Many of you have expressed interest in reading through the whole Bible this year. I’ve received many questions like: What if I haven’t started yet - is it too late to jump in? What if I fall behind? What am I supposed to be looking for when I read?
Today, let’s talk about reading your Bible and address some of your concerns and queries about this year’s journey through God’s Word.
What if I fall behind?
The chronological reading plan that I’ve talked about here will take you through the whole Bible in one year. I’ve done it a number of times and it’s absolutely awesome.
But the Bible is a big book! You’ll probably fall behind at some point. You’ll get sick, you’ll have a baby, you’ll go on vacation - life happens! If you fall so far behind that you can’t catch up or it just feels too daunting, you have two options.
Option one: You can just forget that it’s a year plan and take as long as it takes you to get through it. There is no shame in it taking you longer than a year to get through the Bible! God is going to use the words you’re reading to meet you exactly where you are.
Option two: You can skip through a book and circle round later to read it. You could also find a recap online that explains the book to you or simply decide to catch it again in following years.
How do we get it from being just words on a page to something that actually changes your heart?
If you’re following along with the Bible Recap podcast, you’ll have heard about finding your ‘God shot’ for the day. The most important part about reading the Bible is finding out who God is.
This is first and primarily a book about God and not about you! As you learn about the goodness and the holiness of God, it comes alive, and this is how it transforms your life.
What should we do when we read the Bible?
It’s totally okay if you only make mental notes about what you read. You may also want to grab some kind of notebook to make notes in. You could write down something every day that you learned about God. Date it, make a list, or just use scrap paper.
This is what I’m doing this year:
I’ve decided to read through the New Testament four times in 2020 instead of doing the whole Bible again this year. I really love the chronological plan and I’m already excited to do it again next year. But sometimes I feel that it goes so fast that I don’t have time to really dig into Scripture. So, I’m just going to follow the same New Testament chronological plan from the Bible Recap and read it four times. I want to focus on the triune God more deeply this year and really dwell on His character.
While I read the Word, any time I see the word God, Lord, Jesus, Holy Spirit, or Him, I’ll draw a triangle around it. (Underlining would also work or using different colors or shapes, but I’m just going to keep it simple.) At the end of my reading plan, I’ll look at all my triangles and write down what I learned about the Father, about the Son, about the Holy Spirit.
As I read the Word, I ask (and write down) these two questions: Who are you Lord? What would you have me to do? These are questions that Paul asked Jesus when he met Him.
I meditate on these parts of Scripture and write down my one takeaway for that section of study and reflection. Whatever I’ve written down, I’ll turn into a short prayer of 30 seconds or one I say all day long.
My plan is to do this every day, but I’m definitely going to miss days and that’s totally okay! What I’m doing is just an example and to give you ideas on how to read the Word and then take it beyond just reading.
Let’s take the question: Who are you Lord? He is the Redeemer of His people so that we can become His children. That’s a thought I want to cling to today. It’s a thought that’ll come out when I talk to my children, my husband and when I talk to all of you. It gives me something tangible to cling to.
When you do this day after day, you’re a changed person. You stand surrounded by the sweetness of who God is. You dwell on His character so much that when trial and suffering comes, big or really small, you’re still able to praise Him and rejoice because you know His character. You see the eternal plan and your eyes stay set on Heaven and His glory.
I hope this helps you today. Let’s do this, girls! I cannot wait to hear how the Lord meets you in 2020 as you read your Bible. Whatever you’re doing, the chronological plan, taking one book, going through the Psalms, doing the New Testament - there’s no right answer. Just dig in and find God.