Bible Reading Plans and One Year Bibles
I recently finished reading one of those “read the Bible in one year” daily Bible… It took approximately five years to read. I have to say, after finishing it, I’m relieved and I’m probably never going to do one of those, or any “read the entire” Bible reading plans again.
What I Didn’t Like
The first reason and main reason I didn’t like the one-year Bible is due to time. It’s kind of two-fold: first, some days I didn’t have the time (in reality, I didn’t set apart the time) and then I would fall behind on my reading. This became cumulative and made me not want to read even more. Second, I felt like I was attempting to wrap God around my schedule. I may only have 15 minutes and so I would cram the day’s reading to fit my misaligned schedule. This is obviously not the way that someone wants to study The Word of God.
Guilt is not from God, however, conviction is from God. Whenever I missed a day of reading, most often I would have a sense of guilt about why I didn’t read, rather than conviction. Skipping more than one day in a row and I would just feel worse and worse. Eventually, with prayer, God would help me get out of my pit I had digged myself in, but it was never a fun process.
Reading for Reading’s Sake
Sometimes I would read just for reading’s sake. I wouldn’t start my time off in prayer, asking God to reveal His will to me in whatever I was reading. Since my heart wasn’t in the right place to begin with, I would read just to read. Obviously, this wasn’t a good thing either.
Lack of Understanding
When reading for reading’s sake, or due to lack of time, or whatever the reason may be, a lot of the time there may be some really crucial verses that God would want me to focus on. But due to my “time-frame” to finish the thing, I would end up spending a lot less time on the area where God really wanted me to focus. I contribute the fact that it took so long to finish the Bible to me spending extra time on certain areas more than anything else (second would be skipping days).
What I Actually Did Like
First, in regards to reading for reading’s sake, let’s say that I didn’t really want to read that day, but I did anyway. Somedays, God would choose to reveal something to me- even though I didn’t start off with my heart in the right place. This was pretty cool.
Second, I actually read the entire Bible, cover-to-cover. From what I’ve read and heard in sermons, this isn’t very common among Christians. I think it’s pretty cool that I can say I’ve read the entire thing. In that regard, I think it’s excellent.
What I’ll be doing instead
So instead of having a specific reading plan, I plan on using study guides on a specific book or topic which I can go through at my leisure (daily, but not rushed to “Get through the chapter, etc”) to guide me as I study the Bible. I won’t feel pressured to get through each day’s reading and I’ll be able to study areas in-depth. I’m looking forward to studying the Bible in future and pray that God reveals His will to me daily.