Do You Read Your Bible?

December 11, 2023

Bible reading plan or no Bible reading plan? That is the question.
Read your Bible. That is the answer.

It’s the answer to a lot of things. In the Bible, I find the rich history of my inheritance, examples from those who have gone before me, key information to my identity as God’s child, encouragement, exhortation, and everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

As we reflect on the past year and look to usher in the next, talk of Bible reading plans becomes a buzz in church lobbies, bible studies, pulpits, and on social media. We are offered myriad Bible reading plans designed to address varying seasons and learning styles.

I have had seasons where a guided journey through the Bible has been sheer pleasure. I stayed current, digested the rich meat of the Word, and savored hidden gems that lingered through the day. What a treat to read through God’s Word progressively, orderly, and continually.

I have also been discouraged by Bible reading plans. Executing faithful intentions, I’m buoyed by the accomplishment of ticking off each day’s reading assignment. Then life happens—a child gets sick, I get sick, everyone’s schedule overfills, late nights, early mornings—often the reading plan is among the first to go. Instead of tossing aside self-condemnation and getting back into it, I tucked the printed reading plan into an obscure book of my bible, only for it to float accusingly to the floor months later, reminding me of a task undone.

I can forget that Bible reading plans are written by men. I forget that God has purchased me with the blood of his Son. He rejoices over me with loud singing. He sees my sick child and busy schedule. He hears my desires to be in his word, to grow, to love him more. He is my Father and he wants my heart, not my fully completed Bible reading plan.

Perhaps you are the kind of person who always completes what they start. To you I offer so much admiration. I want to be that kind of person. Keep on reading your Bible.

Maybe you are the kind of person who has great intentions, but has a stack of half-read books and a to-do list that doesn’t always get completed. I feel your feels. Keep on reading your Bible.

Or are you reading this saying, “What’s a Bible reading plan?” That’s okay. Keep reading your Bible.

Just read your Bible! That is the answer. Use a plan, don’t use a plan. Just read. God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Read.

I’ll be there with you—reading, starting and sometimes stopping another reading plan, fighting the tendrils of self-condemnation threatening to steal my joy in the Word, and reading some more to the glory of God.

P.S. If you tend to get tripped up by falling behind, allow me to recommend two reading plans that might suit, though I am sure there are others. The Shirkers and Slackers plan, while not complimentary sounding, allows you to read at your own pace. I think I took four years to complete the Bible with that plan. The advantage was the silence of condemning whisperings when I paused the plan to care for family or linger over certain passages for further study or edification. Second, the Bible Reading Challenge put out by Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho offers a dated plan that frees you to break when you need to and then drop back in without condemnation. The reasoning is that next year, you will be reading through the Bible again and you can catch the missed passage next time around. Just keep reading!

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