NEW! Check out the paragraph titled "AN EXCELLENT NON-CHRONOLOGICAL OPTION!" for an alternative Bible-reading plan.
One of the safest ways for a Christian to protect himself or herself from discouragement or false teaching--and to fall more deeply in love with God--is to acquire a good working knowledge of what’s in the Bible, from one end to the other. However, following a through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan can be pretty daunting, mainly because some parts of Scripture just aren’t nearly as interesting as other parts.
Here are a few suggestions to make a regular Bible reading plan work for you:
- Ask the Lord to use His Word to change you. That’s what the Bible is for--to change us from what we were before to what God wants us to become! Always pray before you start each day’s reading: “Lord, what message do you have for me today?”
- Choose the right Bible--a readable version with clear print. Why not try a version you’ve never read before? For steady reading for longer periods of time, a hardcover version is sometimes easier to handle. Check out used bookstores for inexpensive Bibles.
- Decide on a specific time and place for your daily reading, and stick to it. Morning’s probably best for most people--your mind’s freshest and there’s less chance for distraction. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal. Don't wait for January--jump right in on today's date! There's no Bible verse that says you have to read the Bible through from January to December.
- Try to think of a goal for your reading, such as “This year I’m going to try to discover Jesus in every book, maybe even every chapter,” or “I’m going to try to find what God is really like, what’s in His heart,” or “How did Bible people pray, what did they pray for, and how did God answer them?” or “I just want to know what the Bible actually contains.”
- Read some chapters slowly, others more rapidly. For now, read the stories slowly and carefully, but skim the “begats” and other non-story segments more quickly. This is especially true if your goal is to get an “airplane” view of the Bible. You can always come back for further study to areas which intrigue you.
- Get ready to be very surprised. Or shocked, or jolted, or disturbed, at some of the things you read. But as you ask yourself “How can people be that horrible to God, or to each other?” you’ll also be asking “God, how can You be so patient with us?” Occasionally His love will move you to tears. At such times, tell Him how much you love Him and how willing you are to be a light in the world for Him. I believe that you’ll conclude the year’s reading with a deeper respect and love for your Creator, and a greater desire to be part of His witness to the world.
- If you skip a few days, ignore what you’ve missed and jump back into the schedule. Remember, the key is to read the Bible every day, not necessarily read it through in a year. Just keep moving through Scripture. If you can’t read the entire day’s reading, just do a few verses of it.
AN EXCELLENT NON-CHRONOLOGICAL OPTION! The traditional Bible reading plan (the "interactive Online Bible Reading Plan" described later) takes you through Genesis to Revelation in a year, asking you to finish each book before starting another. But some people would rather not be "trapped" in a larger Bible book for very long, but want more variety. Not long ato I discovered a plan which still gets you through the Bible in a year, but which moves you from section to section for each day of the week. This is the plan I'm going through now. I downloaded and printed out the plan at this link: http://www.bible-reading.com/bible-plan.pdf
TRY THE INTERACTIVE ONLINE BIBLE READING PLAN BELOW! Click on a Bible passage below and you'll be connected to Bible Gateway, and to the chapters for that day's reading. To change Bible versions (including other languages), use the box at the top of the reading. Note: if you'd like to go directly BibleGateway, click here.