It’s New Year’s Resolution time – again! As 2020 fades into an extraordinary history, we reach for our Bibles and pray for a different year in 2021. What better resolution could we have than to read through the Holy Bible over the course of 2021?
Make this the year that you resolve to read through the Bible! KJV Bibles online store is here to help. This is a great opportunity to explore the King James Bible. Perhaps you used the KJV as a younger person, or haven’t ever read its stirring language. KJV Bibles has many lovely and affordable options to choose from – and most include a Bible Reading Plan right in the back. It’s a simple checklist that takes you straight through from Genesis to Revelation in a year.
But let’s take a step back and ask why we would take on such a challenge. Here are 3 of many, many reasons, each based in what God himself says about his Word.
1. The Bible is God’s Word to Us
The Bible is God’s Word. We see this reflected in Paul’s word to Timothy: “But continue thou in the things which thou has learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom though has learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” I Timothy 3:14-17 KJV.
The Holy Bible is holy because it is God’s word to us – as the Westminster shorter catechism says, the Bible was written by “chosen men inspired by the Holy Spirit.” This word is the authority on all aspects of our life, and instructive. Reading the Bible will truly “make thee wise”!
2. The Bible Convicts and Shapes Us
How does the Bible make us wise? The book of Hebrews tells us:
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 KJV
This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us through God’s words. As we read, we notice, we are convicted, we repent, we rejoice, and our thoughts and deepest yearnings are tuned; like an athlete we are stretched and toned and put through our paces to become more like Christ.
3. Reading the Bible Reminds Us of God’s Promises
The Bible is full of God’s promises: “I can do all things through Christ”, “fear not, for I have redeemed you”. We can hope in these promises and in turn take them back to God, asking in prayer for him to fulfill it.
Charles Spurgeon says it like this when reflecting upon Psalm 119:49:
Reading the Bible is the best way to press these promises into your heart, soul and mind.
How Do I Start a Bible Reading Plan?
That’s the why of reading through the Bible, but, like New Year’s Resolutions, it’s sometimes easier said than done. That brings us to the how, and fortunately, there are so many resources available!
Some Simple Steps
There are lots of hints out there on how to keep to a Bible reading plan, and most suggest the same simple steps:
- Make a realistic plan for yourself
- Plan time to read
- Ask for accountability
- Give yourself grace!
Let’s look at each of these points in turn.
1. Make a Realistic Plan for You
We’ve already said the Bible is God’s word to us – reading any of it is good for your soul! So decide if you want to stick to a year – there are plans that take longer, or, for the super-readers out there, you can read it all in 90 days or less. Alternatively, take up to 2 years with this plan at Bibles.com.
Popular Bible Reading Plans
The Discipleship Journal Plan takes you through the Bible a book at a time, but has 5 grace days as the end of the month for you to do any catch up.
The Chronological Bible Reading Plan moves through the Bible chronologically in the order that events happened. An interesting perspective that might surprise when you move to the book of Job while still reading Genesis.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Bible Reading Plan divides up each day for individual reading as well as with the family, but at the end of the year you will have read through the Bible, and Psalms and the New Testament twice. The ordering of the books is unique and triggers enlightening connections and common themes between Old and New Testaments.
The Reformation Reading Plan is new for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and puts the books of the Bible in “gospel order” according to the books that most influenced the Reformers. If you are a regular “Read Through” reader, this might bring a fresh perspective!
Of course, you can always simply pick up your Bible, and start reading with Genesis. Approximately 3 ¼ chapters a day will get you through the Bible in a year. Or, check out our selection of KJV Bibles for the reading checklist at the back!
There are so many ways to read the Bible. Outside of the links I’ve included above, there are apps that make Bible reading plans as easy as opening your app notification. There are apps that let you choose your Bible version and plan, and you’ll get a daily Scripture passage to read. Or, try an audio app that reads to you on your commute, or while out for a walk. There are many ways to take in the Bible – you decide what plan suits you best. Check out this page at Bibles.net for recommendations.
2. Plan to Read
As with most goals in life, we need to plan to achieve that goal. The same applies to Scripture. You might not want to try to get your Bible reading in just as you are dozing off, but maybe for some folks, planning to read as a evening event works best. As mentioned above, an app makes it easy to plan to listen to the Scriptures as you are driving or walking each day. Morning works well for many people who start their day with coffee and the Bible!
3. Ask for Accountability
Get a friend or your spouse to join you in this challenge. Choose a different Bible version to read together and read from the same plan. Make a date each week to compare notes and talk about what convicted and encouraged you.
4. Give Yourself Grace
Enjoy your Bible reading! Make your plan, plan for your reading and ask for help. This task takes persistence, but don’t worry if you fall behind or have to modify your plan. Indeed, it is frustrating when you have a few days that you couldn’t get to it, and you’ll only catch up if you take a day off work to read! Don’t worry, just pick up with the schedule and you’ll read those missing chapters next year. The more we read, the more we’ll want to read, and to know the God who made us and who gave us these living words.
Hope Beyond Hope
2021 can be a year of hope! Read through the Bible. Remember that amidst global uncertainty, disorder and gloom, the light of Christ shines bright, the God of heaven sees, and He is still on his throne.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:14 KJV