30 Dec 2013

Tips and Tools for Reading Through the Bible in a Year

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Do you want to read through the entire Bible? Have you tried and failed in the past?
I did–over and over again. I would start out all fired up usually at the beginning of a New Year and I would do great for about 2 or 3 weeks. Genesis and Exodus were awesome to read. There was lots of action and stories to follow. But Numbers and Leviticus, Uuugh! These were just brutally hard to slog my way through.
The good news is this…It doesn’t have to be that way! You can read the entire in one year and enjoy it. First off don’t make these mistakes:


1) Fail to have a designated reading time.

People with a set time for doing their reading are 5 times more likely to be reading after 30 days. If you decide to just read it in your spare time (whatever that is) then you will most likely let other priorities crowd out time with God.

2) Read the Bible cover to cover.

The Bible is actually a collection of many books. Think of it as a mini-library. I once heard someone say that trying to read The Bible cover to cover is like being a new reader and going into a library and just reading all of the books in whatever order they appear on the shelf. Many Bible reading plans are strategically design to help break up difficult portions. I personally found that reading the Bible using a plan was more effective than cover to cover as a beginning Bible reader. Later on reading cover to cover was manageable and meaningful after I had greater familiarity with the books.

3) Get behind and get in a “catch up” mentality.

If you are following a plan and ever find yourself thinking about how to catch up, forget about catching up and just start reading again. Develop a daily habit of reading and you will eventually read the Bible numerous times.

4) Fail to persevere.

Let’s face it, Some times you are tired and and don’t want to read. Some times your bored with what you are reading or confused. But as someone who has read through the Bible multiple times now, I just want to say this. Persevere. It’s worth the effort. My daily reading which was once a chore is now something I can’t imagine not doing.

So what SHOULD you do?–


1) Select a time and place for your reading.

2) Download and use an easy-to-follow plan.

Here is one I designed:

  • Bible in a Year by The Practical Disciple. A custom plan designed to help you finish the entire Bible in a year and maintain your interest.
  • 3) Make no exception.

    4) Stick with it even when the going gets tough.

    5) Pray for God’s assistance.

    When you read God’s Word always ask the Holy Spirit to guide your efforts and to give you a spirit of self-discipline around reading on a daily basis.
    I hope that this is the year you succeed. Please email me or comment below if you have any questions. I know these tips and tools and can work for you because they have worked for me and many others.
    John Arnold
    The Practical Disciple

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