Read Through the Bible in 3 Years

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Do you plan to read through the Bible in one year, then get discouraged and quit when you get behind? If so, we have something in common.

I was challenged on Sunday (along with the rest of my church) with a point-blank question. We say we hold the Bible, God’s Word, as the ultimate standard of truth. We say we do our best to live our lives by the teachings God reveals to us in its pages. Ok. If it is that important to us in our lives, how much time do we spend reading it in a given week? How much do you? How much do I?

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

I like the idea of reading through the entire Bible. I think I have in bits and pieces, a book here and a book there, but I would like to do it again. This time I’d like to be more intentional about it and do it in a shorter period of time so I can look for running themes, pick up more fulfilled prophecies, and see what other nuggets the Lord wants to teach me.

The problem for me is that I live with a family. My day starts early and if I oversleep, I don’t have the time to read several long passages of Scripture before I am needed to help get my family off and running for the day. I read a lot of Scripture, commentaries, and Bible study books while I am studying and writing, but it is not really the same as taking time sitting, reading, and asking the Lord what He wants to teach me that day.

I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word.

Psalm 119:15-16 (NIV)

Today I read this blog post by Shelia. She’s a trainee vicar and faces some of the same challenges I do. Her solution was to start a three year Bible reading plan. When I finished reading her post, I had to laugh. I’ve been thinking about that very thing for some time now. I decided today was the day to start.

I found this three year Bible reading plan by the Moody Church. I like the way you finish one book before starting another. I also like the way it switches between Old and New Testament and the way the Psalms are scatted into the mix. The way it is set up on the page is a bit confusing, but if you start where it says “Year One” and look for where the book you are reading continues, it should work out.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

Won’t you join me in a commitment to read through the Bible? You can be a brave one to tackle it on one year, or choose the slower pace of three. You might even set your own pace.

We don’t have to wait until January to start. We can start today. I plan to just ignore the dates and work my way through the list. If you are more detail oriented and that bothers you, simply start on today’s date in the first year of the plan.

Let’s just read it, asking God to teach us as we go. I bet we’ll be surprised what we learn and how our lives change along the way.

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 (NIV)

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