Hey, you. ☺️ How’s your Bible-reading life?
One of my challenges to you this 2020 is to get stuck into reading God’s Word. There’s no better way to ensure this year – and this new decade – is one of your best yet.
We read God’s word because we love Him, and cannot love Him without obeying His word (John 14:15). Moreover, not only is time spent daily in the Word an instruction God gives us (Joshua 1:8), but the Bible says that the Word of God is the sword by which we fight our battles (Ephesians 6:10-17). It’s therefore vital we ensure we’re in it daily, living and walking with it as our foundation and our covering.
I’m a firm believer that this new decade of 2020 to 2030 can be your (and my) decade of destiny. But that all begins with what we’re feeding ourselves, and what we’re building our lives upon. It must be the Word of God.
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.Joshua 1:8, NLT
How do I begin reading the Bible?
Sometimes, reading the Bible can feel like one of those things that we know we’re supposed to do as Christians but we don’t know where to start. The Bible is rich and filled with wisdom, guidance and godly principles, but if we don’t know how to access it all, then we can’t digest it and subsequently live it out. I once heard it said that the devil doesn’t mind you having a Bible in your home or on your bookshelf. He doesn’t even mind if you have one on your bedside table, or on your phone. What he does mind, though, is when you pick it up and read it. That’s when you become a threat to him.
That’s exactly what I’m here to encourage you to do! Today, we’re talking Bible Plans: one of the best ways I’ve found to ensure I’m getting my dose of God’s Word on a daily basis.
First Things First: Download the YouVersion Bible App
These plans I’m recommending to you are all ones I’ve tried, tested and enjoyed, and they are all available on the free YouVersion Bible app (available on iOS or Android, on most other devices and on the app’s website). This app is totally free and for me has been an absolute game-changer when it comes to reading the Word daily. Not only does it have the entire Bible on there in every version you could possibly need for general reading, but it is also jam-packed full of hundreds if not thousands of Bible reading plans ready and waiting for you, tailored to whatever topic, situation or issue you’re facing.
Bible plans are a key way to bring the Word, which can seem hard to get into at first, to life, and apply it directly to your life, your season, your situation, right now.
Honestly, you name a topic, you’ll find a Bible plan for it on YouVersion, waiting for you. Some are short (2 or 3 days), some are long (a year), but all have been written by pastors, churches and experts and all are rooted in the Word, with helpful commentaries and devotionals.
Even if you don’t try any of the plans I’m about to recommend, my one ask is that you download this app… and open it at least once!😂
5 Bible Plans to Get you Started
Once you’ve got the app, onto the plans… Here are 5 of my favourites to get you started.
My advice? Find one that interests you, and stick with it. Let this be the year you make a commitment to read God’s Word daily. Set a daily reminder in your phone, or pop it into your calendar; read on your commute or on your lunch break. The key is to get into a routine. Whatever it takes you to get stuck into the Word this 2020, go ahead and do it!
1. New to the Bible? Try the Bible in One Year
My best recommendation for people who are new to the Christian faith or just exploring it is Nicky Gumbel’s Bible in One Year plan. Nicky wrote the Alpha Course that you may have heard of. This free, year-long plan is available as its own app or on YouVersion. It takes you through the entire Bible, and comes with an audio commentary so you can listen on the go. When I completed it, it took you through one Old Testament reading, one New Testament reading, and one Psalm or Proverb reading, all based on a shared, daily theme. It’s an excellent way to get started with reading the Word when you’re not sure where to start.
2. Meet Jesus up close – New Testament Chronological (6 months)
I completed this 6-month New Testament Chronological plan last year and loved it. Each day you’ll read through a portion of the NT, but not book by book – rather, you’ll read the events in the order they happened. This can be amazing for getting into the details of every event – reading how Matthew saw it, then how Luke saw it, and how Mark saw the same event – and piecing together a timeline of Jesus’ time on earth. Check it out here.
3. Read the entire Bible with the ESV Chronological Plan (1 Year)
Unlike the other plans I’m mentioning, this one is on the ESV Bible app rather than on YouVersion. I used their featured Chronological plan to go through the Old Testament a few years back, and really enjoyed it. Reading the Bible chronologically can be pretty special: it fully engrosses you into each story, brings each person featured to life, and also feels like a really good book you won’t want to put down! Like the plan above, there are no devotionals, but you’ll read each event as it happened, in order, and it’s a great way to get the entire timeline and story down, once and for all, in your head.
4. Want to grow in your faith? Daring Faith is for you (31 days)
If you’re looking for a more theme-based plan to get started with, the first one I can recommend is the Daring Faith plan by Pastor Rick Warren. This 31-day plan is all about understanding just how important your dreams are to God, as well as how your faith and imagination coupled with God’s infinite power and love can do mighty things, for His glory and your growth. Check it out.
5. Master the art of Prayer with the Praying Effectively 5-day plan
If you’re hoping to get your prayer life on track this year, this theme-based plan on Prayer, called Praying Effectively, is another great tool. Over 5 days you’ll learn the keys to answered prayer. This plan showed me that while I knew some of the basics, there was so much I didn’t know about why God doesn’t answer some prayers, and taught me the importance of learning to yield (basically be quiet and listen😂) to God’s voice during every prayer.
I truly hope this has helped and encouraged you! I pray 2020 is the year we all get deeper into God’s word than ever before, and that we start this decade as we mean to go on, living out Joshua 1:8.
See you in March!
Main Photo: Nathaniel Dumlao
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