Yesterday I shared on my Instagram story that one of my biggest goals for 2022 is to read the Bible again from Genesis to Revelation. I have done it multiple times in the past, but haven’t read cover-to-cover in the last few years.
After I shared that, I had quite a few gals message me asking questions like what Bible version I use, which reading plan I’m following, am I using a journal, tips, etc.
So I thought it might be helpful if I shared a few tips and resources in hope that it might encourage you. 🙂
Consistent Time: I know this one can be challenging for some. But I like to read early in the morning before my day starts. I know if I don’t spend intentional time with the Lord in the morning, it probably won’t happen as my day gets going. I hate saying that, but I know how I am. So that means I wake up extra early to read and pray. Some mornings are harder than others, but I am always glad I did it. Mornings are helpful because I know that no matter what the day brings, I started it with Jesus. My mind isn’t cluttered with the world yet and I often think more clearly and focus. Some folks thrive at night! Which is great! Some have spare time when their kiddos are napping. Whatever it looks like, I have found that being consistent with the time of day has been beneficial to my walk.
Heart Check: One thing I have found helpful before starting a goal (like reading the entire Bible) is to remind myself of the intention. I don’t want to read just to say I’ve read the entire Bible. I want to spend time with and learn about GOD! I read the Bible to know HIM! Having a goal in sight (like reading the whole Bible in a year) is wonderful, but ultimately, even if I go over a year, it’s okay. I just want to be with Him. I think that is helpful to remember and takes the pressure off.
Don’t Give Up: I think it’s fairly common for a Christian to take on a big endeavor (like reading the entire Bible in a year) and feel motivated and excited at first. And then, by the time they get to a book like Leviticus… they’re bored, busy, missed a few days… and then throw in the towel. DON’T! Spending time with God is not a race and it doesn’t have to look Instagram-worthy. If you miss a day (or a week), pick back up where you left off. Consistency is key. Just like any other goal, we must work through the challenges.
The “Boring” Books: Yes, I’ll be real. Some books you may find less exciting than others. But one thing I say to myself is, “If it’s God’s words, then it must be important for me to read.” I don’t think God is a time-waster. He is the creator of time. I think about the verse in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” He says ALL SCRIPTURE, not some, not most, but all. So when it comes time to read the “boring” parts, ask God to show you Himself in those and teach you for the training of your righteousness.
Pray: I pray before and after every time I open my Bible. It reminds me to rely on HIM to teach me and it focuses my heart on Him. If I don’t understand something, I pray and ask Him to help me understand. I often will ask Him to point me to a commentary or help it “click” as I re-read the passage a few times. And I’ll be real, He answers.
Here are a few more answers to the questions I received….
What Bible do you use?
I enjoy reading from the ESV Study Bible mostly. I love study Bibles because it helps me understand the cultural and historical context of the text. Other translations I will use at times are NKJV, CSB, and NASB. I have found these to be the closest word-for-word translations to the original Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic. You can find any of these translations, including the ESV Study Bible on Amazon, ChristianBook.com, or just do a Google search!
Aside from a study Bible, I will sometimes use a commentary. Commentaries are amazing as they will often breakdown keywords and/or verses. I like to use a few different ones as I sometimes will get different theological perspectives. I currently use The Moody Bible Commentary and The MacArthur Bible Commentary.
Do you follow a plan? If so, which one?
Well, if you read 3 chapters a day, you’ll finish the Bible in about a year. But yes, this year, I am following a plan by The Daily Grace Co. Here is a link to the plan. I am enjoying this one so far because they also have a Facebook group of over 25k women doing the same plan and sharing thoughts. They also have a new Podcast where they review the daily reading each day. So for instance, today is January 2 and they reviewed Genesis 4-6. I like it! BUT there are all sorts of plans out there! You can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, Chronologically, or even a mix of Old Testament and New Testament. If you click on the links, it will take you to a few I found. 🙂
Do you journal? If so, how?
YES! I am a HUGE FAN of interacting with God’s word. I have journaled every single day I’ve read the Bible for over 10 years. I often write out my favorite verses, summarize sections, write out prayers, confessions when I feel convicted – anything that goes on in my mind while reading. It’s really helped the Word sink in deep. This year I’m using the Give Me Jesus Journal from Well-Watered Women. It’s my first time ever using it and I love it! I’ll be real, it’s a bit pricey ($30), but they have sales sometimes! I got it for around $20 during Black Friday. But if you can spare the $30, it’s worth it to me. The sections are fun to write in and they encourage me to think even deeper about what I’m reading. Before this journal, I would use just normal notebooks and they worked fine!
This year I also starting Bible Highlighting! I have always underlines verses and wrote a few comments in the margins of my Bible. But I decided to create a highlighting guide and get a few Bible highlighters. It’s been so fun as if makes me pay even closer attention to the text to ensure I highlight with the correct color. You can find Bible highlighters that don’t bleed through pages on Amazon or Google. I use the ones from The Daily Grace Co. and they have worked great.
These are just some tips and resources that have been a blessing to me in my time with God’s word. But the reality is you don’t need any of these things but a Bible to have a rich time with the Lord. He can do so much in and through your life just be sitting down and reading the words He wrote to you! That’s how I became a believer! I literally ordered a Bible off Amazon and started reading it. No joke!!
I pray that whoever might stumble upon this post will be encouraged and motivated to spend time with our God. He is better than we could ever think, hope, or imagine! His mercies are new every single morning. How great is our God!
P.S. I’m not sponsored by any of the ministries or authors listed above. Just some resources I have personally found helpful!