The start of a new year invites us to stop and reflect, doesn’t it? We think about the healthy habits we need more of . . . and the unhealthy ones we need less of. About balance and healthy rhythms.
As I thought through how to achieve a healthier 2020, just one powerful resolution made my list—reading my Bible more.
I need light for my path (Ps 119:105), and how can I meditate on the Word (Ps 1) if I don’t read it? I need it to truly live: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).
Normally I choose a Bible-in-a-year plan and run with it, but this year, new strategies (outlined below) have made me hungrier for the Scriptures.
Here are my five quick tips for keeping Bible reading resolutions in 2020 and beyond.
1. Choose a Bible reading plan.
Reverend H. K. Williams said, “Remember, if you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
Logos Bible Software has a wide variety of free Bible reading plans that take the guesswork out of what to read every day. (To add a new plan from your Logos dashboard, click or tap the Plus icon, then choose Reading Plan).
This year, I’m using the reading plan included in a devotional by D. A. Carson, For the Love of God, volume 1. The book resonated because of the variety in daily Bible reading and Carson’s down-to-earth, but not dumbed down, application.
2. Be firm, but flexible.
Set a non-negotiable. You will read your Bible.
With the other details, give yourself flexibility unless you need strict routine. I usually read in the morning, but sometimes things get in the way. If they do, I read at lunch or after work—sometimes both.
I don’t think, “Well, I didn’t get to read this morning, so I’ll have to catch up tomorrow.” Or, “I don’t have time to do all my reading right now, so I won’t start.” Trying to do it all at once or at the same time every day has stopped me before, but not anymore.
And if I fall behind, I’ll restart where I left off instead of letting myself be overwhelmed by trying to catch up. My reading plan is meant to help keep me in the Bible, not keep me out of it.
3. Remove barriers.
Most days, I like to read my physical Bible to feel its pages and see notes in the margins. Other days, it’s more convenient to pull out my phone and read or listen to the Bible on my Logos app.
If you’re following a printed Bible reading plan but leave it at home, you can’t take advantage of free moments throughout the day. It’s easier to get behind, get discouraged, and give up.
When you take your Bible and reading plan anywhere with Logos, you can easily redeem the time you might otherwise spend just waiting or scrolling social media. Click or tap on the passage, and that’s it! You’re reading.
4. Don’t do it alone.
This year, my husband and I are both following For the Love of God. We don’t sit down and read at the same time, but it’s nice knowing we’ve been on the same pages. It helps keep me on track, and I look forward to the conversations we would’ve missed if we’d been following separate plans.
With free Faithlife Groups, it’s simple to share a reading plan with your church or small group and talk about what you learn.
5. Mix it up.
Unless you have a Bible reading plan you love, look for a new one. Just because you’ve done one before or had one recommended doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for the time you have or how you like to read.
For example, I used to read one Psalm, one Proverb, one Old Testament chapter, and one New Testament chapter a day. That worked well for a long time.
Now, I’ve found myself drawn to variety—it helps me focus more on what I’m reading.
In addition to following the plan inside For the Love of God, I’ve also added readings from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I saw it in the New Year Sale, read the “Look Inside” sample, and was hooked by Tripp’s style, his applications, and passage recommendations for further study and encouragement.
I enjoy reading both longer biblical passages and shorter devotional passages, being pleasantly surprised at where my reading takes me each day.
What about you?
- If you need a quick win to boost your reading-plan confidence, try Logos’ free 5 Days on Spiritual Growth plan.
- If you prefer to see how the Bible tells a cohesive story, try Logos’ free 55-Day Connect the Testaments Plan. It’s three daily readings from the OT, NT, and biblical poetry.
- If you like focusing on one part of Scripture at a time, try Logos’ free Luke 1 Month plan.
You can even use the reading plan mine is based on—it’s the M’Cheyne Reading Plan, free inside Logos. In a year, it takes you through the OT once and NT and Psalms twice.