Just over a year ago, I came out of a long dry season in my faith. As I was talking to a friend about the experience, he asked me “What changed? What brought you out of it?” In the moment, I couldn’t put my finger on it. I just knew that for the past month, I felt like a completely different man.
The next morning, I opened my Bible app and scrolled through my reading history. I noticed that my Bible reading started becoming consistent exactly one month ago. I laughed and praised God for this simple revelation. What had changed was that I finally started reading Scripture on a consistent basis again!
As Christians, reading the Bible on a regular basis can sometimes be a challenge. Here are 3 simple ways to read more Bible in the year ahead.
1. Reading Plan
Benjamin Franklin said ‘Having no plan is planning to fail.’ This also applies to developing the habit of reading God’s Word.
If you’re anything like me, you resist the idea of structure. The idea of having a plan for reading my Bible always seemed rigid and unappealing. It wasn’t until I went through that dry season in my faith, that I was receptive to establishing more structure with my devotions.
Whether it’s a customized Bible, printable plan, or an app, there are many options available to us. Whatever works best for you, resolve to have a plan so you don’t end up in place where you feel distant from the word of God.
For many people, a daily devotional is a great way to connect to the truths of Scripture. While never replacing Scripture itself, they can still be a helpful tool in developing a closer relationship with God.
Most devotionals will also provide Scripture references with each writing. If you’re going to use a devotional, I recommend reading it with an open Bible next you as well.
Here are a few we’ve enjoyed, or been recommended by people we trust:
- New Morning Mercies - Paul David Tripp
- The Songs of Jesus - Tim & Kathy Keller
- Jesus Calling - Sarah Young
- My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers
- Streams in the Desert - LB Cowman
3. Bible App
There are some incredible apps for going deeper into God’s Word. Here are two that I've used personally and found to be very helpful.
Bible in One Year
The ‘BIOY’ app is a simple and beautiful way to read through the entire Bible in one year. I read through the entire Bible in 2016 using this app. Each day has a reading from Psalms/Proverbs, the New Testament and the Old Testament. It has an intuitive way to record your progress, so you can always stay up to date.
This is the reading plan that Laura and I are going through this year. It was put together by Francis Chan (Crazy Love) and the folks at The Bible Project. It takes you through the entire Bible and also includes videos to help explain key themes and books in the Bible. One thing I’m excited about is that Francis will summarize each weeks reading on the Crazy Love podcast. If you are planning to go through this app this year too, please let us know!
Hopefully these resources will help you in your journey. The important thing to remember is that we don't read our Bible to gain acceptance in God's eyes. That was already accomplished by Jesus. We read Scripture because it helps us know the heart of God. These words by King David summarize it well:
"The rarest treasures of life are found in His truth. That's why I prize God's Word like others prize the finest gold. Nothing brings the soul such sweetness, as seeking His living words." Psalm 19:10 (Passion Translation)
Do you have any other suggestions? Please feel free to share below.