understand the character of God and learn how to live the life He intended for us to live,
Then the Lord passed by in front of him, and proclaimed, “The Lord , the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers upon the children and the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers].” Moses bowed to the earth immediately and worshiped [the Lord]. And he said, “If now I have found favor and lovingkindness in Your sight, O Lord, let the Lord, please, go in our midst, though it is a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your possession.”Exodus 34:6-9 AMP
So here’s how to read the Bible in one year:
1. Use a reading plan. A reading plan spreads out the whole Bible into parts throughout the year. In this way, you will finish the entire cake by eating it slice by slice.
I recommend the Bible Project reading plan, which you can download here. You can also have access to their complementary videos and other resources through their website.
If you want to finish the Bible in one year with your friends, you can make an online account in my.bible.com and subscribe to this reading plan. I have been using this for three years now (which means that I finished reading the whole Bible three times using a reading plan).
I have finished the whole Bible without a reading plan, and it took me 11 years. So see what happens if you do not have a reading plan or a plan in general? You will either not finish the Bible due to many excuses or finish the Bible after a very long time. But did you know that the whole Bible is meant to be read again and again?
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful.Joshua 1:8 AMP
2. Build the habit of reading the Bible every day. If you are not feeling good about what you are doing, it is challenging to build a habit. So if you are reading the Bible with a language you do not really enjoy reading, you will eventually stop reading the Bible altogether.
I suggest that you read the Bible with a translation that is easy to understand. I recommend the following translations I have already used:
- Amplified Bible (AMP)
- English Standard Version (ESV)
- New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- New Century Version (NCV)
- New International Version (NIV) 1984
- New Living Translation (NLT)
- The Passion Translation (TPT)
3. Commit yourself to your Bible reading habit. If you love someone, you will do everything just so you can hear them speak every day. And all of us have been in love at some point. Isn’t the voice of your lover or beloved sounds like a melody in your ear?
The same goes for seeking the voice of the Lord through reading His Word every day. It takes commitment.
And if you decided to use this reading plan, then it looks like this:
Don’t you feel good every time you tick off those boxes? (You’d say, “I don’t see any boxes, though.” But of course, you know what I mean.) The Talk It Over part allows you to share what you have learned with your friends you shared the reading plan with. Having your friends in the same Bible reading plan gives some accountability boost.
So that’s how to read the Bible in one year.
And our Bible in One Year reading plan starts tomorrow! Let’s finish the Bible from Genesis to Revelation this 2021.
Happy new year, everyone!