Have you ever attempted to read the entire Bible in a year? There are lots of great plans out there that can help you do this. Two of my favorites are the Read Scripture plan from The Bible Project and the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan.
If you’ve never read the entire Bible before, it’s a great thing to do. We believe that ALL of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are “God-breathed,” inspired by the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t had the joy reading all those God-breathed words at some point in your life, you’re missing out.
However, sometimes attempts to read the Bible in 365 days leave us feeling hurried in our reading or frustrated when we fall behind.
This is why it is better to read the Bible every day than every year. Reading the Bible in a year is a goal. Reading the Bible every day is a habit.
In the end, our habits shape us more than our goals. Indeed, it is our habits that ultimately enable and empower us to reach our goals. This is how James Clear, author of Atomic Habits and one of the best contemporary writers on the topic of habits, puts it:
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Your goal is your desired outcome. Your system is the collection of daily habits that will get you there. This year, spend less time focusing on outcomes and more time focusing on the habits that precede the results.
What if this year you gave your greatest energy not to getting through the entire Bible, but in establishing a habit, a system, a routine of reading the Bible every day? No matter what. Come hell or high water. (Do people still use that expression?) You read the Bible every day.
The Bible is mediation literature. Read it every day, and soak in it. Reflect on Psalm 1.
1 How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
4 The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
Be like a tree this year—read the Bible every day—see how long you can keep the streak going. Worry less about completing a certain amount of reading. Instead, focus on establishing the habit of reading.
If you happen to read the Bible in a year because you installed the habit of reading the Bible every day, that’s wonderful. But even if you don’t read the whole Bible this year, I can promise you that if you read it everyday—with a posture of seeking to know, love, and obey Jesus—your life will change.
The change will probably be imperceptible at first. But it will happen. And you will find deeper joy as the roots of your life soak up the nurshing, refreshing, fruit-enabling waters of the Word.
Take the Next Step
If you’re looking to start this habit but don’t know where to start in your Bible or what to read each day, Christ Community’s Open Here reading plan is a great place to start. It gives you a short passage to read each day that relates to the current sermon series.