“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV). The Bible offers resistance to the enemy and helps guard against sin. It brings health and blessing to both body and soul, and results in the sweet sleep of confidence. The word of God provides strength and gives hope. It is a path when no direction can be found and a light in the darkness. It is the means to a relationship with the Creator, and the medium in which to draw nearer. Faith is built by hearing the word of God, and without faith it is impossible to please Him. It is the foundation to all wisdom and knowledge, and the tool by which we tap into a power greater than anything else in this world. We have one life to live on this earth, so why not make the most of it by taking up the challenge to spend time in the scriptures. Below are a few tips that may help with your goal to read through the Bible in one year:
How to Read the Bible in One Year
Get motivated, stay motivated
This task you are undertaking is rewarding, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The spiritual disciplines are more difficult to maintain and achieve than your average resolution. As you set your goals keep in mind that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. In other words, you will experience opposition. Before you even open your bible, ask God for help. The support of friends and family is another way to help you stay focused, motivated and accountable. Sharing your progress with someone who is working toward the same goal is a great source of encouragement and inspiration.
Pick a plan
So, now you are motivated and ready for a year of great blessing. Whether you select a plan that is already in place, or develop your own, a clearly thought out strategy is paramount. I mean, think about any other goal in your life. Let’s say you want to run a marathon. Simply announcing your resolve with no accompanying action will do very little toward accomplishing your goal. You will need to do things like find a marathon considering your time constraints, develop a schedule, map out your training runs, and sure up other important details. Purposing to read the entire Bible in one year requires no less effort and resolve. There are a host of options available to help you plan your course. You can purchase a one-year bible arranged in daily readings or you can print out a similar plan to use with the well-worn bible you already own. In the Sharefaith article Study Guides that will help you fall in love with the Bible I have listed a few of my favorite read-through plans.
Now that a plan is in place, it is important to set achievable goals. It’s been said that a man can eat an entire elephant, one bite at a time (not that you’d want to). Let’s move back to the marathon analogy. Building endurance to run a long distance requires reaching milestones along the way in order to keep things on track. You will have a training start date, an end date at the finish line, and all the stages in between. Similarly, in order to read through the Bible in a year you will need to break it down into a daily schedule that is challenging, but manageable. This will keep you motivated in your journey, build endurance and help you realize the ultimate goal of completion. Many programs exist that will do this work for you but you will still need to choose one that works best for you.
Pray for understanding and come with expectation
The combination of bible reading and prayer is essentially a two-way conversation with the Lord. The bible reading is Him speaking to us, and the praying is you speaking to Him. To have deep communion with God, both elements must be present. Start by asking God to give you understanding of His words; talk to Him as you take in those words, then continually be in prayer about what to do with what you’ve been given. Read with a strong and confident expectation that God will speak to you and that you will find the answers you are looking for. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7).