What if there was one thing that you could do each day that would radically transform your life? And by ‘life,’ I mean the whole you – inside and out. What if this one thing could make you a joy to be around, give you peace and wisdom for life’s curveballs thrown your way, increase your belief and faith in God, and be a tool that would shape you into holiness? And what if this one thing came at the price tag of six minutes per day? Yep, you read that correctly. Six minutes. Six minutes that could change your life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And by now you guessed what the one thing is… reading God’s Word, the Bible.
Last Sunday we were encouraged to start off the New Year right by being ‘in the Word this year’ from 1 Timothy 4:7-16, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” In this light of God’s truth, let’s further be encouraged that with the simplest of our steps towards obedience, God will strengthen us and quicken a desire in us for godliness. Like anything we purpose to do, a plan is helpful, if not absolutely essential, in order to get us past just good intentions. Thankfully, there is lots of help here for us. And below are links to quite a few different Bible Reading Plans for you to look over and choose from. But first I want to absolutely convince you that you can do this, and that reading the Bible is not an overwhelming resolution you cannot keep.
Crossway has compiled a helpful infographic illustrating how much time it actually takes to read through either the Old or New Testaments, or both:
So, with 6 minutes a day you could actually read through the entire Bible in 2 years, or, go through the entire New Testament in just 6 months! Have 12 minutes? Then you could meet that goal of reading through the Bible in One Year that you’ve always wanted to do, but, seemed daunting to actually tackle. How about a little binge Bible reading some weekend? You could read all of Acts in 2 hrs, 15 mins, and Romans in just 57 mins, James in 15 mins, and all that the Apostle Peter wrote in just 25 mins.
It seems reasonable that each of us has some loose time in our pockets, for in compiling this info for us, Crossway surveyed over 11,000 of their readers asking them where they spent 30 mins or more of their time each day. Here’s a few activities where people spend at least 30 mins per day – and remember these are their readers, ie a Christian audience: Email:-70%, TV-59%, Books-55% (hey, they’re Crossway readers!), Hobbies- 42%, FaceBook- 28%, YouTube- 26%. For a link to the entire article, go here: You can read more of the Bible than you think.
The point is, we all have some minutes to spare in our hectic busy lives. Minutes that we could spend investing in the most important thing of our existence – loving and knowing God.
Jesus spoke to the heart of this when he was with our favorite biblical sisters, Martha and Mary. In Luke 10, Jesus lovingly corrects the harried Martha with these words, ‘Martha, one thing is necessary…’(v.42). He was referring to focused singular attention on God. That is the needed thing; the one thing. So, while many things try to pull us towards this-or-that, let’s keep the one thing the main thing – intently purposeful devotion to God and his Word.
Below are quite a few Bible Reading Plans for you to look through. All are good, for they get us in the Word, and that’s the point! I’ve done the Chronological Bible plan for several years, as has Pastor Phil. This year, I’ll be doing The Discipleship Journal Bible plan. Some plans have readings 5 days a week or 25 days per month, leaving you the weekend to catch up on missed readings, or extra days each month to finish that book on Parenting or Marriage you’ve been meaning to read. Right? Whichever way you go, you will be blessed as you grow in godliness, holiness, joy, peace, wisdom and faith.
May our Lord God strengthen and confirm your desire to grow in Him!
Grace and peace be yours,
Neal, and the Elder team at Grace Bible Bend.
Bible Reading Plans (from the good folks at Ligonier Ministries)
Crossway ESV Plans (this includes some alternatives for covering certain sections of the Bible)
Before starting out in a new book that you may not be familiar with, I appreciate the insight these introductions explaining the main themes of each Bible book in an engaging video format from The Bible Project titled Read Scripture. You may want to check these out! Old Testament Books and New Testament Books
Lastly, here is a great article that RC Sproul penned for anyone who has never read through the entire Bible before, or feels stuck in their understanding of how all the Bible fits together into a concise framework and context. Very helpful starting place. Basic Overview Bible