Starting January 1, I'm reading through the Bible again and wanted to extend the invitation to you, too!
We're going to read the Bible chronologically to better understand the historical context and to piece together the Bible as one whole, continuous story.
You can also read in your Bible using this sheet as your guide. Here's a print-off to follow if you'd rather read that way (it's what I'll be doing most days!)
As a bonus, tune into this podcast every day. It's usually around 7 minutes long and gives clarity and understanding to the day's reading. Last year, I heard from so many people that the podcast is what helped them stay on track so give it a go!
HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE ME?
I know reading through the Bible in one year sounds intimidating, but the truth is that it only takes about 12 minutes a day to read the Bible from cover to cover. Of course, you'll want to dedicate more time as you you begin a new book of the Bible (context is so important!) and you'll want to save at least a few minutes at the end of your time for reflection and prayer over what you've just read. But on average? 20-30 minutes y'all!
Note: A study Bible can be a huge help as you begin to understand proper context. I love this one!
This (and this) is also a great resource as you begin a new book of the Bible. I used these videos last year as a helpful guide, and will reference them again this time around! They're less than 10 minutes long and can really help you understand what you're about to read. The Bible Recap Podcast will also direct you to them as you begin a new book of the Bible so if you follow along there, you'll have the links!
Usually, I wake up at 6:00am to read and pray for roughly 50 minutes before my boys wake up at 7:00am. On days when I'm not able to do this (sickness, vacation, new baby, etc), I'll find time to read aloud to my kids over lunch or listen the the audio version in the car. And if I fall a day or two behind, I'll catch up over the weekend.
Planning is key-- when will you prioritize this in your day and what will be your backup plan?
Another thing you might run into is conflict with what you're reading. Maybe reading through Old Testament laws and genealogies is uninteresting? Or maybe you come face to face with a characteristic about God that feels different (and unsettling) from what you've always thought?
Press on, Sister.
For me, it is so helpful to think about the word of God like a meal. After all, Jesus calls Himself Everlasting Water and says that man must live on the Words of God, not just bread alone. (John 4:14 & Matthew 4:4).
When we consistently miss meals, we get hangry. We make bad decisions, we feel tired, and ultimately we malnourish.
The same is true for our souls. When we wake up and think we don't need to prioritize time in the Word, we begin to rely on our own (failing) capabilities. Our hearts and attitudes eventually malnourish!
Instead, let's savor the promises in Psalm 19 and call them to mind when we're feeling unmotivated or frustrated. Look at what God says about His words!
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Read the Bible to find God, not yourself.
The Bible is not, primarily, a guide book for our lives or a description of ourselves. It is a book about the Triune God; it tells us who He is, what He's done, and what He will do again. When we read to find Him first, we learn to love every word-- even the confusing, difficult, and slow ones-- because they offer insight into His full character. They allow us to fall in love with our Father & King & Helper through the revelation He's offered us about Himself, and we begin to long for more and more of those glimpses.
And as James 4:8 says, when we draw near to God he absolutely draws near to us.
Let's draw near together, friends. xx
(I'll be sharing more on Instagram throughout the year! @dearmushka)